A captive breeding of the Australian death adder, Acanthophis antarcticus

  • Published source details Hay M. & Magnusson W.E. (1986) A captive breeding of the Australian death adder, Acanthophis antarcticus. Herpetological Review, 17, 13-15.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Breed reptiles in captivity: Snakes – Elapids

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Breed reptiles in captivity: Snakes – Elapids

    A study in 1971–1977 in New South Wales, Australia (Hay & Magnusson 1986) reported that two generations of Australian death adders Acanthophis antarcticus bred successfully in captivity. For three years the wild-caught pair did not reproduce, but in 1971–1977, the snakes and their offspring produced 12 litters of 17–25 young. At least four litters came from the wild-caught snakes, and at least four came from their captive-born offspring. A total of 20 young from three litters were stillborn, and five undeveloped eggs were produced. Seven of eight litters that were sexed at birth had sex ratios skewed slightly towards females, with females making up 55% of young. In 1964–1966, a pair of adult death adders were acquired and after the original male died in 1971, a new male was introduced. Adders were housed in various aquaria (60 x 30 cm to 150 x 45 cm in size), with a substrate of gravel and leaf litter. All aquaria were exposed to ambient temperatures.

    (Summarised by: William Morgan)

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