Fighting Snakes

eco adventure travel

One of the most exciting things about night-time spotlighting searches is that you never know what you might come across. I was recently spotlighting for gliders and koalas with a couple of colleagues when one of us spotted these two snakes on the forest floor.

They are Small-eyed Snakes (Cryptophis nigrescens), a common species in forested eastern Queensland but rarely seen as they are nocturnal. We whipped out our phones to capture the action!

This is a couple of male snakes, each about 45 centimetres long, engaged in combat. They ‘wrestle’ by wrapping around each other and then thrusting and parrying with their heads. The winner is the one who manages to keep his head higher during the course of fight. It’s remarkable how vigorous the combat is, considering that they don’t have arms or legs. They don’t bite each other either. It’s more a matter of who gets tired first than who gets hurt. This ritual combat is common in snakes but not many people get to see it. We all felt privileged.

We didn’t stop long enough to see who won. They were still fighting when we left them

 

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