Snakes of Victoria

A Museum Victoria Information Sheet Series

Further Reading

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.

Comments (24)

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Ann Sadedin 2 January, 2010 12:29
I would like to identify a snake seen near Noojee (Loch Valley walk). Maybe 4 ft long, black on top and yellow underneath. I can send a photo if you can't look at this one: http://picasaweb.google.com.au/annsad/NoojeeChristmas2009?authkey=Gv1sRgCP-9jfOonOSCJA#5421232026938570738
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Robyn Campbell 22 February, 2010 17:54
At Aire River camping ground at about 9.30 a.m. on 20/02/2010, already very warm day, a small (about 30 cms) grey snake lay stretched across the track just before the bridge over the river. My partner gently touched it with tip of his fishing rod (we were concerned snake would be run over). It quickly slithered away. Is it possibe for you to identify this snake? Many thanks.
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Discovery Centre 30 March, 2010 15:51

Hi Robyn - Unfortunately our Curator for Herpetology is not able to positively identify the snake you saw from description alone. Perhaps you may be able to identify the snake yourself using images on our Bioinformatics website. I hope this helps!

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Thalia 14 April, 2010 03:15
Ann, that looks to be a tiger snake.
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Discovery Centre 14 April, 2010 12:36

That's very possible, Thalia. In an email to Ann our herpetologist explained that the snake in the photograph is either a tiger snake with little banding, or (possibly) a copper head. Colouration in both of these species varies widely. Further images are available here. Hope this helps!

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Alex Bethell 27 October, 2010 01:08
What snakes would be found in Gordon nr Ballarat. We have seen 2 black coloured snakes within a week (neighbours state they have not seen snakes in 10 yrs in this area) 1 small the other approx 4 ft. Thanks
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Deb Preston 28 January, 2012 19:30
Hi I have just come across a black snake with a yellow belly under some timber outside my home. Is it dangerous or not? It went under our water tank and because it has been very hot l think it,s looking for water. Should l be concerned?
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Discovery Centre 2 February, 2012 14:05
Hi Deb. We referred your query to the Manager of Genetic Resources, who responded with the following:
There are no yellow-bellied black snakes in Victoria, only WA, however lowland copperhead snakes (Austrelaps superbus) and highland copperheads (Australaps ramsayi) have yellow-orange belly scales visible along the side. Both are extremely dangerous and quite common in Victoria. A definite answer cannot be given without a photo of the snake, but we suggest that you be very cautious.
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Kate 2 April, 2012 21:55
Hi. I was walking near along some paths by Diamond Creek in Victoria today. I came across a dark, maybe grey snake with even darker stripes. It had a pale blue/green (yet quite bright) belly and was approximately not much over a metre long. I've tried to identify it but can't seem to find it. I was wondering if you could help me identify this snake please? Cheers.. Kate
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Alan Neioti 21 April, 2012 14:27
I was walking in Diamond Creek today around the footy oval between the Chid Care Centre and the Bowling Club and came across a snake that appeared to come from the CC centre. It crossed the road and went down a drain. The closest snake I can identify it to is a Small File snake. Is this possible as it seems to be out of its area. The snake I saw was approx 0.7 metres Grey with whitish or lighter grey stripes the length of its body. It actually blended in so well with the bitumen that my dogs did not notice it at first even as i stopped about 2 meters away from it as it was about to go down the drain. Cheers Alan
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Cindy Lethlean 14 May, 2012 07:17
Yesterday while driving in Northern Victoria, north of Bendigo we encountered a black and white striped snake, approx. 3 foot in length, and as thick as my wrist, that reared up at our car on approach..the bands went around the snake, not lengthwise...like the pictured Bandy Bandy, but much longer...it had already been hit by a car and the rear of the snake was squashed, but it was still able to rear up at us on approach...just curious what sort of snake this is.
Discovery Centre 14 May, 2012 10:05

Hello Cindy,

Unfortunately our Curator for Herpetology is not able to positively identify the snake you saw from description alone. Perhaps you may be able to identify the snake yourself using images on our Bioinformatics website.

