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The tiger snake (Notechis scutatus) is a big and venomous elapid in the land Down Under. These reptiles are notorious in Australia for their bites, which can be extremely dangerous to human beings. Tiger snakes are prevalent in the eastern and southern regions of Australia.
Tiger snake colors generally range from black to beige. They are frequently patterned with a blend of darker and paler lines, hence their "tiger" moniker. Fully mature tiger snakes can grow to almost 5 feet long. The females are usually smaller than males. These carnivorous snakes typically inhabit environments close to water sources such as marshes, wetlands, dams and watercourses. The typical tiger snake diet consists mostly of frogs, but these snakes also eat fish, tadpoles, tiny mammals, carrion, birds and lizards.
Physical Maturity Length in Females
Female tiger snakes often are reproductively mature when, from vent to snout, they are a minimum of 30 to 33 inches or so. When females achieve this length, they are usually ready to breed and become pregnant.
Mating behaviors are prevalent all throughout the Australian summer, and they reach fever pitch toward the end of January and all the way into February. The process is a rather extended one and can take upward of 7 hours. During times of mating, the male snakes refrain from feeding.
Tiger Snake Gestation
Female tiger snakes bear live young, unlike egg-laying snakes. The gestation period for tiger snakes lasts roughly 112 days, according to ReptileChannel.com. The females usually welcome their youngsters into the world in the end of the summer or at the beginning of the fall. The litters usually contain between 20 and 30 offspring. However, some mothers have given birth to as many as 70 little tiger snakes all at once. Female snakes normally reproduce only once in every two years, and often less frequently.
Baby Tiger Snakes
Baby tiger snakes come out covered in membranous sacs. As soon as they exit these sacs, they go it alone. Tiger snakes do not tend to their young. At birth, these snakes are usually between 8 and 10 inches long.
- Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment: Tiger Snake
- Reptile Channel: Australia's Tiger Snakes
- Australian Museum: Tiger Snake
- Perth Zoo: Tiger Snake
- International Union for Conservation of Nature: Red List: Notechis Sutatus
- Parks & Wildlife Service Tasmania: Tiger Snake
- Victoria Department of Sustainability and Environment: Tiger Snake
- Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images