Scientific Name: Acanthophis pyrrhus
Desert death adders can commonly be found at night soaking up the heat from the roads, even in the outskirts of more built-up areas such as Alice Springs.
More slender than the common death adder, the desert death adder is often beautifully coloured in brick-red with conspicuous yellow bands. The tail tip is used as a lure to attract potential prey and is distinctively black in colour. It is rarely larger than 70cm in total length.
Living in remote areas, the desert death adder inhabits porcupine grass, stony flats, sandy ridges and rocky outcrops throughout much of central and Western Australia.
It feeds on lizards, especially skinks and dragons. These are attracted to the snake, which may lie in a patient ambush for days, by the wiggling of the lure at the tip of the tail. When moved it bears a striking resemblance to a worm or caterpillar and is thus a tempting morsel for a passing lizard.
Mating takes place in spring or early summer, with the babies being produced in late summer or early autumn. Up to 13 live young may be produced in each litter. Although they are tiny at birth, they are still capable of delivering a nasty bite.