Red-bellied Black Snake

Pseudechis porphyriacus TL 2m

(Common Black Snake; Red-belly)

What does it look like?  DANGEROUSLY VENOMOUS. Uniformly glossed black above, often with paler brownish snout. Crimson on lower flanks, fading to duller red, orange-pink or pale pinkish-cream on middle of belly, and black under tail. Eye is dark.

Where is it found?  Eastern and south-eastern Australian mainland from Adelaide SA, through central and south-eastern Vic, central and eastern NSW, and eastern Qld. Populations becoming more isolated in north.

What are its habitats & habits? Favours moist areas, normally near watercourses, lagoons, swamps, drainage ditches and farm dams, but also occurs in forests, woodland, heaths and grassland. Predominantly diurnal, sheltering during the day in thick grass tussocks or disused animal burrows, or under logs or large rocks. Forages on land or in water for frogs, tadpoles, fish, small mammals, lizards and snakes (including its own species), and can stay underwater for up to 20 minutes. Around 20 live young are laid in thin sacs (ovoviviparous) and emerge soon afterwards. Although capable of inflicting a fatal bite, when approached it normally remains motionless or tries to flee.