bellied black snake is found in the wetter south east of Cape York.
It is a
well known snake in
Australia, because of its distribution in the south eastern parts of
the country, including urban areas.
Up here it is found in
two isolated pockets - one south of Townsville,
and one north of Cairns.
The Cairns population
covers the coastal area from Cairns to Daintree
and Cooktown, as well as parts of Lakefield
So it is not common on
most of Cape York peninsula, and neither is it quite as
dangerous as most other Australian poisonous snakes.
are no reports of it having killed a human.
That said, it
is venomous and its
bite should be treated seriously.
Red bellied black snake by Tony Rodd
What Does It Look Like?
It can be
one and a half to two metres long and is one of the larger Australian
It is also one of the
most beautiful, with a glossy black back, and a red belly.
The sides of the belly
are the reddest, and the underside of the belly is often
pinkish white. The underside of the tail is black.
It has a small, streamlined head, and a lighter, brownish snout.
red bellied black snake by Arthur Chapman via Flickr.com
Distribution, Habitat and
mostly found in south
(eastern half of New South Wales, most of Victoria, eastern South
Australia, south eastern Queensland, and two pockets in north
Queensland - one south of Townsville, and one north of Cairns.
It lives in many different
types of habitat, including rainforest, open forest,
woodland, bushland and open plains, even people's gardens, but mostly
if they are near a water
This snake likes wetter,
and can be seen on rainforest walks, near billabongs, rivers, creek
streams, wetlands, dams and other water bodies.
It is diurnal,
but can also be seen during hotter evenings and nights.
When not basking or hunting, it can be sheltering in hollow
logs, under roots, rocks and timber, burrows and similar.
By Doug Beckers via Flickr.com
What Does It Eat?
some snakes focus on small mammals and others on other reptiles, the
red bellied black snake is mostly a frog
eater (and the poisonous cane
toads always kill them when eaten).
But it does take a small mammal and a reptile (including another
snake), or even a bird or a fish if its gets a chance.
Male combat. By zenthehook via
Mating and Breeding
Male combat can be
seen in the late Dry Season, followed by mating.
In the early and late Wet Season between eight and 40, about 12cm long
young are born.
Red bellied black snakes are different from most other snakes in that
they don't lay eggs but
give birth to young in membranous sacs.
baby red bellied black snake in Kuranda. All photos subject to Copyright - do not copy
Bite, Venom and Treatment
bellied black is not
snake and will first try to escape when provoked.
If agitated too much it flattens
But if cornered, like other snakes it will finally bite. If it does
bite, its venom is not very highly toxic, and it does not inject a lot
of it, so there are no
reports on human deaths.
However its venom does
coagulants - the human-killing components in the toxin of many other
more poisonous snakes.
A bite should still always be treated seriously and medical attention
should be seeked for antivenom.
this 50 pages
guide totally for FREE.
contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip.
You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you
should take, how to get
there and get
to stay (general info), what
will it cost..
and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.
This complete 300 pages
travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. Besides the
background chapters on the peninsula's history and wildlife; and the comprehensive detail about all
the places (down to prices, opening hours and full contact
detail), it has invaluable information on at least 10 four wheel drive tracks,
at least 30 guaranteed FREE
camping spots on the Cape (and at least 150 on your way to
the Cape), at least 40 best
swimming holes, all mapped; as well as practical things -
from fuel, roads, wireless internet and mobile phone reception,
how to deal with the national
parks booking rules; and Aboriginal land entrance and camping permits
and alcohol restrictions - to vehicle preparation and accessories and necessary recovery
gear by my partner
Mark who is the recovery guy on northern Cape York and the Old
Not to mention locals'
tips on how to spot that croc and palm cockatoo ;-)
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This site uses British
English, which is the English we use in
best efforts have been made to ensure that all the information on this
website is correct, this site is not to be blamed should there be a
Since Winter - Spring 2018 this site has been getting upgraded, and the domain name was changed from the original www.cape-york-australia.com to the new www.capeyorkaustralia.com While this is happening, you will find some things under construction, and some photos blurrier than normal, as their new dimensions affect their quality (until they get changed). They need changing one by one - with hundreds of pages it will take some time before the whole site looks good again, but I am gradually working on it as quick as I can.