Brigalow reptile hunting

In January I went out to the southern Brigalow Belt twice. Once to look for pale-headed snakes (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus) and once to look for yakka skinks (Egernia rugosa). Both trips were highly successful. The yakka skink trip turned up not only the skinks, but holy cross frogs (Notaden bennetti) and a Dunmall’s snake (Furina dunmalli). Dunmall’s snakes are quite rare and hard to find. We were in the right habitat for them, but never really expected to see one. We were all blown away when we saw one crawling through a clump of grass.

Here are some photos.

Lake Broadwater, looking for pale-headed snakes

Pale-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus)
Pale-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus). One of the few truly arboreal elapids we have here in Australia. They like to shelter in tree hollows and under exfoliating bark on trees along waterways. They generally eat lizards and frogs, but are capable of delivering a serious bite to a human.

Pale-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus)
Pale-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus)

Pale-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus)
Pale-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus)

Pale-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus)
Pale-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus)

Pale-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus)
Pale-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus)

Pale-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus)
Pale-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus)

Pale-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus)
Pale-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus)

Eastern bearded dragon (Pogona barbata)
Eastern bearded dragon (Pogona barbata)

Lace monitor (Varanus varius)
Lace monitor (Varanus varius) – Bell’s form

Lerista timida
Lerista timida

Robust velvet gecko (Oedura robusta)
Robust velvet gecko (Oedura robusta)

Moretha boulengeri
Moretha boulengeri male showing throat in breeding colour

Moretha boulengeri
Moretha boulengeri male showing throat in breeding colour

Cyclorana verrucosa
Cyclorana verrucosa

Eastern snapping frog (Cyclorana novaehollandiae)
Eastern snapping frog (Cyclorana novaehollandiae)

Spotted marsh frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis)
Spotted marsh frog (Limnodynastes tasmaniensis)

Condamine and Glenmorgan, looking for yakka skinks

Brigalow scrub
Brigalow scrub

Yakka skink (Egernia rugosa)
Yakka skink (Egernia rugosa)

Red-naped snake (Furina diadema)
Red-naped snake (Furina diadema)

Broad-banded sand-swimmer (Eremiascincus richardsonii)
Broad-banded sand-swimmer (Eremiascincus richardsonii)

Broad-banded sand-swimmer (Eremiascincus richardsonii)
Broad-banded sand-swimmer (Eremiascincus richardsonii)

Broad-banded sand-swimmer (Eremiascincus richardsonii)
Broad-banded sand-swimmer (Eremiascincus richardsonii)

Broad-banded sand-swimmer (Eremiascincus richardsonii)
Broad-banded sand-swimmer (Eremiascincus richardsonii)

Dunmall's snake (Furina dunmalli)
Dunmall’s snake (Furina dunmalli)

Dunmall's snake (Furina dunmalli)
Dunmall’s snake (Furina dunmalli)

Dwyer's snake (Parasuta dwyeri)
Dwyer’s snake (Parasuta dwyeri)

Dwyer's snake (Parasuta dwyeri)
Dwyer’s snake (Parasuta dwyeri)

Burns' lashtail dragon (Amphibolurus burnsi)
Burns’ lashtail dragon (Amphibolurus burnsi)

Burns' lashtail dragon (Amphibolurus burnsi)
Burns’ lashtail dragon (Amphibolurus burnsi)

Spotted black snake (Pseudechis guttatus)
A muddy spotted black snake (Pseudechis guttatus)

Spotted black snake (Pseudechis guttatus)
Spotted black snake (Pseudechis guttatus)

Spotted black snake (Pseudechis guttatus)
Spotted black snake (Pseudechis guttatus)

Eastern spiny-tailed gecko (Strophurus williamsi)
Eastern spiny-tailed gecko (Strophurus williamsi)

Holy Cross frog (Notaden bennetti)
Holy Cross frog (Notaden bennetti)

Holy Cross frog (Notaden bennetti)
Holy Cross frog (Notaden bennetti)

Sand goanna (Varanus gouldii gouldii)
Sand goanna (Varanus gouldii gouldii)

Eastern blue-tongued skink (Tiliqua scincoides scincoides)
Eastern blue-tongued skink (Tiliqua scincoides scincoides)

De Vis' banded snake (Denisonia devisi)
De Vis’ banded snake (Denisonia devisi)

De Vis' banded snake (Denisonia devisi)
De Vis’ banded snake (Denisonia devisi)

About Stewart Macdonald

I'm a wildlife ecologist living and working in Queensland, Australia. I spend most of my time in the bush finding and photographing wildlife.
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3 Responses to Brigalow reptile hunting

  1. Greg says:

    Absolutely amazing photos of some seriously rare and hard to find critters. I’m insanely jealous!!

  2. Pete says:

    Great job – fantastic photos. Do you have more of the Yakka Skink? – not an easy one to find these days.

  3. Stewart says:

    Thanks Greg and Pete. No more photos of the yakka skink (yet). Last time I went out to look for them it was cold and wet, so the skinks didn’t come out.