Where’s the snake?

There are animals that are experts in camouflage, in the case of the snow leopard. And then there’s Hoplocephalus stephensii, a rare and dangerous snake native to Australia who, in addition to being a master of disguise, can easily kill a person.

This photo was taken in Maitland, north of Sydney, and placed on social networks by Leanne Cook, who asked her friends to find the animal. After a lot of sharing, the photo reached up to the Daily Mail Australia, which confirmed that it is a Hoplocephalus stephensii – or Stephen’s Banded Snake – and that it is a rare and poisonous snake that is always ready to bite that it passes near her.

“Its venom produces high amounts of the enzyme prothrombin, which triggers the production of thrombin in the blood,” explained Billie Weir of the South Australian Museum. This affects the way the blood coagulates, even though the venom is less potent than that of the brown snake. Still, anyone who is bitten by Hoplocephalus stephensii has to be treated quickly.

These snakes may have several colors – gray, cream, black or brown – and usually hide under the bark of the trees. The snakes can reach 1.2 meters and have litters of nine at a time.


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