Gold Coast Snakes
We live in an area where Death Adders are supposed to be prevalent, however I have never seen one in our garden. I have seen a couple of Tiger snakes, a brown snake, a Red Bellied Black snake and some Green Tree snakes.
I have tried to make a complete list of the snakes that could be found on the gold Coast but I doubt that you will ever come across any of these snakes unless you are really actively looking for them.
For information on Australian Snake Bite identification and treatment, please go to Camping and Bushwalking at our travel tips page.
Unlike most snakes, Death adders do not actively hunt, but rather lie in ambush and draw their prey to them with a worm- like lure attached to their tails.
Death adders are dangerous because they are hard to spot and will strike if trodden on. They bury themselves amongst the substrate. This may be leaf litter, soil or sand, depending on their environment. The only part of themselves they expose are their head and their tail, both generally very well camouflaged.
On the end of the tail is a caudral lure which is placed in front of their head, and when shaken/wiggled very quickly is easily mistaken for a grub or worm.
An unsuspecting bird or mammal will eventually notice the ‘easy lunch’ and attempt to seize it. Only then will the Death adder move, lashing out with the quickest strike of any snake in the world. A Death adder can go from a strike position, to strike and envenoming their prey, and back to strike position again, in as little as 0.13 of a second, literally in the blink of an eye.
A bite from a death adder causes paralysis. While this paralysis is very minor at first, it can cause death from a complete respiratory shutdown in as little as six hours. Symptoms peak in 24 – 48 hours.
Now, with the antivenom, and due to the slow progression of envenomation symptoms, fatalities from death adder bites are very rare in Australia.
Olive sea snake or Golden sea snake
Common on the reefs and very venomous.
Spiney Headed Sea Snake
Venomous The head and neck are moderately thin. Cream, grey or pale brown cross-bands with paler interspaces are wider dorsally and taper on the sides. Incomplete secondary dark bands between the primary ones may be present, with dark-centered scales on the paler parts of the body. Head is pale, bandings on the tail. More obscure than those on the body and in older adults. Head shields are irregular and fragmented in adults. Those around the eye are raised posteriorly to form spines. Prefrontal scales absent.
Stoke’s Sea Snake
Very Venomous. This highly toxic snake does not have gills and must come to the surface to breathe. The head is large and triangular-shaped, with the nostrils located on top of the snout.
Rust coloured with light grey underbelly.
Rain Forest Crowned Snakes
Nocturnal Weakly Venomous. Likes the Rainforest, and sheltered, moist areas within open forest eg; creek lines amongst litter, rocks, logs etc. Wherever good, lush ground cover prevails.
Grayish-brown to dark brown with salmon to orange belly with mid line of black spots. ‘Crown’ of parallel creamy-yellow or paler yellow-brown single stripe starting at snout & sweeping back either side of face and along neck, generally across eyes. Crown does not form band across nape of neck. May be incorrectly identified as a small Red Bellied Black Snake.
It is a venomous snake, but is not considered dangerous. However, a bite could be extremely painful, with much local swelling The Whipsnake is pale grey to brown in colour, with reddish colouring on the head, and sometimes on the tail as well. The belly is grey-green to yellowish. A dark comma-shaped streak runs from the eye to the corner of the mouth. The face is usually but not always yellowish, with a narrow, yellow-edged dark bar around the front of the snout from nostril to nostril. The average length is 80cm, with a maximum of 1m. Males are larger than females. It can be distinguished from the Eastern Brown by its facial markings, and smaller size.
Turtlehead Sea Snake
Beaked Sea Snake
Although the beaked sea snake is the most deadly of sea snakes, with an LD50 of 0.14 milligrams per kilogram it is not the most venomous. (That honorgoesto the olive sea snake, whose LD50 is 0.04 mg/kg). However, it is widely recognized that it is the most easily upset, and it moves across land much easier than other sea snake species. Most of the deaths from sea snake bites occur among fishermen in southeast Asia, where access to antivenom is scanty or nonexistent, and where the snakes are trapped by some groups for their skins. If you get a live one in your net, and it hasn’t wasted all of its venom chewing through the rope, a single fully loaded bite could kill 52 grown men.
Potentially Dangerous Pale-headed snake.
A genus of large venomous snake in the family Elapidae restricted to subtropical regions of Australia. Tiger snakes are a large group of distinct populations, which may be isolated or overlapping, with extreme variance in size and colour. Individuals also show seasonal variation in colour. The total length may be up to 2.1 meters (7 ft). The patterning is darker bands, strongly contrasting or indistinct, which are pale to very dark in colour. Coloration is composed of olive, yellow, orange-brown, or jet-black, the underside of the snake is lighter and yellow or orange. The tiger snake uses venom to dispatch their prey, and may bite an aggressor; they are potentially fatal to humans. Tolerant of low temperatures, the snake may be active on warmer nights.
