Snakes Harmful and HarmlessTM


Bobtails do not eat snakes, snakes eat bobtails!

Dugite (Pseudonaja affinis) swallowing bobtail lizard (Tiliqua rugosa). Photo by Ernst Bretscher.

prey and predator

Bobtails are often erroneously referred to as goannas in Western Australia. Many monitor lizards, the true goannas (Family Varanidae, Genus Varanus) which includes the racehorse goanna, bungarra, plus Australia's largest lizard, the perentie, do feed on snakes. The world's largest extinct lizard, Australia's Megalania, was not far removed from this family.

Bobtails are omnivorous feeding on a broad range of vegetable, mineral and animal material, including many garden pests such as snails. Although bobtails may not eat nor discourage snakes, they should nevertheless be encouraged to live in the garden.

This photo by Colin and Suzie Fairclough shows a dugite both constricting and ingesting a bobtail in the Bunbury area of Western Australia.

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