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Snakes of the Shoalhaven

The Shoalhaven cover a very large area of the south east coast of New South Wales. With majority of urban areas bordered by nature reserves, state forests and national parks, coming across a snake is inevitable.
So here is a list of snake species that call the Shoalhaven home.

Red Belly Black Snake

Pseudechis porphyriacus
Dangerously Venomous
By far the most common snake we get called for and usually around 4ft in length. Mostly prey on frogs but will prey on other reptiles and rodents if the opportunity presents itself. Easily identified by their distinct black upper boy and red colour up the sides of the animal.
They are active hunters and are usually just passing through properties. By giving them some space, they will try and make their way on.
Diamond Python - Morelia spilota spilota - Shoalhaven Snake Catchers

Diamond Python

Morelia spilota spilota
Non Venomous
These mostly docile pythons are another regular. These guys are more commonly found moving around of a night and curled up during the day, basking in the warmth of the sun.
Easily identifiable by their head being distinct from the neck and the white rosettes (sometimes joining to create bands) and the yellow tipping in the black scales.
They are ambush hunters and will usually lay waiting for food to present itself. Their main prey species are rodents, small possums and birds.
Tiger Snake - Notechis scutatus - Shoalhaven Snake Catchers

Tiger Snake

Notechis scutatus
Dangerously Venomous
Usually identified by their banding, we’ve found that majority of the Tiger Snakes in the Shoalhaven are more Brown on Brown bands. A lot of the time the 2 brown colours are so close, it looks like a complete brown coloured snake.
These snakes are active hunters and will commonly prey on a variety of species, rodents, frogs, birds and even carrion.
Tiger Snakes can be identified by the layman by the appearance of stripes, the head being slightly distinct from the neck along with their defense display where they flatten their neck out.
Eastern Small Eyed Snake - Cryptophis nigrescens - Shoalhaven Snake Catchers

Eastern Small-Eyed Snake

Cryptophis nigrescens
Dangerously Venomous
Often mistaken as a juvenile Red Belly, this nocturnal species predominantly predates on small reptiles. Often found on properties underneath logs and other debris during the day.
While being a venomous species, given space, it will attempt to find somewhere to hide.

The average size we have caught is approximately 30cm and have found their distribution to cover the entire Shoalhaven.

Golden Crowned Snake - Cacophis squamulosus - Shoalhaven Snake Catchers

Golden Crowned Snake

Cacophis squamulosus
Venomous
The only crowned snake we get in the Shoalhaven is the largest of the family. A distinct crown that extends from the snout, around the top the the head and part way down the neck, is the most predominant marking for identification.
 
We have caught this species in North Nowra, Broughton and Kangaroo Valley. They do favor rocky outcrop terrain.
Mustard Bellied Snake - Drysdalia rhodogaster - Shoalhaven Snake Catchers

Mustard-Bellied Snake

Drysdalia rhodogaster
Mildy Venomous
This is another brown coloured snake in the Shoalhaven. With a distinct darker head than the rest of the body with a slightly lighter brown band on the nape.
While classed as venomous, this species is considered virtually harmless. Considered nocturnal but will venture out on overcast days and in the late afternoon. Primary prey is small lizards.
These are more commonly found in the southern parts of the Shoalhaven.
Marsh Snake - Hemiaspis signata - Shoalhaven Snake Catchers

Marsh Snake

Hemiaspis signata
Venomous
The Marsh Snake is another snake that is commonly mis-identified as a Brown Snake. The head is often darker than the body and has a distinct light yellow or white line that extends from the back of the eye to the nape. Mostly a day time active snake that predates on skinks and frogs.
These snakes habitat a variety of environments and are widely spread through the Shoalhaven. While they are considered venomous and a bite will be painful with marked local symptoms, it’s not generally regarded as dangerous.
Eastern Brown Snake - Pseudonaja textilis - Shoalhaven Snake Catchers

Eastern Brown Snake

Pseudonaja textilis
Dangerously Venomous
Brown Snakes aren’t as common in the Shoalhaven as most people would like to say. We’ve only caught a handful over the years. We’ve found more while out looking for snakes in our spare time in bushland, a fair distance away from urban areas. They can vary in colour and in pattern, with juveniles commonly having banding along their body.
These guys are a day time active snake that move quickly as they are hunting for their preferred prey, small mammals and other small reptiles.
Yellow Faced Whip Snake - Shoalhaven Snake Catchers

Yellow-Faced Whip Snake

Demansia psammophis
Venomous
A slender snake that typically grows to around 80cm at most. Sometimes mistaken for a Brown Snake but the key identifying feature of this species is the dark “comma” that is bordered by a bright cream or yellow around the eye.
They are a fast moving species that is mostly active during daylight hours, feeding on small lizards.
Considered venomous and a bite from a large specimen could be dangerous.
Death Adder - Acanthophis antarcticus - Shoalhaven Snake Catchers

Death Adder

Acanthophis antarcticus
Dangerously Venomous
The Death Adder is a species that is robust and commonly sporting grey banding. They are an ambush predator that will often be covered in leaf litter or sand to hide themselves with just the tip of their tail wiggling as a lure for their prey items. Going from reports from the general public, these are more commonly sighted around the Sussex Inlet and Cudmirrah areas.
If seen, give them space and call us.
Broad Headed Snake - Shoalhaven Snake Catchers

Broad-Headed Snake

Hoplocephalus bungaroides
Venomous
This species is not very commonly seen by the general public due to their preferred habitat, the sandstone escarpments. A nocturnal species that will actively defend itself. They are black in colour with bright yellow scales that form a banding over the back and criss-cross along the sides of the snake.
Their venom is considered potentially dangerous to humans.
 
Image courtesy of The Reptile Bloke
Common Tree Snake - Shoalhaven Snake Catchers

Common Tree Snake

Dendrelaphis punctulatus
Harmless
Also known as the Green Tree Snake, they are a slender snake with a long tail. The colour can vary from grey, brown, black, green, even blue. They are very good at climbing (hence the name, Tree Snake) and prey predominantly on frogs and small birds. Being part of the family Cloubridae, this means their fangs are in the rear of the mouth. They are considered harmless and we are at the most southern extent of their distribution.
 
Image courtesy of The Reptile Bloke