Snake Identification

Identifying Lizards & Snakes on the Sunshine Coast

Common Snakes & Lizards
on the Sunshine Coast

Bandy Bandy Snake

Bandy Bandy (Vermicella annulata)

- Weakly Venomous

The bandy bandy snake is black in colour with thick, white stripes or bands marking its body from head to tail. This snake species burrows, and as a result, its eyes are very small and hard to distinguish from the rest of the head from afar. Additionally, there is no distinction between its head and body, giving it a streamlined appearance.
Blue-Tongued Lizard

Blue-Tongued Lizard (Tiliqua scincoides)

- Non-Venomous

Stout and non-threatening looking, the eastern blue-tongued lizard has a short body with short appendages. Growing up to 60cm and weighing as much as 1kg as an adult, this reptile is a member of the skink family. Their tails are quite short as well, giving this lizard an overall stocky appearance.

As their name suggests, they have bright blue tongues!

Brown Tree Snake (Boiga irregularis)

- Weakly Venomous

Brown tree snakes can grow to around 2 meters in length. They have long, slender bodies with large bulbous heads, distinct from their narrow neck. They have large yellow to brown eyes with vertical pupils. These snakes are brown to orange or reddish in colour with dark bands. Belly scales vary from cream and orange to salmon in colour.

Coastal Carpet Python (Morelia spilota mcdowelli)

- Non-Venomous

Coastal carpet pythons are large, thick snakes that can grow to over 3 metres in length and weigh up to 10kg. They have a large head covered in small fragmented scales. There are defined heat pits on the lower jaw with less defined pits on the upper lip and snout. Their colour can vary greatly, though they mostly look carpet-coloured with dark brown and tan, bordered by black, blotches all over their body.

Common Death Adder (Acanthophis antarcticus)

- Highly Venomous

Death adders are very stocky snakes with triangular-shaped heads, growing to an average of 40-100cm in length. The colouration of a common death adder depends on the areas where it is found. It has a distinctive appearance, usually in variations of red, brown or black with a gray, cream or pink-coloured belly.

Unlike many other snake species, the adder’s body is quite broad and thick with a definitively tapered tail. They are an extremely venomous species.

Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis)

- Highly Venomous

Eastern brown snakes are of a slender to moderate build and can grow to lengths of 1.5 to 2 meters. This species varies in colouration and patterns, ranging from light brown to beige or gray and tending to have a black head with a lighter brown snout and band on the back. Their bodies can be standard brown or include bands down to the tail.
Eastern Small-Eyed Snake

Eastern Small-Eyed Snake (Cryptophis nigrescens)

- Highly Venomous

Eastern small-eyed snakes are generally dark grey or black with very glossy scales. The belly is usually marked with grey or black splotches and is pink or light orange in colour, depending on whether the snake originates in the north or in the south of Queensland. This colour does not extend up around the sides of the snake, as is the case with the red-bellied black snake.

Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulata)

- Non-Venomous

Green tree snakes, also known as common tree snakes, have moderately large eyes with elongated heads. They have long, slender bodies with scales varying in colour from brown and green, to sky blue. The scales often have white or blue speckles. Belly scales are usually creamy to yellow but can also be light blue.
keelback snake after being caught and released

Keelback Snake (Tropidonophis mairii)

- Non-Venomous

Keelback snakes are small, freshwater snakes that grow to average lengths of 60 -75 cm. Their colours range from any shade of grey, brown, and olive, with dark bands across the back. Belly scales are normally a cream to light salmon-pink. The most defining feature is the keeled scales that cover most of their body, which makes it rough to the touch.

Red Bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus)

- Highly Venomous

Red-bellied black snakes are moderately built and can grow to an average length of 1.5 to 2 meters. Black-headed, often with an orange-brown snout, there are glossy jet-black scales on its back with vibrant red to pink coloration running down its flanks. Belly scales are red to pink with black bands.
Spotted Python - close up of face

Spotted Python (Antaresia maculosa)

- Non-Venomous

Small, robust and distinctively spotted, the spotted python is a snake species commonly found on the north-east and eastern coasts of Australia. Their docile nature and lack of venom make these snakes popular as pets!

