Master’s Snake Drysdalia mastersii

Snakes of Victoria series


Master’s Snake, Drysdalia mastersii, is similar to the White-lipped Snake but has a broken orange coloured collar as well as a conspicuous white stripe along the upper lip. The dorsal surface is a slate grey colour. It has 15 rows of mid-body scales, a single anal scale and 34-43 single subcaudals scales. It can grow to a total length of 30 cm.

Photo of Master's Snake

Master’s Snake
Photographer: Peter Robertson / Source: Wildlife Profiles Pty Ltd

Distribution and habitat

Within Victoria, the Master’s Snake is found only in the Big Desert, where it lives in mallee and heath communities, usually in association with Porcupine Grass, Triodia irritans.

Biology and bite

Active both day and night, this species feeds on small lizards. Females give birth to 2-3 live young each year.

The Master’s Snake is venomous, but is not considered to be 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.

Photo of Master’s Snake (close-up of head)

Master’s Snake (close-up of head)
Photographer: Peter Robertson / Source: Wildlife Profiles Pty Ltd

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 (5)

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Deearn Smith 14 April, 2009 12:45
i am a veterinary nurse from the lincoln veterinary centre in port lincoln we have identified this snake after it had been caught by one of our clients cats. do you have any more information on the effects of the venum of the drysdalia masters? on either people or animals. than you
Discovery Centre 20 April, 2009 15:26
How about contacting the Australian Venom Research Unit They have information for vets on snake venom and pets And they can be contacted for specific information
Rae 6 March, 2013 16:29
I have found a very similar snake in my backyard in Edenhope, West Wimmera. It had a full band of red across a dark neck/head. Could this be the same snake or more likely the red-naped snake?
Victor. S. Kaye OAM. 11 March, 2014 12:01
I have found Three similar snakes in two days at East Baringhup Central Victoria. 12 to 15 inches long Orange band behind head, White belly. I have photos if you email me. You say they are confined to the Mallee ; is the drought causing a Migration ? With thanks for your info. Sincerely, Victor. ....
'Big' Henson Dick 10 October, 2016 19:35
I found a snake that looks similar to this.I live in the north of North West of Victoria. It's pretty dank there...
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