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Alpine Copperhead Snake

Alpine Copperhead Snake

Alpine Copperhead Snake
Alpine Copperhead Snake
Photographer - Peter Robertson
Source - Wildlife Profiles Pty. Ltd

Austrelaps ramsayi

This species is widespread at alpine and subalpine elevations, over much of eastern Victoria. Colour can vary from pale brown to almost black and the size averages 1.2 metres. There is a paler band of scales along the side of the snake which may be cream, through yellow to red. The belly is cream to white.

Alpine Copperhead Snakes bask in the sun to reach their preferred body temperature; the dark colour assisting in absorbing heat. Having achieved this temperature, they can then maintain a fairly even temperature by moving in and out of shade, and also by contact with sun-warmed rocks etc. While normally a diurnal species, they can be active and forage at night. Mating usually takes place during summer, and the females which are live bearers, give birth to up to thirty young the following spring.

Alpine Copperhead Snakes prey on small vertebrates, such as a lizards, frogs, mammals and birds. Although timid, they are potentially dangerous to humans, and care should be taken to avoid disturbing snakes in the wild. Medical treatment should be sought in the event of a bite.

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