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FAQ
Target Species: ‘Pilbara Cobra’
Location: The Pilbara, Western Australia
Director: David Wright


Location: The Pilbara is inland from Port Hedland, W.A

Mission Statement:

The Pilbara is the oldest part of the oldest land on Earth. Stockmen in the area have reported a large threatening snake that rears up and spreads a hood like a cobra. But there are no cobras in Australia. So what was it that the old stockmen saw ? Mark and Brian Bush, a Perth-based herpetologist who travels the state educating people about snakes, set out to investigate the stories and try to determine which of the many snake species living in this remote desert region of Australia could have been mistaken for a large cobra. Along the way they discover how reptiles have become integrated into the folk lore of the native Australians, the Aborigines, in the land of Song Lines and Dreamtime.


Could the King brownsnake (Pseudechis australis), a large and bold venomous snake, be the Pilbara Cobra ?

Species recorded during'Pilbara Cobra'

Species Common Name
MYOBATRACHIDAE SOUTHERN FROGS
Notadon nichollsi Desert spadefoot frog
HYLIDAE TREEFROGS
Litoria rubella Desert treefrog
GEKKONIDAE GECKOES
Gehyra pilbara Pilbara dtella
Gehyra punctata Spotted dtella
Gehyra variegata Tree dtella or Variegated dtella
Heteronotia binoei Bynoe's gecko
Heteronotia spelea Desert cave gecko
PYGOPODIDAE SCALY-FEET & SNAKE LIZARDS
Delma borea Rusty-topped delma
Delma butleri Unbanded delma
Delma pax Peace delma
Delma tincta Excitable delma
Lialis burtonis Burton's snake-lizard
SCINCIDAE SKINKS
Ctenotus grandis titan Pilbara grand ctenotus
Ctenotus helenae Clay-soil ctenotus
Ctenotus pantherinus ocellifer Ocellated panther ctenotus
Ctenotus saxatilis Stony-soil ctenotus
Cyclodomorphus melanops melanops Western black-eyed slender blue-tongue
Lerista bipes Northwestern sand slider
Lerista muelleri Wood mulch-slider
Morethia ruficauda exquisita Western lined firetail skink
AGAMIDAE DRAGONS
Ctenophorus caudicinctus caudicinctus Pilbara ring-tailed dragon
Ctenophorus inermis Unarmed sand-dragon
Ctenophorus isolepis isolepis Northern military sand-dragon
Lophura longirostris Long-snouted lashtail dragon
VARANIDAE MONITOR LIZARDS
Varanus acanthurus acanthurus Ridge-tailed monitor
Varanus giganteus Perentie
PYTHONIDAE PYTHONS
Antaresia stimsoni stimsoni Western Stimson's python
Aspidites melanocephalus Black-headed python
ELAPIDAE COBRAS & THEIR KIN
Acanthophis pyrrhus Northern death adder
Acanthophis wellsi Desert death adder
Demansia psammophis cupreiceps Western copper-headed whipsnake
Furina ornata Moon snake
Pseudechis australis King brownsnake or Mulga snake
Pseudonaja nuchalis Western brownsnake or Gwardar
Rhinoplocephalus punctatus Spotted snake

 

 

 


Warralong and Marble Bar, The Pilbara, W.A.

 


Mark O’Shea and roving Australian herpetologist Brian Bush are made welcome in the Aboriginal community of Warralong.

 

 


O’Shea with two large male Black-headed pythons (Aspidites melanocephalus) obtained near Warralong.

 

 


The ancient rocks, covering in aboriginal petroglyphs and home to pythons and perenties.

 

 


When O’Shea captured this King brownsnake (Pseudechis australis) he considered how well it blended into the red Pilbara sand.

 


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