Large, fast, highly venomous Australasian snake.
Taipans can grow 6½ to 12 feet long (2 to 3.6 meters). The coastal taipan is usually pale to dark brown in color, fading to a lateral cream, although juveniles are lighter in color.
In several aspects of morphology, ecology and behavior, the coastal taipan is strongly convergent with an African black mamba.
Yellow- bellied sea snake
Among this group are species with some of the most potent venoms of all snakes. Some have gentle dispositions and bite only when provoked, while others are much more aggressive.
Yellow-lipped sea krait
The only species that have retained their enlarged ventral scales are the sea kraits, represented by the genus Laticauda, with only five species. These snakes are considered to be more primitive, as they still spend much of their time on land where their ventral scales afford them the necessary grip.Laticauda are also the only sea snakes with internasal scales, i.e. their nostrils are not located dorsally.
Red Bellied-Black snake
The genus Pseudechis contains the group of elapids commonly referred to as the Black Snakes. These snakes are found in every Australian state with the exception of Tasmania and some species are found in Papua New Guinea. They inhabit a variety of habitat types, from arid areas to swampland. All species are dangerous and can inflict a potentially lethal bite. Most snakes in this genus reach about 2m and vary in colour. Some species are brown, where others may be black. The most recognisable and widespread species in the genus are the Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus) and the Mulga Snake (King Brown) (Pseudechis Red Bellied-Black snake australis). These snakes will feed on lizards, frogs, birds, small mammals and even other snakes. All species, except the Red-bellied Black Snake are egg laying.
King brown snakes [Pseudechis]
The King Brown is a venomous snake found in Australia. It is the second largest venomous snake in Australia (after the Taipan) and the fourth or fifth? largest venomous snake in the world (King Cobra, Black Mamba, Taipan, Bushmaster?, King Brown) and produces large amounts of venom. Although the name implies it is a brown snake, it is in fact part of the black snake genus [see above.]
The King Brown snakes inhabit woodlands, hummock grassland, chenopod scrubland and almost bare gibber or sandy deserts sheltering under timber, rubbish piles, burrows and deep soil cracks. They are not found in rainforests.
The Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis), often referred to as the Brown Snake, is an elapid snake native to Australia. It is one of the world’s deadliest snakes. This, combined with a native habitat which includes the well-populated east coast of Australia, has resulted in fatalities.
The Eastern Brown Snake is the second most venomous land snake in the world after the Inland Taipan. Although Eastern Browns will seek to avoid confrontation, their venom is very toxic, and can be fatal; even juveniles have caused human fatalities. The venom contains both neurotoxins and blood coagulants.
Despite the potency of the venom, the pressure immobilisation first-aid technique is highly effective (as it is for all Australian venomous snakes). If correct first-aid and safety protocols are followed, the chances of death from Eastern Brown Snake are minimal.
Adult Eastern Brown Snakes are highly variable in colour. Whilst usually a uniform shade of brown, they can have various patternings including speckles and bands, and range from a very pale fawn colour through to black, including orange, silver, yellow and grey. Juveniles have a black head, with a lighter band behind, a black nape, and numerous red-brown spots on the belly. Occasionally they have dark cross-bands. They have 17 rows of mid-body scales, a divided anal scale and 45–75 divided subcaudal scales. Most specimens reach around 1.5 metres in length, with very rare animals exceeding two metres.
Juvenile Eastern Brown snakes are banded black bands on grey. Whith a black head.
Large Eastern Brown Snakes should not be confused with “King Brown” snakes (Pseudechis australis), whose habitat they share, in many areas.
Australian small eyed snakes
This mostly nocturnal secretive snake is venomous and capable of inflicting a potentially fatal bite.
The Small-eyed Snake has a shiny black or grey body with a cream or pink underbelly. It has a robust body with a head distinct from the neck. This snake has quite small eyes, giving it it’s name.
Australian coral snakes.
Harmless to humans
Rough- scaled snake [Tropidechis]
This usually nocturnal snake should be considered dangerous.
It is generally regarded as an aggressive snake. Grows to about 1meter long. Light yellow underbelly, brown head and back with black diamond pattern along the body.
Strikingly distinctive black and white bands along the whole length of the snake.
Though this snake is venomous it is considered harmless to humans due to the size of its mouth; it can not inflict a bite. Can be found in Lamington national Park.
Common Tree Snake
Photo taken in our garden.
These agile snakes are mainly day foragers and can grow up to 2m.