Mind your step – Red-bellied Black Snakes!

January 21st, 2009
Bushwalking often rewards me with interesting wildlife, some of which is better enjoyed from a distance, like this young Red-bellied Black Snake, basking in the morning sun beside a small, slow running stream. Even though it is young, it is still dangerously venemous & should be treated with caution.
Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus

Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus

 
A few days later, walking the same track I find a similar looking Red-Belly. There is a good chance it is here for the Common Eastern Froglets I had seen in the area.
Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus

Red-bellied Black Snake, Catching some rays

 
Along another track in the same area I was lucky to see an older, larger Red-Bellied Black Snake. Perhaps a year old, it’s face has less brown on it.
Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus

Red-bellied Black Snake, Are you lunch?

 
I have seen a few Adult Red-bellies on my walks, slinking under lantana in the hopes of a meal of plump Antechinus, which I’ve seen bounding away clear of the dense cover – while the Red-belly can still be heard slowly probing around, still following it’s scent.
Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus

Red-bellied Black Snake, Looking for lunch

They are suprising great swimmers for land snakes, convenient if one of your favourite meals is frog, this one was disturbed from its hiding place under canoes where frogs were sheltering.
Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus

Red-bellied Black Snake, Swimming away!

 
…I wonder how they got their name!
Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus

Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus

 

Bomb’s away..

December 17th, 2008

This Australian Bombardier Beetle, Pheropsophus verticalis was found beneath discarded plastic by the waters edge of an old quarry. This ground beetle possesses a chemical defence – chemicals are fired from the tip of it’s abdomen and combine in a chemical reaction that releases a burst of intense heat,  smoke, an odd smell and if handling without gloves they will stain your fingers yellow for about a week. Anything looking to snack on this beauty would be left with a singed tongue and a mouthfull of horrible tasting smoke!

Australian Bombardier Beetle, Pheropsophus verticalis

Australian Bombardier Beetle, Pheropsophus verticalis

The first post

December 16th, 2008
This tiny frog, a Common Eastern Froglet, is one of the many creatures I enjoy seeing living on the Central Coast. After rain they can be heard calling from the edges of temporary soaks, sheltering among the fringes of grasses around the waters edge.
Common Easter Froglet, Crinia signifera

Common Eastern Froglet, Crinia signifera