The Red-naped Snake, Furina diadema, is reddish brown, often with a reticulated pattern on the back. The head and nape are black with a conspicuous red or orange coloured patch on the back of the head. It has 15 rows of mid-body scales, a divided anal scale and 35-70 divided subcaudal scales. It is a small snake with a maximum length of 40 cm.
Photographer: Peter Robertson. Source: Wildlife Profiles Pty Ltd
Distribution and habitat
The Red-naped Snake is a secretive species and is rare within Victoria. It is known only from the riverine areas in the far north-west and is often found in association with ant or termite nests.
Biology and bite
Active at night, it preys on small scincid lizards. Females lay 2-5 eggs in late spring or summer.
The Red-naped Snake is venomous, but is not considered dangerous to adults. If bitten on a limb, apply a pressure bandage, immobilise the limb and seek medical advice immediately. If bitten elsewhere, apply continual direct pressure to the bite site. Do not wash the wound as the venom can confirm the identification of the snake.
Coventry, A. J. and Robertson, P. 1991. The Snakes of Victoria – A Guide to their Identification. Department of Conservation & Environment/Museum of Victoria.
Cogger, H. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Reed Books.
Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2003. Reptiles of Australia. Princeton University Press.