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Desert Death Adder

The Desert Death Adder, Acanthophis pyrrhus, is a species of Death Adder native to Australia and is one of the most venomous snakes in the world. The Desert Death Adder occurs over much of Central and Western Australia, protruding west of the Northern Territory. Desert Death Adders are found in living in remote areas, amongst porcupine grass, stony flats, sandy ridges and rocky outcrops of Central and Western Australia.

Desert Death Adders are slender and are broad flattened, with triangular heads. They grow to about 28 inches long and is rarely larger. These adders are beautifully colored in brick-red with conspicuous yellow bands. Some are a dull yellow-reddish color to blend in with its surroundings. It uses its tail tip to attract potential prey. Their fangs are longer than most of Australia’s venomous snakes.

Desert Death Adders feed on lizards, especially skinks and dragons. These are attracted to the snake, which may lie in a patient ambush for days, by the wiggling of the lure at the tip of the tail like its sister, the Common Death Adder. When moved it bears a striking resemblance to a worm or caterpillar and is thus a tempting morsel for a passing lizard.

Desert Death Adders mate during spring or early summer, with the babies being produced in late summer or early autumn. Unlike most other snakes, Desert Death Adders give birth to live young. Up to 13 live young may be produced in each litter.

Desert Death Adder


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