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Use this page to identify a snake based on its scale count.

See below for information on how to count scales.

This will only search for pythons, colubrids and terrestrial elapids. Scale information for file snakes, blind snakes, sea snakes and sea kraits is not currently in this database.

This page is here to let you identify the previous owner of a shed snake skin. Do not try to identify a live snake by counting its scales! Most Australian snakes are venomous, and all are capable of biting.
Even dead snakes are capable of biting - they may react to touch and other stimuli for many hours after they have been killed. Be careful!
Anal scale is
Number of dorsal scale rows at mid-body range: 0-180
Number of ventral scales range: 0-781
Number of sub-caudal scales range: 0-163
Subcaudals are (mostly or entirely)

Dorsal scales
The dorsal scales cover the snake's back. These are the scales you can see when the snake is 'sitting' on the ground. You count these scales at the widest part of the snake's body. This is the mid-body region, about halfway down the snake's length.

The diagram on the right shows you how to count these scales. In this particular example, our snake has 17 rows of dorsal scales at mid-body. This is often just abbreviated as '17 midbodies'.

Australian pythons, colubrids and elapids have an odd number of midbody scale rows. Blind snakes have an even number of midbodies. Australian colubrid and elapid snakes usually have between 13 and 23 midbody scales. Australian pythons have between 31 and 70 midbodies.
Dorsal scale counts for snakes

Ventral surface
There are a few characteristics of the snake underside that may be useful in identification. These are:

Ventral scales
These are the 'belly scales' of the snake. They run from the neck down to the bum. Pythons have ventral scales that are about half the width of the body. Both colubrid and elapid snakes have ventral scales that are about the same width as the body.

Anal scale
This is the scale just in front of the cloaca (the snake's 'bum'). The anal scale may be single or divided.

Subcaudal scales
These are the scales underneath the snake's tail. Scales are either single or divided, but snakes may have a combination of both single and divided subcaudal scales.
Ventral scales counts for snakes

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