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File snakes
Colubrid snakes
Homalopsid snakes
Elapid snakes
Blind snakes
Sea snakes
Sea kraits
Legless lizards
Turtles and tortoises
Taxonomic information (such as species names and relationships) is based primarily on A complete guide to reptiles of Australia (2008 - 2nd edition) by Steve Wilson & Gerry Swan. Additional information has largely been drawn from the primary literature (i.e., research articles in scientific journals) and the following sources:
  • Reptiles and amphibians of Australia
    2000 - Harold G. Cogger
  • A field guide to reptiles of Queensland
    2004 - Steve Wilson
  • Sea snakes
    1999 - Harold Heatwole
  • Encyclopedia of Australian animals - Reptiles
    1992 - Harald Ehmann
  • Dangerous snakes of Australia
    1982 - Peter Mirtschin & Richard Davis
  • Snakes of Western Australia
    2002 - Glenn Storr, Lawrence Smith & Ronald Johnstone
A number of scientific journals publish high quality research concerning Australian reptiles. The ones most used by AROD include: Except for the museum publications, these journals will require a paid subscription (or a payment per article) to access much of their content.

This site uses the traditional, paraphyletic taxonomy of reptiles. This means that there will be no mention of birds (except, perhaps, as a food source). While this system doesn't represent what we know about the evolutionary relationships of living reptiles, it's the classification system with which most people are familiar and it places reptiles into convenient, tasty, bite-sized groups.
If you're interested, you can read more information on reptile phylogeny.

Australia is currently seeing an explosion of reptile taxonomic work. Molecular technologies have enable the rapid and large-scale assessment of many groups, resulting in the recent descriptions of many new species. A lot of hard work goes into producing high quality taxonomic descriptions. It is unfortunate that a small number of individuals have decided to muddy the waters by releasing taxonomic work of an incredibly low quality. The work of these individuals is not recognised by AROD, nor by the majority (all?) of professional herpetologists in Australia. International rules for zoological nomenclature state that the earliest name applied to a species should be used. As such, names proposed in these shoddy works are often later applied to species when real taxonomists do all the hard work and publish respectable redescriptions.

This is not a slur against so-called 'amateur' herpetologists. The contention surrounding these shoddy descriptions has nothing to do with the lack of qualifications or education of the people involved. If people with no qualifications produced taxonomic work of the same quality as professionals, no one would think twice about it.

Who to blame
AROD is maintained by me, Stewart Macdonald. Please let me know about any mistakes you find or suggestions you have. I welcome contributions in the form of images, pointers to new species descriptions and interesting journal articles on Australian reptiles.

Citing AROD
There is very little original information in AROD, we've merely pooled data from multiple sources and provided references to those data sources. As such, if you reference information found in AROD, you should refer to the original source if possible. This will generally be a publication, such as a book or a journal article.

Special thanks to Kerry Geddes for an awful lot of proof-reading. Thanks also to all who have supplied photographs and feedback, particularly Matthew Bonnett, Ray Lloyd, Evan Pickett, David Fischer, Rob Valentic and Lee Borsboom. Thanks to Danny Brown and Cool Companions for letting me photograph many species in their care.
Many thanks to the hard-working scientists whose work is referenced throughout the database. Particular thanks to those with whom I have corresponded personally during this project: Andrew Amey (Queensland Museum), Hal Cogger (Australian Museum), Tom Parkin (NT Museum), Paul Horner (NT Museum), Glenn Shea (University of Sydney/Australian Museum) Rick Shine (University of Sydney) and Steve Wilson (Queensland Museum).
While many people have helped in many ways, all mistakes are my own.

Other databases and relevant sites
There are a number of other databases/sites out there that contain information on Australian reptiles. Here are the ones I know of:
Encyclopedia of Australian Reptiles
The Reptile Database - taxonomic info on virtually all of the world's living reptiles
Queensland wildlife online - species lists for Queensland regions and national parks
Western Australia FaunaBase
Australian Museum records - for New South Wales species
New South Wales NPWS Wildlife Atlas
Museum Victoria records
Online Zoological Catalogue of Australian Museums
Global Biodiversity Information Facility
The Atlas of Living Australia - currently in the planning stage
The reptiles of Australia - range maps and photos for lots of Australian species

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