The Small-eyed Snake, Cryptophis nigrescens, is uniform black or dark grey on the head, back and sides, with a silvery-white opalescent belly and very small eyes. It has 15 rows of mid-body scales, a single anal scale and 30-45 single subcaudal scales. It grows up to 50 cm in length.
Photographer: Peter Robertson / Source: Wildlife Profiles Pty Ltd
Distribution and habitat
The Small-eyed Snake is widespread in the warm, dry forests of southern and eastern Victoria.
Biology and bite
A secretive, nocturnal species, the Small-eyed Snake preys predominantly on scincid lizards. Females produce up to 7 live young.
Although small it is regarded as dangerous. 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.