Animal Species:Common Death Adder

There are several species of death adders in Australia but the Common Death Adder is the only one found in the Sydney region.

Standard Common Name

Common Death Adder

Identification

The Common Death Adder is easily recognised by its triangular-shaped head, short stout body and thin tail.

Size range

40-100 cm

Distribution

Common Death Adders are found in Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

Habitat

The Common Death Adder lives in forests and woodlands, grasslands and heath.

Feeding and Diet

The Common Death Adder feeds on frogs, lizards and birds and, unlike most Australian venomous snakes that actively search for prey, this snake sits in one place and waits for prey to come to it. Covering itself with leaves makes it inconspicuous and it lies coiled in ambush, twitching its yellowish grub-like tail close to its head as a lure. When an animal approaches to investigate the movement, the death adder quickly strikes, injecting its venom and then waiting for the victim to die before eating it.

Life cycle

The Common Death Adder may give birth to up to 24 live young.

Danger to humans and first aid

Death adders have relatively large fangs and toxic venom and, before the introduction of antivenom, about 60% of bites to humans were fatal.

Classification

Species:
antarcticus
Genus:
Acanthophis
Family:
Elapidae
Suborder:
Serpentes
Order:
Squamata
Subclass:
Lepidosauria
Class:
Reptilia
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Kingdom:
Animalia

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Tags death adders, snakes, reptiles, venomous, dangerous, identification, vertebrates, wildlife of sydney, acanthophis, venom,

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