Reptile experts dispel rumours that bobtail lizards keep snakes away from the garden

Reptile experts dispel rumours that bobtail lizards keep snakes away from the garden

Have you read the one particular about snakes staying fearful of brief-tailed lizards?

Indeed? Perfectly, will not feel the fantasy.

You will find an old wives tale that promises if you have shingleback lizards, usually recognised as bobtails, in your yard you won’t obtain any snakes there.

Despite the fact that the stating has been debunked, reptile professionals say they are even now listening to it repeated as actuality.

In which does the stating occur from?

Michelle Jones, a reptile rescuer in WA’s Midwest, mentioned suggesting bobtails held snakes away was akin to urban legends about crocodiles residing in sewers.

“How numerous people’s hearts I have damaged when it will come to telling them the reality,” she explained.

Michelle Jones wears khaki clothes, a leather bush hat and holds a large lizard. She's got a big smile on her face.
Michelle Jones rescues and rehabilitates animals, which includes snakes and lizards.(Equipped: GG Wildlife Rescue Inc)

In accordance to Ms Jones, the stating may possibly have pre-settler roots, and the story basically progressed about time.

“From speaking with the Yamatji elders a pair of many years back, I actually feel that the big tale that arrived by means of arrived from huge sand goannas having major snakes … the precise lizard just hasn’t been outlined,” she reported.

snake eats bobtail lizard
A dugite snake in Donnybrook eats a shingleback lizard.(ABC: Provided)

A rumour handed on to new arrivals

A different snake handler in Broome, Chris Mitchell, mentioned the fantasy was real to an extent.

“If you have medium-sized lizards, you would not have little snakes, but if you have significant large snakes then the lizards is not going to maintain them absent at all,” he claimed.

“There’s so numerous fallacies out there, it is really outstanding.”

A goanna, a bobtail and a dugite on a sheep yard property
A goanna, a bobtail and a dugite snake obtaining near on a sheep property.(Provided: Peter Rundle)

He claimed he had seen evidence of cohabitation of snakes and lizards.

“I was known as to a property as soon as, when I had to get rid of sheets of tin … there was a northern blue tongue, a Stimson’s python and a moon snake all dwelling less than the very same sheet of tin,” he claimed.

“So they can dwell together very reasonably but when one’s hungry, relies upon on who’s the greater animal.

“It really is a person of all those early-working day sort tales that expanded from there, it’s like all people is frightened of king brown snakes, when in fact king browns are a single of the most placid snakes all around.”

King brown snakes are significant and very-venomous, but in some pieces of Australia are described to be shy and tranquil.

King Brown or Mulga snake curled under a bike tyre
The king brown or mulga snake is an normal 2 metres very long.(Supplied)

Mike Bamford, a veteran West Australian herpetologist — somebody who research reptiles and amphibians — claimed he listened to the rumour about bobtails maintaining snakes absent, from his mom and dad. 

“When my mom and dad arrived in the 1950s, there were bobtails in South Perth and the nearby people today told them [the saying],” he said.

“It was all a load of garbage, I have never observed any proof that bobtails and snakes are mutually exclusive.”

Mr Bamford claimed folks often requested him to debunk the fantasy, a very good sign the rumour was on its way to extinction. 

“I don’t think they always believe it’s real … when I say it truly is not legitimate, I think they are delighted to listen to that due to the fact if you might be to like any reptile at all, you’ve got to like bobtails,” he explained.