Penny, from Fern Hills Rd, Balmattum, took this photo recently. It’s an Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis) trying to swallow a large, Large Striped Skink (Ctenotus robustus). Penny made these observations:
“We had seen the snake a few days prior very casually sliding under our veranda…not perturbed by us much at all as we admired its light brown glowing skin (exceedingly well camouflaged against our parched dry grassy ground) and the incredible agility and fluidity in the way it moved away (eventually). The lizard event happened a few days later right in the middle of our access path to the patio. We have created the perfect reptile habitat garden with lots of rocks, rock walls, a pond, clumps of Dianellas, Kangaroo Grass and Sedge etc. The snake was so preoccupied with devouring its prey, a large Skink, that it didn’t move at all as we approached. The lizard was trying to climb out the snake’s mouth as the snake tried desperately to swallow. It was very much alive but had been severed in two as the tail was nearby thrashing around. The snake later came back to look for the tail and ate it. Whether from embarrassment (we were standing watching) or sheer frustration at not being able to easily swallow the Skink, the snake eventually slithered under a Grevillea alpina bush and when it reappeared it had either finished the job and swallowed the lizard or had lost it? I guess when we designed our garden we were thinking rather more about lizard and frog habitat rather than snake so we aren’t sure how to deter this character from spending too much more time so close to the house (suggestions welcome!). Apparently, 2013 is in fact the year of the Snake!” Penny.