The red-bellied black snake is part of the Black Snake family and is one of the most dangerous in Australia – as well as one of the most common.
Although this snake is generally not aggressive and tends to avoid people, the red-bellied black snake will defend itself when threatened. Under duress, it will raise itself up and expand its neck, as a cobra does.
These snakes are often found in homes and gardens along the Sunshine Coast.
With a head barely larger than its neck, this snake is often black in colour and has been known to have a brown snout. The red bellied black snake lacks a well-defined neck as its head merges seamlessly into the body.
The back black scales are glossy and contains vibrant red to pink coloration running down its flanks. The belly scales are red to pink with the hind edge of the scales black. This creates a red and black striped appearance.
Midbody scales of the snake are 17 rows, the ventrals are 170-215 with a divided anal scale. This species is moderately built and can grow to an average length of 1.5 to 2 meters. Males are generally slightly larger than females.
This snake is commonly found in woodlands, forests and swamp lands. They often venture into urban areas and can be encountered in your garden or home.
They hunt for prey in shallow bodies of water and will usually hide in logs, abandoned burrows and grass tussocks.
Their venom contains neurotoxins, myotoxins, and coagulants, which makes the red-bellied black snake extremely dangerous and potentially fatal. Victims may also lose their sense of smell and taste.
Like all Australia elapid snakes, this species is proteroglyphous (front fanged).
The snake’s diet primarily includes frogs and lizards, though it occasionally consumes other snakes.
The red bellied black snake is generally not an aggressive species and will usually flee when approached.
When provoked, it will recoil into a striking stance as a threat, holding its head and front part of its body high while widening and flattening its neck. It may bite as a last resort. A bite from this snake needs to be tended to immediately with the correct first aid.
If you spot this 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!
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 red-bellied black snake is a common snake seen by residents and business owners across the Sunshine Coast. Although quite distinctive in appearance, here are some easy ways to tell if you’ve encountered a red-bellied black snake:
Red-bellied black snakes can grow to substantial sizes, with adults ranging from 1.5m to 2m long.
Red-bellied black snakes are extremely venomous snakes, which makes them dangerous to both humans and pets like dogs or cats. While most snakes will flee to escape would-be threats, a cornered and antagonised red-belly may lash out and strike their supposed attacker. Under duress, this snake will raise itself up and expand its neck, similarly to a cobra.
Maintain a safe distance from any snake you suspect to be a red-bellied black snake. Call Snake Rescue Sunny Coast to safely capture and relocate the snake.
Yes, the red-bellied black snake is venomous. Their venom contains neurotoxins, myotoxins, and coagulants, which means a bite from this snake can be fatal.
All snake bites should be treated as soon as possible by a trained medical professional – always call 000! In the event of a bite, follow our snake bite first aid guidelines and call for medical assistance as soon as possible.
Yes, the red-bellied black snake is an Australian snake species and is found only in Australia.
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