Friday, November 12, 2010

St Andrew's Cross Spider

St Andrew's Cross Spider on a Wild Iris Flower in the Garden.

Gould's Sand Goanna at Jarowair

05 November 2010


This post from 2010 has just been updated in September 2016... almost six years after the original posting.  The original post was listed as a Lace Monitor, but thanks to blog follower Ollie Scully, he has informed me that this monitor is in-fact a Goulds or Sand Monitor (Varanus gouldii) not a Lace Monitor.  I couldn't quite believe it, as i was under the impression that only the Lace Monitors were in our area... so I was wrong!  Olly pointed out, what is now very obvious markings on the face to tell the difference between the monitors.  The Lace has vertical stripes under the jaw, while the Goulds has horizontal stripes near the eye.  We are thrilled to learn this and have this new discovery, albeit six years after the fact. I now have a large project to go over all of the 'Lace Monitor' photos I have taken here at Jarowair over 10 years and haven't uploaded to the blog, to check on the possibility of other sightings of the Goulds that have gone un-identified.  Thanks again Ollie,

Judi & Brendon

Goulds or Sand Monitor (Varanus gouldii) at Jarowair November 2010

2010 Original Post:
Took a photo of this little guy not far from our place.  Loved his spotty legs!  I don't often see Goannas on the road.  Attempted to chase him off but he wasn't fazed by me at all, went back later to check that he hadn't come in contact with any cars and he had moved on.

Goulds or Sand Monitor (Varanus gouldii) at Jarowair November 2010

While this is a dreadful photo and didn't focus on the head at all, I have re-added it to this post as it shows the underneath lack of pattern on the chin - showing the difference to the lace monitor as we have just discovered.


Australian Coral Snake

Australian Coral Snake found at Jarowair on the Darling Downs, Queensland by J Gray.

Australian Coral Snake at Jarowair 2010

Species name: Australian Coral Snake (Brachyurophis australis)

Other Common names: Coral Snake, Shovel-nosed Snake.

Significance to Humans: Virtually harmless and not considered medically important. Weakly venomous but considered harmless due to inoffensive nature and reluctance to bite.

General description: Small, smooth glossy snake, with numerous narrow ragged-edge bands of reddish-brown through orange-red to coral-pink, between narrow bands of creamy pale scales with dark edges. Black blotch or bar on head & broad black bar across neck. Belly bright creamy white. Tip of snout has sharp, upturned cutting edge (or rostral scale) which is used for burrowing.
Midbody scales at 17 rows.

Average Length: 30cm

Habitat in SE Qld: Found in wide variety of habitats but especially where dry, sandy soils occur.

General habits: Uncommonly seen and little known of habits. Nocturnally active, burrowing snake, generally stays beneath the soil and litter. Sometimes found above ground on warm nights. Shelters under soil surface or under stumps, rocks & logs during the day

Diet: Skinks and other lizards and reptile eggs.

Local distribution:
Brisbane & Lockyer Valleys, Ipswich, Greenbank, Camira, Mt Crosby.

Around the home: Infrequently encountered. Most specimens discovered in backyard swimming pools after falling in during nocturnal movements

Australian Coral Snake - found in the Garage.  I placed a 20c coin beside it to show how small it is.  This one only about half the size of a fully grown snake (said to grow to only 30cm).  It had a few small spider webs on it, but otherwise seemed in alright condition and then I released it outside - see above pictures.  Possibly came indoors when my husband was doing some earthworks outside, not far from the garage, it may have been disturbed then.  Very exciting find