Australia has a new species of highly venomous snake

Acanthophis cryptamydros found in the North West. Image: Ryan Ellis, Western Australian Museum

A new type of venomous death adder has been discovered in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

The snake, Acanthophis cryptamydros, has a diamond-shaped head and unpigmented scales on its belly.

Researchers from the Western Australian Museum and Bangor University in the UK made the find while surveying snakes in the North West.

“It looks like populations of death adders in general are declining in the area,” says Simon Maddock, the PhD student at the Natural History Museum and University College London.

“And there are records of them eating these poisonous cane toads. It’s potentially a big threat.”

He believes the new adder is probably rare.

Of Australia’s 200 known species of snake, more than half are venomous but only about 25 are deadly, according to the Australian Museum.

The find was reported in the journal Zootaxa.

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