A standard snake catching job on the Gold Coast turned into an unbelievable snake saga

Two weeks ago our catcher Reid was sent on an unusual job in Pacific Pines. The property owner had a vacuum cleaner returned to her with a tiny little guest inside.
When Reid arrived he promptly removed the snake from inside the vacuum cleaner. It turned out to be a tiny, highly venomous, neonate rough-scaled snake. This snake could easily have been sucked up in the vacuum during routine house cleaned. As you can see from the picture below, it was only slightly larger than a 20c piece.
Reid happily relocated the little snake and we thought that was the end of it.

Neonate rough-scaled snake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two days later…

We received a call out to a property in Currumbin. We were told there was a large snake inside the house, behind the fridge in the kitchen. It had given birth to multiple babies. Although unusual it is possible. Some species of snakes give birth to live young, this is called viviparity as opposed to oviparity.
Reid was able to locate the female quickly and bag her for relocation. He then set out to locate the babies. A total of five neonates were located within the house. Three were deceased and two alive (see pictures below).

As Reid was leaving he mentioned how coincidental it was that he’d had a call out for a neonate rough-scaled snake earlier that week. To his surprise, he discovered the vacuum cleaner had originated from the house in Currumbin. The property owner did not realise she had been walking around her house with highly venomous, neonate rough-scaled snakes inside her house for more than two days, and she’d vacuumed one up! Oh, and also a large mother snake of course.

But all was well in the end. Three of the neonates survived and were released along with the mother. There will be no further parental care from the mother and all the young will disperse separately. For more information on rough-scaled snakes visit our identification page.

Adult, female rough-scaled snake

Neonate rough-scaled snake

Adult, female rough-scaled snake