Desert Death Adder (Acanthophis pyrrhus)

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The desert death adder is more slender than other major species of Acanthophis. It is an ambush predator, concealing itself in leaves, sand or gravel and twitching the narrow, worm-like lure at the end of its tail to attract prey. Prey consists of lizards and small mammals. It lives in the arid regions of central and western Australia among spinifex grass and rocky outcrops. Death adders are mainly active at night and are sedentary. Instead of retreating from an approaching human, they are more likely to remain motionless, and not strike until actually touched.

Acanthophis pyrrhus
Photo courtesy D. Fischer