Golden Crowned Snake

Identifying A Golden Crowned Snake

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Golden Crowned Snake (Cacophis squamulosus)

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. Although these little snakes aren’t particularly dangerous to humans, their bites can sometimes require medical attention!

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.


About the Golden Crowned Snake

The golden crowned snake is typically brown in colour, ranging from dark brown to grayish-brown, with a lighter pink or cream-coloured belly. Their backs are slightly spotted, and their most noteworthy feature is the pale, yellow-brown ‘crown’ that starts at the snout, wraps around the side of the snake’s head, and trails down its back.

These snakes do not grow to large sizes, and averages for adults tend to be around 50-60cm long. The golden crowned snake has vertically elliptical pupils.


Where Can You Find the Golden Crowned Snake ?

The golden crowned snake is most at home in wet, forested areas – particularly rainforests or deep forests. This is why they are predominantly spotted on the eastern coast of Australia and can be found in the deep forests to the north of this range. In the south, they are often found in sandstone areas, usually in the northern parts of Sydney.

Golden crowned snakes like to shelter under stones, logs and leaf litter during the day and will come out at night to feed, making this a nocturnal species.


Is The Golden Crowned Snake Dangerous?

The golden crowned snake is weakly venomous. Although this makes them a slightly lesser risk than if you encountered a red-bellied black snake, the golden crown snake is known to rear up into an S-like shape, displaying their bright ventral scales, and may even mock-bite to ward off would-be predators.

While the mock-biting may not result in any danger, larger golden crowned snakes have been known to actually bite when threatened. Bites should always be tended to immediately by professional health experts.


What Does the Golden Crowned Snake Eat?

The diet of the golden crowned snake consists mostly of skinks and other small lizards. Being a nocturnal hunter, this species may also prey on frogs and tadpoles.


What to do if you see a Golden Crowned Snake

If you encounter a golden crowned snake or have one brought in by a pet, you can contact the experienced Snake Rescue Sunny Coast team to have the snake safely captured and relocated to a more suitable location. While these snakes are not considered to be dangerous, it is important to keep underaged children and small pets away from them.

To have an unwelcomed resident golden crown snake removed from your home, office, or yard, call the Snake Rescue Sunny Coast team today!

Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers

Our Snake Catching Process

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.

Golden Crowned Snake

Frequently Asked Questions

The golden crowned snake is a small snake, growing to lengths of around 50-60cm, with a narrow body and a distinctive golden-yellow crown-shaped mark on its head. The top of its body is usually brownish-grey, while the underbelly is paler, ranging from orange to cream.

If you encounter a snake you suspect may be a golden crowned snake, you can look for the following characteristics:

  • small brown snake with crown on head
  • snake with yellow crown on head
  • snake with golden crown
  • brown snake with orange belly
  • dark grey snake with orange belly
  • grey snake with orange belly

Golden crowned snakes are weakly venomous and bites are not considered life threatening, just like their weakly venomous relatives, the white crowned and southern dwarf crowned snakes. 

When facing off a would-be predator, golden crowned snakes raise their body off the ground in an S-like shape, displaying their bright ventral scales, and will mock-bite as a defensive behaviour. Larger golden crowned snakes, however, may actually bite if they feel threatened.

Always have snake bite first aid knowledge at hand and remember to call 00 in the event of any snake bite. 

If you encounter a snake and are not sure what kind it is, the best course of action is to call professional and experienced snake handlers like us at Snake Rescue Sunny Coast. We can accurately identify the snake and safely remove it if necessary.

It’s important to never attempt to handle or approach a snake on your own, as this can be dangerous for both you and the snake.

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Providing property inspections for evidence of snake activity & advise on snake prevention methods for your peace of mind.

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