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Mark O’Shea
Independent Publishing

softback and hardback editions

The first comprehensive guide to the snake fauna
of Papua New Guinea,
with a section on snakebite and its treatment
in Papua New Guinea,
by Prof. David A.Warrell and Dr David G.Lalloo

Contribution no.147 from the
Christensen Research Institute

xii+239 pages
almost 100 detailed species accounts
over 100 full colour photographs
and a Foreword by Hon Parry Zeipi, M.P., Government of Papua New Guinea
(Minister for Environment and Conservation 1987-1988 & 1992-1995)

Snakebite first aid
Wei bilong lukautim manmeri sapos sinek ibin kaikaim em
How to apply a pressure bandage
Aims of the Guide
The snake diversity of Papua New Guinea
Fact and Fiction
Snake skulls and snakebite
Sorcery, snakes and snakebite
Conservation of snkes in PNG or Yu no ken kilim sinek
Snakebite and its treatment in Papua New Guinea
How to use the species accounts
Pasin bilong kisim save long dispela buk
Idnetification key to the snake families of Papua New Guinea
(incorporating legless lizards)
Chcklist of snakes and type specimens

Species Accounts:
Snake-like Lizards
Non-venomous Snakes
Mildly Venomous Snakes
Front-fanged Venomous Snakes

Further Reading

A Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea
is currently out-of-print.

Data is being compiled towards a second edition to include newly described species
such as the pigmy mulga snake Pseudechis rossignolii, the keelback Tropidonophis dolasi,
and the sea krait Laticauda guineai,
incorporating revisions of the death adders, Acanthophis, and white-lipped pythons, Leiopython,
being undertakenby colleagues, collated range extensions,
and important first country records such as
O’Shea’s first record of Antaresia maculosus from Western Province, PNG.

Reviews of “A Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea” on Amazon:

The Best Book on the Snakes of New Guinea.
This is an excellent guide to the snakes of the entire island of New Guinea (including West Papua / Irian Jaya).
It includes good keys down to species level, beautiful photos of the most important species, and excellent distribution maps.
There are also chapters in snake bites in PNG and the role snakes play in local culture.
To round it up, there is a check-list of New Guinea snakes and a useful bibliography.
Highly recommended!
W. László (Budapest, Hungary) 2005

The rich snake fauna of Papua New Guinea has been long overdue a comprehensive field guide.
This excellent guide uses clear photographs and diagrams to show the different species and sub-species of Papuan snakes.
It includes up to date taxonomy and is a must for anyone with an interest in this area.
If only all guides could be this readable!

Tony Skinner (England) 2003


This book, the first comprehensive guide to the snakes of Papua New Guinea (PNG), is a tour-de-force.
The 238 pages are literally packed with information, for the most part gathered first-hand by the author.
The format makes such use of all available space that margins etc. are reduced to a mere border on each page,
a worthy effort of which certain American publishers might take note.
The English author has a passion for snakes that has taken him throughout the tropics;
Mark is also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, an affiliate of the National Museum of PNG
and owner of an oft-times ferocious beard.

Without a doubt New Guinea is best known as home to the fantastic birds of paradise,
but it has some magnificent reptiles too in its catalogue of almost 300 species!
And of this immense list there are 93 species of snake.

Venomous Bites and Stings
in Papua New Guinea

A treatment guide for health workers and doctors

Williams, Jensen, Nimorakiotakis & Winkel
Australian Venom Research Unit


416 pages

over 120 colour photographs

Published by the Australian Venom Research Unit at the University of Melbourne, this 416 page handbook is the definitive guide to the treatment and management of Australo-papuan snakebite and covers the management of elapid snakebite in extensive detail, as well as insect and arthropod bites/stings and marine envenomations. Along with over 120 colour illustrations it covers a wide range of topics including: Snakebite epidemiology in PNG; Venomous snakes; Snake venoms; First aid; Patient assessment and diagnosis; Treatment of neurotoxicity; Treatment of coagulopathy; Treating myolysis and other effects; The role and use of antivenoms; Anticholinesterase therapy; Advanced respiratory management; Hospital care; Treatment in rural health facilities; Patient management plans; Insect and arthropod bites and stings; Marine envenomation.

Contributors: David Williams; Dr Simon Jensen; Dr Bill Nimorakiotakis; Dr Ken Winkel; Dr Gertrude Didei; Dr Aaron Limbo; Prof David A Warrell; Ass Prof Bart Currie; Dr Allen Cheng; Dr John Oakley; Dr Antony Chenhall; Tim Carroll & Rachel Smith (CSL); Dr Chris Acott; Dr Wolfgang Wuster; Dr Ronelle Welton; Benjamin Bal; Dr Roger Lowe; Dr Evelyn Lavu and Dr Forbes McGain.

This is not a field guide to the snakes of Papua New Guinea, it is a guide to the venomous terrestrial and marine snakes and invertebrates of PNG and the diagnosis and treatment of injuries caused by them. As such it is most suitable for medical personel or those involved in public health, but would also be of interest to herpetologists and other zoologists working in New Guinea, or herpetoculturists keeping or working with New Guinea elapids.

This book does not superceed A Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea, but it does compliment it, does use a considerable number of Mark’s photographs and draw upon his artwork from “A Guide”. “Venomous Bites and Stings in Papua New Guinea” is published by the Australian Venom Resarch Unit (AVRU) at the University of Melbourne, with whom Mark O’Shea has a 3-year Fellowship to work on the venomous snakes of PNG.