Friday, November 12, 2010

Australian Coral Snake

Australian Coral Snake found at Jarowair on the Darling Downs, Queensland by J Gray.

Australian Coral Snake at Jarowair 2010

Species name: Australian Coral Snake (Brachyurophis australis)

Other Common names: Coral Snake, Shovel-nosed Snake.

Significance to Humans: Virtually harmless and not considered medically important. Weakly venomous but considered harmless due to inoffensive nature and reluctance to bite.

General description: Small, smooth glossy snake, with numerous narrow ragged-edge bands of reddish-brown through orange-red to coral-pink, between narrow bands of creamy pale scales with dark edges. Black blotch or bar on head & broad black bar across neck. Belly bright creamy white. Tip of snout has sharp, upturned cutting edge (or rostral scale) which is used for burrowing.
Midbody scales at 17 rows.

Average Length: 30cm

Habitat in SE Qld: Found in wide variety of habitats but especially where dry, sandy soils occur.

General habits: Uncommonly seen and little known of habits. Nocturnally active, burrowing snake, generally stays beneath the soil and litter. Sometimes found above ground on warm nights. Shelters under soil surface or under stumps, rocks & logs during the day

Diet: Skinks and other lizards and reptile eggs.

Local distribution:
Brisbane & Lockyer Valleys, Ipswich, Greenbank, Camira, Mt Crosby.

Around the home: Infrequently encountered. Most specimens discovered in backyard swimming pools after falling in during nocturnal movements

Australian Coral Snake - found in the Garage.  I placed a 20c coin beside it to show how small it is.  This one only about half the size of a fully grown snake (said to grow to only 30cm).  It had a few small spider webs on it, but otherwise seemed in alright condition and then I released it outside - see above pictures.  Possibly came indoors when my husband was doing some earthworks outside, not far from the garage, it may have been disturbed then.  Very exciting find


  1. What a beautiful little snake and wonderful photos. You are so lucky to find it.

    1. Thanks Russell - it was a remarkable find - we haven't seen one since - but fingers crossed! it was beautiful.


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