Halfgirdled snake

Simoselaps semifasciatus

SUBFAMILY

Hydrophiinae

TAXONOMY

Brachyurophis semifasciatus Günther, 1863, Western Australia.

OTHER COMMON NAMES English: Sand swimmer.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

This snake has an average length of 12 in (30 cm). It has an alternating pattern of varying light and dark blotches and bars but is highly variable in color and pattern. This snake is also known by the common name sand swimmer because of its use of an upturned snout for burrowing.

DISTRIBUTION

Western Australia and much of the Northern Territory, South Australia, and Queensland.

HABITAT

This snake is found in arid and semiarid habitats, including grasslands and coastal dunes.

BEHAVIOR

The half-girdled snake is highly secretive, and its behavior is not well known.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

This snake preys on the eggs of other reptiles.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

This species lays eggs, but little else is known.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

This snake is venomous but poses almost no threat to humans because of its small size and distribution in generally uninhabited areas. ♦

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