Yellow Faced Whip Snake (Demansia psammophis)

- Mildly Venomous

Yellow-faced whip snakes are small, thin snakes that only grow to an average length of 80cm – 1 meter. Scales can vary from green-olive to brown, with a brown or copper colouration along the top half of the body. The scales around the eyes are usually yellow with a black comma shape that runs to the corner of the mouth. Across the snout, there is a black bar that runs from nostril to nostril.
Burton’s Legless Lizard

Burton’s Legless Lizard (Lialis burtonis)

- Non-Venomous

Despite their serpentine appearance, Burton’s Legless Lizards fall into the lizard, Pygopodidae family, and are more closely related to geckos than they are snakes.

These lizards are extraordinary looking, with long, slender bodies growing up to over 30cm long. The most noteworthy feature of these lizards is their unique wedge-shaped snout, which tapers to a point. Upper body colours tend to be cream, yellow, brown or grey, with light-coloured bellies.
Bearded Dragon close up of face and eye

Bearded Dragon (Pogona barbata)

- Non-Venomous

Affectionately known as ‘beardies’ around the world, the bearded dragon is a member of the pogona family, which comprises eight recognised reptile species. Of these, the Eastern bearded dragon is perhaps the most well-known.

These phenomenal lizards make excellent pets and many families across the globe adore their beardies.
Close up of the face of a Blind Snake

Blind Snake (Typhlopidae)

- Non-Venomous

The blind snake is often incorrectly identified as an earthworm, but for understandable reasons: they have a worm-like appearance! With shiny scales and a distinctive, blunt tail, the blind snake grows to lengths of between 20cm – 65cm.

There are 47 species of blind snakes belonging to the Anilios genus though many are similar in appearance. Blind snakes are not venomous.
Common Scaly Foot legless lizard

Common Scaly Foot (Pygopus lepidopodus)

- Non-Venomous

Common scaly foot lizards are one of the country’s largest legless lizard species and share a closer relation to geckos than they do snakes – although their appearance means they are often mistaken for their serpentine relations!

These legless lizards grow to around 80cm and can be found in a variety of colours, including grey with black spots and a coppery brown colour with a grey tail. They are not venomous.
Golden Crowned Snake

Golden Crowned Snake (Cacophis Squamulosus)

- Weakly Venomous

Named for its distinct crown-shaped markings, the golden crowned snake is a common species found across Queensland, including in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast.

Keep an eye on your cats and dogs as our furry companions are known to hunt and bring in these snakes from time to time.
Lace Monitor - close up of lace monitor lizard on tree

Lace Monitor (Varanus varius)

- Non-Venomous

A well-recognised and considerably large lizard, the lace monitor is native to Australia and commonly found in eastern regions of the country. Also known as tree goannas, these big, dark, yellow-striped lizards are carnivorous and predominantly dwell in trees, coming down to hunt for food or to breed.

They are also part of the same family as the infamous Komodo dragon.
Brown Marsh Snake also known as a swamp snake

Marsh Snake (Hemiaspis signata)

- Mildly Venomous

The marsh snake, also known as the black-bellied swamp snake, swamp snake, or grass snake, is a brown-coloured venomous species of snake endemic to Australia. They are commonly found in southeast Queensland and share a close resemblance with other snakes in the elapid family, such as the eastern small-eyed snake and the red-bellied black snake.

Usually not aggressive, the marsh snake is more likely to flee when encountering a potential threat or danger.
Rough Scaled Snake - close up of Rough Scaled Snake face

Rough Scaled Snake (Tropidechis carinatus)

- Highly Venomous

The rough scaled snake is a moderately sized and partially arboreal snake commonly found in Queensland. Despite sharing a similar appearance to the Keelback snake, the rough scaled snake’s closest relative is actually the venomous tiger snake!

