January 06, 2021

Identifying South Australian Reptiles – South Australian Museum Keys

South Australia has a rich diversity of reptiles with the current count standing at 256 species. New species are still being discovered and the validity of existing species reappraised so this number changes frequently. The link below will take you to the current Checklist of the Reptiles and Frogs of South Australia published on the South Australian Museum Website. The list also provides the common name and conservation status of each species.

Checklist and common names

Identification Keys

Scientific keys work by asking a series of questions about the appearance of an animal or plant, each with two alternative answers. By following the choices, you work your way through the questions until you get the name of the species that best fits the features that the key asked you to check.

South Australian Museum Researcher, Mark Hutchinson (markhutch66) and Museum Volunteer, Ian Williams have worked over several years to produce up-to-date keys to all the South Australian reptiles. These are available on the South Australian Museum website and the links to each provided here for the convenience of iNaturalist users.

This Key to the main groups of lizards and snakes will help you identify an unknown lizard or snake to family level. Once this is known, use the appropriate key below to narrow down the ID. As far as possible, the keys use readily observed external features, but close examination may be necessary for a species level ID. This limits their use for completely keying out some taxa from iNaturalist photos but it should be possible to greatly narrow down the possibilities and the accompanying images of South Australian specimens provide good comparisons. Other factors such as distribution or habitat may enable the ID to be further refined by iNaturalist identifiers with some expertise. Users of keys also need to bear in mind that individuals vary and some will differ in some respects from the norm for their species. Where identification might be tricky, two or three features have been provided to check so that you can still have some chance of getting the right answer even if you have found an individual that is a bit out of the ordinary for its species.

Key to the geckos of South Australia

Key to the legless lizards of South Australia

Key to the skinks of South Australia

Key to the dragon lizards of South Australia

Key to the snakes of South Australia

Key to the blind snakes of South Australia

Freshwater turtles of South Australia

The keys are updated each year, and sometimes more frequently, so check back regularly to make sure you are making use of the latest version.

For more information on reptile and amphibian research at the South Australian Museum go to
https://www.samuseum.sa.gov.au/reptiles-and-amphibians-research

Posted on January 06, 2021 06:53 by discovery_centre discovery_centre | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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