Travelling Australia
Red-bellied Black Snake  -  Pseudechis porphyriacus
Red-bellied black snake
Red-bellied black snake curled up on leaf litter beside the Buchan-Orbost road in Gippsland

Distinctive glossy black snake with red to cream belly; the red colouring extends up onto the lower flank. A common and attractive snake, often seen basking in the sun. Active during the day. Feeds on frogs and other vertebrates. Grows to 1.5-2 metres in length.

Found along the Australian east coast and adjacent inland areas, mainly from south east Queensland to western Victoria and south east South Australia. Also found in isolated pockets along the North Queensland coast. Usually associated with moist areas such as swamps, river banks, rain forest and wet sclerophyll forest.

Mating occurs in the spring when males often fight for females. Young are born alive with 5 to 18 young enclosed in membranous sacs from which they emerge within a few minutes

Once common throughout its range, numbers have declined in Queensland and New South Wales, possibly because these snakes tried to eat cane toads. Populations may be recovering in south east Queensland.

This snake is DANGEROUSLY VENOMOUS to humans.

  A Complete Guide to Reptiles of Australia by Steve Wilson and Gerry Swan, Reed New Holland publishing, 2003. pp432-3.