Identification: Copperheads are variable with most shades of brown from dark brown (almost black), fawn brown, mud brown to beautiful reddish brown. Usually they have a ventral (belly) colouration from whitish, yellow to an orange or reddish. The head is a paler shade to the body hence the name copperhead. Copperheads will be most often found in areas that receive high rainfall. this snake is commonly Eastern Brown Snake and Red - bellied black snakes,
Habitats: Plains, grasslands, wet forest gullies, open woodlands and heathlands. As well as creeks, rivers, farm dams and lakes play an important role in surviving populations of copperheads.
Habits: These snakes bask earlier in the day, more active in cooler months of the year, emerge before other larger species. They can be seen foraging for skinks and frogs during the day quite active. Copperheads are very shy, with a large degree of reluctance to do confrontations with people.
Diet: Skinks and frogs form the bulk of their diet but also snakes including other copperheads, rarely insects like moths or grasshoppers. Unlike some species copperheads forage daily but tend to feed on small skinks and frogs as much as feeding on larger food items.
Reproduction: Male ritual combat can be seen in this species usually late spring. Males mate with females who do give birth in early to late summer through to autumn, 5 to 18 young.
Common in south eastern Melbourne, common in north Melbourne but much less seen in western Melbourne. Seen usually up to 800 metres and can be seen along the peninsula.
Identification: Highland Copperheads are a very attractive snake 1000mm in lemgthwith strikingly whitish barred lips, honey brown to dark brown body colouration. The underneath surface is usually white yellowish. They are one of two snakes that exist in cold to alpine regions of Australia.
Habitats: Wet alone bogs, marshlands, woodlands and wuthub rural cards.
Extends from Latrobe Valley, Victoria, to the east they get to around Healesville, in the north-west of their range (in Vic) to the Strathbogies, across East Gippsland to the coast and up thru Blue Mountains and extend only to New England NSW.
Habits:They may be seen basking near burrows, iogs or dense tussock grasses. Similar in some respects, to Lowland Copperheads. Will forage after basking to raise their body temperature,
Diet: Skinks and frogs form the bulk of their diet but also snakes including other copperheads, rarely insects like moths or grasshoppers.
Common in Victorian resorts like Baw Baw, Hotham and Bulla as well as rural towns like Jameson have these snakes.
Murray River Turtle
Identification: Shorter neck, distinctive white line along its mouth parts along the side of face. Underside pale yellow or whitish, no black lines(usually long necked turtle).
Habitats: This species of turtle that inhabits a wide variety of water bodies and commonly in urban and natural regions like rivers, creeks, dams and lakes. Widespread in Melbourne including the Yarra River, Merri Creek, Sunshine River and many of the urban park ponds through introduced individuals from the pet trade.
Diet: Larger specimens feed on aquatic vegetation, yabbies, fish, juveniles choose tadpoles, invertebrates and is an opportunistic feeder.
Habits: TA diurnal species that is active during the day. Inspring and summer likes to bask on logs, floating weed mats, quickly enters water when approached. They are usually active feeding around urban ponds where ducks are fed as they turtles also make sue of the food. Will emerge from water only when egg laying in late spring or summer. Sometimes when water levels drop these turtles quickly leave water ways and try to source safe harbours.
Reproduction: They can lay up to ten eggs at a time often in shallow excavations near water.
Trachemys scripta elegans
This is an introduced ecospecies. They are recognised as the number one invasive species of turtle in the world. Australia has some established populations across eastern Australia larger populations in Brisbane and Sydney. Melbourne has a few specimens that turn up each year although we suspect there are some waterways that may have much more.
See link from Department of Primary Industries
How to tell a slider from Victorian freshwater native species?
Please refer to this excellent link for guidelines.
If you see or have a Red-red Slider please contact 136 186 to report and have removed by an authorised officer from Department of Environment, Water, Land and Water Planning.