Green Tree Snake

Identifying A Green Tree Snake

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Common Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis Punctulatus)
also known as Green Tree Snake or the Yellow-Bellied Black Snake

The green tree snake is very common on the Sunshine Coast and in Queensland. Also referred to as the common tree snake or yellow-bellied black snake, this arboreal reptile is non-venomous and usually harmless but does have the ability to bite when threatened.

These snakes are often spotted in homes and gardens along the Sunshine Coast.


About the Green or Common Tree Snake

The colouring of the common tree snake varies. Most often, they are seen with green, olive-green, black and a mix on their body. The belly is usually a pale yellow, cream or light blue.

Blue flecks can be seen along the flanks of the green tree snake, with similar blue features between scales.

These snakes can grow to between 1 – 2m in length, and have 13-15 mid-body scale count.


Where Can You Find the Green Tree Snake?

The green or common tree snake are often found near open forests, rain forests, agricultural lands and suburban areas, though their diet means that they are often found near water. They are known to enter residential areas, however, which is why many residents on the Sunshine Coast will find these snakes in their homes, garages, gardens and even office spaces.

Their slender, camouflaged bodies allow them to blend into trees (hence their name) with ease. Using long grass or shrubs, their colours help them stalk their prey without being seen. Homes and gardens containing ponds or fountains surrounded by shrubs may see these snakes more often.

The green tree snake is active during the day and rests at night in hollow trees, logs, foliage or rock crevices. When resting, they are often found in trees, earning them the name “tree snake.”


Is the Green Tree Snake Dangerous?

The Common tree snake are non-venomous and is usually reluctant to bite. In extreme conditions where the snake feels threatened or is handled incorrectly, it may bite or emit a strong-smelling secretion from its anal glands. 


What Does the Green Tree Snake Eat?

Tree snakes are carnivorous and will prey on a variety of aquatic animals. Their diet consists mainly of frogs, water skinks, small reptiles, geckos, and even eggs.


What To Do If You See A Green Tree Snake

Sometimes when approached, the tree snake will inflate its body and neck to make itself seem larger. This is a mechanism that they use to scare off predators. Generally, the tree snake will make a quick exit if it feels threatened. In some instances, the tree snake will defend itself by producing a pungent odour from its cloaca and in extreme instances, they may bite. The common tree snake’s slender size gives it the ability to fit through small gaps and enter homes.

If you spot a green tree snake snake, or suspect there may be one living in your home or garden, get in touch with our team. We operate 24/7 and can provide identification, capture and relocation services for wild snakes. To ensure your safety and the safety of your family and pets, our team always aims to assist you as soon as possible.

Remember to maintain a safe distance from the snake, but keep an eye on it until we get there!

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.

Green Tree Snake

Frequently Asked Questions

The common or green tree snake is a distinctive-looking species that is very common on the Sunshine Coast. Their colouring and size can make them hard to spot, especially when they’re up in trees! If you encounter what you think may be a green tree snake, here are some easy ways to identify the species:

  • the top of the snake is a light or dark green colour
  • the top of this snake’s body can also be light blue or a green-blue colour, so match this variation with other identifiers
  • the underside or belly of the snake is yellow
  • the snake has large eyes and a black tongue 
  • the snake is slender and quite small

Although quite a small and slender snake, common tree snakes can grow to considerable lengths, spanning between 1m-2m in length as adults. 

Green tree snakes are not typically dangerous, especially because they are non-venomous. However, a threatened snake may defend itself by lashing out and biting. Another common defense mechanism of this species is to emit a strong smell from its anal glands. 

The green tree snake, also known as the common tree snake, is not a venomous species of snake in Australia.

If your dog finds a green tree snake, the snake is probably in far more danger than your pet! Being a non-venomous species means that, while they can still bite dogs and cats, their bite will not critically injure your pet. 

Snake bites on pets should still be attended to as soon as possible, so if you suspect your dog or cat has been bitten, visit your local vet as soon as possible. 

Green tree snakes are arboreal. This means that they prefer to live in trees and are thus tree-dwelling snakes – hence their names. 

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