Red Belly Black Snake

Pseudechis porphyriacus

The Red belly black snake is one of our best known elapid (or front fanged venomous) snakes. It is wide spread throughout the Eastern Parts of Australia, preferring to live near creeks, and fixed water sources. Their diet consists mostly of frogs, although they are known to eat the occasional lizard, and smaller snakes.

The Red belly black snake is a medium-sized snake, with a robust build and head barely distinct from the neck. The upper surface of the snake is glossy black and the belly is light pink to brilliant red. Eyes are medium size and shadowed by an obvious brow-ridge.

This snake is venomous but it is not aggressive and will usually retreat rather than attack, when it is threatened it will raise its body from the ground flatten and its neck, hiss and perform a series of strikes.

They shelter in or under logs and rocks, thick grass clumps, mammal burrows and possum dreys, and may have several preferred shelter sites within their home range.

They hunt for prey on land and in water, when they are hunting in water the snake may fully submerge or have its head above the waterline. Prey captured under water may be taken to the surface or swallowed while still submerged.

Red-bellied black snakes produce to 20 live young; they are usually wrapped in a thin transparent membrane which tears as the little snake wriggles free.