Tiger Snake

Identifying A Tiger Snake

Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus)

Most Australians know about the fearsome tiger snake, whose distribution encompasses some of the most inhospitable areas of the country. These venomous snakes have two fixed front fangs and are renowned for their tiger ‘stripes’, which are often black and yellow in colour.

While coming across a tiger snake on the Sunshine Coast is unlikely, understanding these impressive reptiles can help you prepare for any encounter.


About the Tiger Snake

The tiger snake is a large, extremely venomous snake found across Australia, including Tasmania. Adult tiger snakes can grow to lengths of up to 1.2m, although some variants of this species have recorded growths of 2m and over!

Although the tiger snake’s namesake is obvious, these reptilian hunters actually appear in a range of colours and markings. Patterning tends to include darker bands across the length of the body which are contrasted against the body colour, which is usually a variant of either yellow, olive, orange-brown, and even purely black.

The belly of a tiger snake is typically light yellow or orange. Their scales overlap like shields and their heads are flat and blunt, but distinctive from the body.


Where Can You Find the Tiger Snake?

Typically, tiger snakes can be found in subtropical or temperate regions of Australia, with a particular prevalence in the southern regions of the country. Although the slight differences between sub-species has lead to a final classification of one primary species, Notechis scutatus, the old classifications are still popular and in use:

  • Notechis ater ater – Krefft’s Tiger Snake (Flinders Ranges, South Australia)
  • Notechis ater humphreysi – Tasmanian Tiger Snake (King Is. and Tasmania)
  • Notechis ater niger – Peninsular Tiger Snake (lower Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas, offshore islands of South Australia)
  • Notechis ater serventyi – Chappell Island Tiger Snake (Furneaux Group, Bass Strait)
  • Notechis scutatus occidentalis (sometimes ater occidentalis) – Western Tiger Snake (southwest corner of Western Australia)
  • Notechis scutatus scutatus – Eastern Tiger Snake (southeastern mainland Australia)


Is The Tiger Snake Dangerous?

The tiger snake is extremely dangerous, and its venom contains a potent procoagulant toxin that causes venom-induced consumption coagulopathy (VICC) in bite victims.

When threatened, the tiger snake may flatten out its entire body and raise its head in an effort to appear bigger and ward off would-be predators.


What Does the Tiger Snake Eat?

Tiger snakes diet vary greatly, and bigger tiger snakes may prey on larger animals when hunting. Typically, the tiger snake’s diet consists of fish, frogs, lizards, birds, and small mammals.


What to do if you see a Tiger Snake

If you encounter a tiger snake, be sure to keep a safe distance away. Do not let pets or children near the snake, but try to maintain an eye on it until Snake Rescue Sunny Coast arrives. Our professional team have years of experience in handling dangerous snakes and are licensed snake handlers. Contact us today to assist with the safe relocation of any unwanted snakes in your garden or home.

See other snakes commonly found on the Sunshine Coast here...

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