Significance to Humans:
Distinctive long, pointed wedge-shaped snout unlike any other reptile, with the head scales small, fragmented and irregular. The hind limbs are reduced to flaps which are minute and difficult to detect. Colour and patterns are extremely variable, and ranges from cream and patternless through to shades of grey, brown, yellow, and red with combinations of stripes, lines and spots. Usually the only markings are bold white and black stripes through the face and forebody.
Distinguished from snake by:
• Presence of movable eyelids
• Fleshy tongue (not forked)
• Vestigial tiny hind limb flaps present
• Ear openings
290mm snout-vent length. Tail can be up to 1.7 times length of body.
Habitat in SE Qld:
Most widespread reptile in Australia. Utilises a range of habitat types preferring low vegetation such as tussocks, and beneath rocks, logs and ground debris.
Generally a diurnal feeder as prey is most commonly encountered during the day but it can be active at any time. This is highlighted as its movements tend to be nocturnal to take advantage of benefits such as reduced risks of hyperthermia during hot conditions and reduced risks of predation from diurnal predators like raptors. An ambush predator, it moves at night is to avoid revealing its ambush position in the day when it has the highest likelihood of encountering an otherwise unsuspecting prey item.
Reptile specialist, feeding exclusively on skinks, geckos, dragons, other legless lizards and small snakes. Suffocates it’s prey by grabbing hold around the chest area and holds it fast until suffocated, consuming its prey head first.
Successful in all Sunshine Coast suburbs.
Around the home:
Most specimens are found after falling into backyard swimming pools, discovered by a roaming cat or scurrying from the lawn mower from within long grass. They are inoffensive and should simply be released within the confines of your yard in heavy cover such as mulch or under a dense shrub preferably at night.