Death adders have one of the fastest strikes in the snake world. Like releasing the tension in a rubber band they are capable of bursting forward with unbelievable velocity. Unfortunately, venomous snakes like death adders often get a bad rap because of their crypsis and toxicity, but snakes will never defend themselves unless provoked. It is always the safest option to just leave them alone. This one was quick to assume a defensive posture as I approached, coiling into a characteristic S-shape. Death adders often inflate body to reveal beautiful bright yellow-orange specks on the scale edges giving the illusion of a striped aposematic pattern. However, I’ve also encountered numerous individuals that only choose to flee. Just like the frillies, animals with the same arsenal of defensive tactics can respond to a threat in different ways.
Like most of the death adders and black-headed pythons I found in the Top End, this one was found on the road and gently moved to the adjacent floodplain.
Photographed after disturbance