Summer is snake season here in Tasmania and although there have been some years I haven’t seen any, I know they are always there. This season, we have seen a lot, probably making the most of the warmth after a prolonged winter. Recently, I saw the familiar black tail disappearing under the Golden Diosma as I approached. Curious to know the whereabouts of the refuge, I (very warily) followed the curve of the bush and saw the same tail retreat down a hole in front of the rainwater tank. We knew of the existence of the hole, a home to previous residents, but we had filled it in. I returned half an hour later to find, to my surprise, a very cosy couple sunning themselves.
The larger of the two, presumably the male, withdrew to safety when he sensed my presence. The second one was obviously far too comfortable.
I tried to find information regarding breeding pairs of Tiger snakes but have had no luck. There is no mention of snakes staying together once mating has taken place. I wanted to learn more and was concerned about the dull appearance of the smaller snake. Emails and phone calls to Parks & Wildlife weren’t particularly helpful, they suggested I contact Reptile Rescue Inc. for information. Finally getting through on the third call to them, I was promised a return call to enlighten me re breeding pairs. The call never came. I eventually received an email from Parks & Wildlife that explained a snake can look dull just before shedding its skin. Two days later, Michael presented me with this.
Found in the garden under one of our tree ferns, we don’t know what happened to the back half. I wish I had been witness to the transformation. Even the eye holes are perfectly formed.
We saw her again a couple of days later as she joined her mate by the pond.
She looked stunning.
Two days of heavy rain followed and we haven’t seen them since. Apparently, it is usual for snakes to move on once they have shed their skin, I wonder if they are still together?