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Rebecca 14 October, 2012 22:27
Hi, I need some help identifying the snake/lizard I saw today. My cat had a small what I thought was a snake, however it was only as thick as a pencil and about 20-25cm long. I thought it was a juvenile snake but am I correct in thinking that spring is mating season not hatching season? This animal was not aggressive or frightened. It was a pale grey/brown colour. Could it have been a legless lizard? I live in Rye on the mornington peninsula. The snake/lizard is now living under the deck near my clothes line. I am worried if it is a snake for my cat and myself. Thanks for your help!
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Ray Carrington 16 January, 2013 20:02
I came across a thinnish, 60 - 70 cm long very black snake with a small head, no red belly linings along it's side and most peculiarly: strong yellow vertical bars along each side of it's mouth which gave the appearance of large teeth. Yeodene area of Vic. Any suggestions as to what it is?
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Dian Tangey 9 February, 2013 20:36
I just read a comment that all tiger snakes are blind and I am wondering if this is true, as I saw one attacking my father's hat several times as he tried to stop the snake going near some young children. This was in Brimbank Park, Keilor.
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Discovery Centre 10 February, 2013 10:15
Hi Dian, no it is not true that Tiger Snakes are blind. Some species of snake have excellent eyesight but the majority of species do have a better sense of smell than eyesight. When your dad approached the snake to stop it going near some children, the snake would not have known his motives and may have started to feel threatened. So if he has tossed the hat near the snake to distract it the snake may have perceived the hat landing near it as something about to attack it. 
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Alan 19 February, 2013 11:51
We live in outer northeast Melbourne and have a couple of young children. We're concerned about venomous snakes near the house. Although we've drummed into the kids to not touch or go near any snake, we're wondering about the electronic snake repellers that are on the market. Are you able to advise whether there's any scientific basis for these working? Cheers.
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Discovery Centre 23 February, 2013 13:06

Hi Alan, most snake repellers operate by generating vibrations through the ground that snakes are supposed to find discomforting. We don’t know of any sound scientific basis for these repellers to work but there is much evidence that they don’t work. According to anecdotal evidence, they may work under certain circumstances with certain snake species, but generally they don’t seem to deter snakes at all.

The best way to deter snakes is to make the environment around the house as unappealling as possible. This involves removing long grass, eliminating prey (such as rodents), removing sheets of tin and wood piles on the ground, and removing access to water bodies near the house.

Janelle 4 June, 2013 22:13
I am phobic of snakes but my husband wants to movw onto acreage at little river victoria. Please can you advise how common snakes are in this area, the type and how we can deter them.
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Discovery Centre 5 June, 2013 11:13

Hi Janelle,

You can locate the commonly found snakes in the Little River area by using the species checklist on the Bioinformatics website.

Anika 23 September, 2013 16:35
I accidentally ran over this snake today (picture available), about 60km East of Melbourne. I am trying to identify it. It was near a creek overpass, coppery coloured with a black tail and about 1 metre in length. I went back and it was still alive, but obviously severely injured. I was too afraid to try to help it. What should I have done?
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Discovery Centre 27 September, 2013 10:40

Hi Anika - you are welcome to send us the images you have via our Ask the Experts page, there's a good chance the remains may not be identifiable as some species can be difficult to identify without a very clear photograph, but if you can send us what you've got we're happy to have a look for you

Runar Bjaaland 27 October, 2013 15:39
I would like to identify a small snake I saw today whilst cycling on the O'Keefe Rail Trail a couple kilometres east of Bendigo. It was 30 -35 centimetres in length, pale almost translucent green (possibly camouflaged to the pale surrounding clay? ) The head was triangular as opposed to the blunt ends of a blind snake. The body tapered from the head to a thin tail end and was 2.5 cm. at its thickest. My first guess was -Rhinoplocephalus flagellum - Whip Snake - however I saw no black markings around the head. I cycle regularly along this track and have seen eastern brown snakes but this is my first sighting of this species. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Discovery Centre 28 October, 2013 13:50
Hi Runar, our Herpetologist would need to see an image of the snake to attempt an identification. I know that is difficult if you are cycling and the snake may be moving rapidly to get undercover. But if you see something similar again and you have your camera or phone with you, feel free to take an image and email it to discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au  

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