Exotic-looking and sometimes pitch black in colour, the eastern small-eyed snake has an impressive appearance and is highly venomous. Although finding one in your garden is unlikely, these snakes have been known to congregate in one location and can be found on the Sunshine Coast but are predominantly seen in lower and eastern regions of Queensland.
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 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.
These snakes can grow up to 1.2m in length. Their heads are slightly flattened and barely distinct from the rest of the body. Eastern small-eyed snakes have, as the name suggests, typically small, black eyes and a rounded snout.
This snake species inhabits both dry and wet areas, and those with well-manicured, lush gardens may find this snake much closer to their home than they would like!
The eastern small-eyed snake is nocturnal and therefore active at night. During the day, they will search for ground-level shelter, and at night they can be seen actively hunting for their next meal.
The small-eyed snake is extremely venomous. Their venom contains myotoxins and bites has resulted in a fatality. This snake should be avoided whenever possible and bites require immediate medical attention.
These snakes are not aggressive but do not like to be approached or handled. They will strike out when they feel threatened.
Generally, the eastern small-eyed snake preys on skinks and other small reptiles. They will also consume the eggs of their prey, and some have been noted preying on and eating frogs.
If you encounter an eastern small-eyed snake, or find one in your garden or home, be sure to stay well away from it. Keep pets and children far away from the area the snake is in as well. Maintain a vigil on the snake’s location and call the Snake Rescue Sunny Coast team. Our experienced wildlife experts can safely capture and relocate the snake.
Do not attempt to approach or handle this snake yourself. If you are bitten, seek immediate medical attention.