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Collett’s Snake Fact File

Pseudechis colletti

Credit: Paskual13, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Weight

4kg

(8.8lbs)

Length

1.8m

(6ft)

Lifespan

Wild No records

Captive No records

Diet

Carnivore

Frogs, Mammals

Conservation Status

IUCN

Least Concern

Australia's Colorful Hunter!

The collett's snake is a brightly patterned snake found exclusively in Central Queensland in Australia.

They are carnivores which use a potent venom to capture and kill mammals and frogs. After periods of rain they will emerge to gorge themselves on frogs which are brought to ground by rain.

Females deposit a clutch of twelve eggs which hatch after an incubation period which varies based on temperature.

This species is threatened by the introduction of cane toads to their environment and the impact of grazing animals on their habitat.

Read on to learn more about these remarkable reptiles.

Appearance

What does the Collett's Snake look like?

Their head is only slightly distinct from the body. Their body is rather thick in adult individuals.


Across the body they are colored a grayish brown or black. This contrasts heavily against the cream or pinkish orange markings found along the back and on the underside of the body. The underside may also be white. On top of the head they have a flat dark coloration.


The eye features a dark brown iris. Around the eye is a reddish-brown ring.


An average individual will reach a length of 1.8m (6ft) long with a weight of 4kg (8.8lbs). Males are significantly longer than females.

Adaptations

How does the Collett's Snake survive in its habitat?


Their tongue is forked which helps them to sense their environment.

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Diet

What does the Collett's Snake eat?

These snakes are carnivores. They will feed on mammals, frogs and reptiles including lizards and other snakes.


They have been recorded as cannibalistic and may feed on smaller individuals of their own species.


A favored prey item is burrowing frogs. When it rains they will emerge from the cracks and begin to feast on the frogs.

Learn more about the Collett's Snake in this video from Ross McGibbon Reptile Photography on YouTube

Range

Where do you find the Collett's Snake?

Australia is the native home of the collett's snake. Here they are exclusively found in Central Queensland.

Habitat

Where can the Collett's Snake survive?

This species is associated with the black soil plains which are notable for the large cracks present in the soil. They will also make use of grassland habitats.


These animals will seek shelter within cracks on the black soil plain or under a hollowed log.

Collett’s Snake (Pseudechis colletti)

Credit: Paskual13, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Reproduction

How does the Collett's Snake produce its young?

Mating takes place from August to October.

An average clutch will include twelve eggs. These are laid 56 days after mating has occurred.

Incubation length is temperature dependent but tends to average 91 days. Hatchlings get themselves out of their egg using a series of slits across the shell. It may take up to twelve hours for them to leave the egg.

At hatching the young average 33cm (13in) long.

Behavior

What does the Collett's Snake do during its day?

These animals are active by day. On warm evenings they may also be active during the early periods of the night. During summer their habitat can become extremely warm and in these periods they must seek shelter in soil cracks.

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Predators and Threats

What stops the Collett's Snake from surviving and thriving?

If threatened this species will flatten its body and begin to hiss loudly. They may strike at the threat repeatedly to try and scare them away. If this is unsuccessful they will bite the threat with a potent venom.

Should you be bitten by a snake always seek medical treatment.

The population trend of the collett's snake has not been recorded. They are known from an arid area of Australia with few human inhabitants making them difficult to study.

One of the largest threats to their survival is cane toads. These have begun to expand in to their range and when these snakes attempt to consume them they can be poisoned.

Habitat clearning and grazing animals impacting their habitat are other emerging threats.

They are present in the pet trade, primarily in Australia and small numbers are likely collected illegally to supply this.

Quick facts

They may also be known as the Downs Tiger. Despite this they are not related to the tiger snake found across southern Australia.

Collett’s Snake (Pseudechis colletti)

Credit: Taipan198 at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 <http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/>, via Wikimedia Commons

References

Swanson, S. and Parish, S., 2011. Field Guide To Australian Reptiles. 2nd ed. New South Wales: Pascal Press.

The Australian Museum. 2022. Collett’s Snake. [online] Available at: <https://australian.museum/learn/animals/reptiles/colletts-snake/> [Accessed 9 January 2022].

Qm.qld.gov.au. 2022. Collett's Black Snake – Queensland Museum. [online] Available at: <https://www.qm.qld.gov.au/Explore/Find+out+about/Animals+of+Queensland/Reptiles/Snakes/Common+and+dangerous+species/Colletts+Black+Snake> [Accessed 9 January 2022].

Shea, G., Greenlees, M., Wilson, S. & Amey, A. 2018. Pseudechis collettiThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T42493229A42493233. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-1.RLTS.T42493229A42493233.en. Accessed on 09 January 2022.

Australia Zoo. 2022. Collett's Snake. [online] Available at: <https://www.australiazoo.com.au/wildlife/our-animals/colletts-snake/> [Accessed 9 January 2022].

Carter, T., 2022. Collett's Snake — Australian Wildlife | Brisbane | Workplace Reptile Safety Training. [online] Australian Wildlife | Brisbane | Workplace Reptile Safety Training. Available at: <http://coolcompanions.com.au/blog/colletts-snake> [Accessed 9 January 2022].

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