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Venomous snake found without key identifying feature



A red-bellied black snake that doesn't sport the feature that helped earned the serpent its name has been found in a rural South Australian property.

The snake was nabbed yesterday by Snake Catchers Adelaide on a farm in Currency Creek, 84 kilometres from the SA capital, and instead of a red belly, had dark black scales all over.

Snake catcher Ange Broadstock told the species can in fact have several different colourings.

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"Red-bellied black snakes can have red, orange, pink, white, grey or black bellies," she said.

"That's the only species that would be in that area.

"In other parts of South Australia, you'll get Tiger Snakes.

"But that's definitely a red belly snake, even if it's black."

Red-bellied black snakes are one of eastern Australia's most commonly encountered snakes and, according to the Australian Museum, are "responsible for a number of bites every year".

It is not an aggressive species and generally retreats from encounters with people, but can attack if provoked.

Symptoms from a bite include "bleeding, swelling at the bite site, nausea, vomiting, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, sweating, local or general muscle pain and weakness, and red-brown urine".

They are typically found along Australia's east coast from Cairns all the way to the lower parts of South Australia.

This snake was removed from the property and safely relocated. 

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