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, follow our snake bite first aid tips and seek immediate medical attention.
When we’re looking for a snake, the first places we look are along the walls and under debris. Snakes try to avoid predators by moving along the walls and beneath cover. Unless they are going from concealment to cover or seeking warmth from the sun, it’s unusual to observe a snake moving out in the open.
We study their body language once we discover the snake, before we attempt to catch it. This tells us what the snake is thinking and indicates what it might do. We can tell when they are going to run, stand up and fight, or simply be apathetic toward our presence based on their body language. It’s critical for us to understand how to capture and handle snakes using this information.
After they’ve been captured, they’re put in a bag and kept quiet in a dark, tight space. This keeps us safe while handling the snake, as well as allows the snake to calm down.
Following the capture of the snake, they are relocated to suitable bushland and set free. Each snake is assigned its own habitat and food. As a result, we release them into areas that are ideal for each species. Keelbacks and Red-bellied black snakes enjoy frogs and lizards, so we put them in areas near water sources such as rivers or dams.
During an operation, we always want to double-check the snakes for health and remove any external parasites like ticks before they are released. If the snake is not healthy enough to be released, it may be due to injury or sickness; they are taken to Australia Zoo’s wildlife hospital for further evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation.
As snake catchers, all the snakes we catch are logged with the department of wildlife and science. This is so they can keep track of where each snake has been caught and released, to monitor and maintain the biodiversity in the area.
We have also been keeping a personal log of all the snakes we have caught on the Sunshine Coast that you can view on our website. This way you can see the species and location of each snake we have caught around the sunshine coast and in your areas.
The eastern small eyed snake is a very distinctive looking species. Given that this species is highly venomous, knowing what they look like can be useful if you should ever encounter one. However, always remember that all snakes should be treated as potentially venomous, even if you feel sure you know the species.
The eastern small eyed snake can be identified by its black or dark grey coloration with a pale belly. It typically has small eyes and a slender body. It may also be identified by characteristics such as
This snake species only grows to about 1.2m in length as adults. Their overall slender appearances make them seem quite small.
The eastern small eyed snake is not considered to be aggressive, but they do not like to be approached, cornered, or handled. Like most snake species in Australia, eastern small eyed snakes will strike out at would-be predators if they feel threatened.
Eastern small eyed snakes are extremely venomous. Although small, their venom is potent and contains myotoxins which means a snake bite can be fatal.
If you encounter an eastern small eyed snake while out and about, maintain a safe distance and keep children and pets well away.
The venom of the eastern small eyed snake is extremely potent and contains myotoxins, which means a bite from this snake on humans or pets, like dogs or cats, can be fatal.
Snake bites on pets or people should still be attended to as soon as possible, so if you suspect you, your dog or cat has been bitten, visit your local vet as soon as possible or call 000 for medical attention.
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