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Death Adder


Identification: The common death adder has a broad triangular head, narrow neck, short thick body, and thin tail with a soft curved tip. Body colouration varies from grey to reddish-brown, usually with irregular dark-colour crossbands and dark bars around the lips. Generally, they are quite short, but can grow up to 1 metre in length.


Habitat: Commonly found in rainforest shrublands, throughout closed and open eucalyptus forest areas of preserved leaf litter and rocky outcrops, in areas less susceptible to fires. Death adders are infrequently sited around the Gold Coast. Pockets of Death Adders remain in valleys and escarpments surrounding Canungra, Beechmont, Springbrook and the Lamington plateau which hold the most reliable remaining populations of death adders in the region.


Diet: Lizards, skinks, geckos and small mammals.


Reproduction: Live-bearing species with up to 33 young.


Danger: Dangerously venomous species delivers large quantities of powerful neurotoxic venom.


Behaviour: The Death Adder remains partially or full submerged and motionless in leaf litter and vegetation relying on its tail as a lure to interest potential prey. It relies on crypsis (staying still and unnoticed) and strikes with the fastest speed (one-fifteenth of a second) on earth to kill, catch and consume its prey.

Relocations: Our catchers have relocated a single specimen in 10 years of operation within a kilometre of the town centre of Canungra. Cane toads and bushfires continue to cause decline in Death Adder populations.

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