Active during both the day and night, this snake is highly venomous and can be incredibly defensive if it feels threatened. Keep an eye out for this little hunter!
Southern Dwarf Crowned Snake

Southern Dwarf Crowned Snake (Cacophis krefftii)

- Weakly Venomous

The southern crowned dwarf snake is a common snake species found across Queensland, including in Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and the Sunshine Coast. Their small sizes make them hard to spot, however!

Tiny in comparison to their golden-crowned relatives, the dwarf crowned snake is considered weakly venomous but not dangerous to humans.
Three-Clawed Worm Skink face and small limbs

Three-Clawed Worm Skink (Anomalopus verreauxii)

- Non-Venomous

The three-clawed worm skink is a common sighting around Queensland and the Sunshine Coast. Much like Burton’s Legless Lizard, this skink appears entirely limbless – more like a snake than a lizard! However, as with many native skinks in the area, closer inspection of the three-clawed worm skink reveals four small limbs.

These lizards have a skink-like tongue and are completely harmless. You may find one or two in your garden, as these reptiles love to burrow into compost and garden clipping heaps.
Tiger Snake

Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus)

- Highly Venomous

The tiger snake is a large, extremely venomous snake found across Australia, including Tasmania. Adult tiger snakes can grow to lengths of up to 1.2m.

These reptilian hunters appear in a range of colours and markings. Patterning tends to include darker bands across the length of the body which are contrasted against the body colour, which is usually a variant of either yellow, olive, orange-brown, and even purely black.
Water Dragon face close up

Water Dragon (Intellagama lesueurii)

- Non-Venomous

The water dragon is Australia’s largest dragon lizard and can be found primarily in Victoria and Queensland. These lizards can sometimes look quite similar to the famous and beloved bearded dragon, but are not part of the same family and are considerably bigger in size.

These large dragon lizards are incredibly adept at climbing and swimming, using their powerful tails to guide them in the water and their sharp claws to navigate trees, rocks, and even fences.
White Crown Snake - close up of white crowned snake

White Crowned Snake (Cacophis harriettae)

- Weakly Venomous

The white crowned snake is a small snake species endemic to Australia and is commonly spotted in and around the Sunshine Coast.

Although it is venomous, this species is not considered dangerous to humans. Like its crowned siblings, the white crowned snake relies more on defensive displays than biting.
Pink-Tongued Skink

Pink-Tongued Skink (Cyclodomorphus gerrardii)

- Non-Venomous

The pink-tongued skink grows to up to 45cm at maturity and has a slender body. Their tails are long, usually spanning the same length as their body. These lizards are usually a pale cream to light brown colour with dotted black bands across their backs. Males tend to be slightly larger, with broader heads, than females.

True to their name, they have pink tongues! However, they are born with a blue tongue that will change colour as they mature.

Common, Local Lizard & Snake Species

Sunshine Coast Snake Identification

The Sunshine Coast region, like many other places in Queensland, is renowned for its snake population. There are many different species of snakes on the Sunshine Coast, including various sub-species. Homeowners and even business owners have come across these slippery reptiles on their premises, in unexpected places. Considering the variety of venomous snake species on the Sunshine Coast, it can be highly beneficial to be informed about the various snakes you may encounter.

Identifying a snake is not an easy task, even for avid snake enthusiasts. When encountering a snake, it will likely try to flee or hide, making it difficult to identify. In some cases, certain snakes can become defensive, rearing up or flattening out their body as they face a potential threat. This can also make identifying a snake tricky.

If you come across a snake in your garden, home, or workplace, it is best to always call trained professionals such as Snake Rescue Sunny Coast. Our experience and training provide us with the necessary tools to not only accurately identify the snake but also safely remove it from your property and relocate it to the wild. Never approach a snake you don’t recognise as there are many species of snakes on the Sunshine Coast that are venomous and can be confused with other similar-looking non-venomous snakes in the area.

Equipping yourself with basic snake bite first aid knowledge is incredibly useful. You can also purchase a snake bite first aid kit from Snake Rescue

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