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Acanthophis antarcticus

Common Death Adder


The Common Death Adder is one of about seven species of death adder (Acanthophis) in Australia, New Guinea and nearby islands. The death adder is viper-like in appearance, having a short, robust body and triangular shaped head. Acanththropis means spine snake referring to the spine on the death adder's tail. While generally short the Common Death Adder may grow up to 70-100cm.

It is a clever snake that wiggles a little piece of it's tail amongst leaf litter or sand to imitate a worm. Birds and other small animals are dazzled by the ‘wriggling worm’ trick and become prey to the clever snake! It has the fastest strike of any snake.

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red colour morph
grey colour morph

Species information

  • Acanthophis antarcticus Scientific name
  • Common Death Adder Common name
  • Not Sensitive
  • Local Native
  • Non-Invasive
  • Machine learning
  • External link More information

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