An unusual animal crossed the path of Prof. Birdbrain last week. I received a call from a staff member at the Visitor Information Centre to alert me of an odd snake which appeared to have beachwashed but was still alive. It turned out to be the mostly aquatic Little File Snake, a harmless species sparingly distributed across the north with records south to Magnetic Island. This was however the first record for Mission Beach. The specimen was easily captured and relocated to suitable habitat in Sth Mission as it couldn’t have survived for long on the beachfront.
File Snakes are a small group named for their raspy skins and primarily feed on crabs which are caught in estuaries and mangroves. They lack the paddle tail of true sea snakes but prefer to live in the water as above ground they struggle to get along.
This little chap can now enter the record books as one more creature known amongst the great diversity of life we enjoy here in Mission Beach.