Pseudonaja affinis Dugite
Also known as:
Spotted Brown Snake
Subspecies I've seen:
P. a. affinis
Mainland Dugite
P. a. exilis
Rottnest Island Dugite
Pseudonaja affinis affinis Mainland Dugite
Pinkawillinie Conservation Park, South Australia, AustraliaOctober 25, 2015
Mainland Dugite (Pseudonaja affinis affinis) Mainland Dugite (Pseudonaja affinis affinis) Mainland Dugite (Pseudonaja affinis affinis)
Of the various highly venomous brown snakes of Australia, this is one of the most interestingly patterned. The apparently randomized dark spots against a medium-brown background make for excellent camouflage in the leaf litter.

I tried to learn the origin of the interesting name "dugite", but all I managed to learn was that the Noongar word for "dugite" is "dobitj", which really didn't help.

Pseudonaja affinis exilis Rottnest Island Dugite
Rottnest Island, Western Australia, AustraliaNovember 7, 2005
Rottnest Island Dugite (Pseudonaja affinis exilis) Rottnest Island Dugite (Pseudonaja affinis exilis) Rottnest Island Dugite (Pseudonaja affinis exilis)
Rottnest Island is near Perth, the only big city on Australia's west coast. It's been used for various purposes over the years, including farming, a prison for Aborigines, and a military post. For the last 150 years or so it's been used primarily as a holiday resort for the denizens of Perth. Fortunately it's been kept mostly undeveloped, with almost all of the buildings confined to a small settlement on one end of the island. The rest of the island has a lot of undeveloped habitat for wildlife, which can be easily traversed on bicycle.

We saw two of these fairly drab but highly venomous snakes in our one afternoon on the island. I spotted the first one meandering about near the side of the road just after cycling past a well-placed sign warning about venomous snakes. My friend Don MacCubbin spotted the second one an hour or so later. This second one was poking around under a rock, presumably looking for tasty lizards or rodents, until it became alerted to our presence, whereupon it gave us some annoyed cobra-like poses.

Here is a complete list of the reptiles and frogs I saw on this trip to Western Australia.

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