Australian Coral Snake

(Brachyurophis australis)

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

Significance to Humans: Weakly Venomous
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: 30 cm

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.

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