(24 Feb. 2017) Death adders possess the longest fangs of any Australian snake. They’re highly venomous and human death can occur within six hours after the bite. The main threats to them are humans and cane toads. The Australian death adder is NOT a relative of the European adders and American vipers.
The photo shows the typical way the death adder ‘hunts’: lying curled up and waiting for a meal to pass. If so, then the death adder quickly strikes, injects its venom and waits for the victim to die before eating it. Unlike most snakes, death adders produce litters of live young.
This beauty had to be relocated from a backyard on the mountain a couple of days ago. They are hardly ever seen here on Tamborine Mountain, possibly because they simply hide when humans arrive.
Let me use this photo also to alert you to an exhibition in Sydney (till 25 June 2017) of natural historical drawings of Helena and Harriet Scott (b. 1830 and 1832). The sisters worked at a time when women were largely excluded from the sciences (women were excluded from Sydney University until 1888). Yet by their twenties, they were internationally renowned as leading illustrators of Australian flora and fauna, much of it new to a world being rocked from its foundations by the publication in 1859 of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.
The drawings are marvelous, including this one of the death adder.
Standard 55mm lens, f/5.6 and 1/100. Main issue with venomous snakes is always safety. In this case I wanted to show the shape of the body, the s-bending, making it rather easy. This death adder was very dark; the previous one I relocated was light brown.