There are numerous snake species in South Australia. There are 19 species of South Australian snakes, and it can be hard to know which is which, without proper information. So we will provide a list of the snakes you can find in the area, to help you know your Tiger snake from the children's python.
Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus)
There are numerous morphs and local varieties of this snake. In the south, it can be either olive, green, or brown or it can be black with white chin and lips. It grows to 120 cm. It is the 4th most venomous snake in South Australia.
The tiger snake is known to be very aggressive towards humans, so it is best to keep your distance. If you do see it, it is normally on the ground, resting under a fallen tree or basking in the sun.
Carpet Python (Morelia spilota)
One of the larger snakes in South Australia, this snake can grow to lengths of 400 cm. It is olive, yellow, white, brown, or black. They often have blotches or dark borders. The carpet python will lurk in trees at night and is one of the most common species you will find.
It is not a venomous snake in South Australia, though it can give a nasty bite if you provoke it. Generally speaking, they are harmless and even docile to humans.
Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textiles)
The common brown snake, as it is also known, is a 200 cm snake that is brown or olive. However, don’t be fooled by the unassuming appearance, it is the second-deadliest snake in the world. It is also very common and known to kill more people in Australia than any other species.
The Eastern Brown snake will often be found poking its head out of the grass to survey the area. They hunt mostly for skinks, mice, and reptiles. They are also known to be one of the fastest snakes in Australia.
Lowlands Copperhead (Austrelaps superbus)
The Lowlands Copperhead is a venomous snake of Southern Australia. Relatively mid-sized at 150 cm, they are typically reddish-brown or copper. They are usually found near freshwater, scrublands, swamps, or marches. They can sometimes wander into towns and cities in search of food.
They prefer to eat frogs and lizards, but they are also known to be cannibalistic. They will usually hide in abandoned animal burrows, or eat the occupants and use the dwelling as their own afterward. Unlike most snakes, they are very tolerant of the cold and can be active in winter.
Mulga Snake (Pseudechis australis)
The largest venomous snake in South Australia. It grows to 250 cm. They have broad heads, rounded snouts, and bulbous cheeks. It is well adapted to numerous habitats, so always be on the watch out for this snake. They love to take refuge in empty animal burrows.
In the south, Mulga snakes tend to be more timid than their northern relatives. They will only bite as a last resort. However, this is not an invitation to catch one.
Bandy Bandy (Vermicella annulata)
This is one of the smallest snakes in Western Australia, with lengths of just 60 cm. They have black and white stripes along the snake’s body. It is a small and harmless snake that is endemic to South Australia.
They have a wide habitat, and will come out in large numbers at night, or after it has rained a lot. Its main prey is the blind snake. And sometimes it eats a meal so large that the tail will remain poking out of its mouth.
Children’s Python (Antaresia childreni)
Being the second smallest python in the world makes this 150 cm python very popular in the pet trade. They are light brown with dark spots and blotches.
It is a night-dwelling reptile that will lurk in caves, coastal woodlands, and other areas. It normally hunts lizards and birds. Though in captivity it will usually eat mice or rats.
Curl Snake (Suta suta)
Another very small snake, that rarely gets longer than 60 cm. They have flat heads and broad snouts. It also has a stripe that passes through their snouts. They are often found in forests and grasslands, hiding amongst leaf litter.
They tend to eat skinks, geckos, and legless lizards. They are one of the few snakes that give birth to live babies, normally between one and seven. These are a venomous species, but it usually isn’t too much of a problem with medical attention.
Desert Banded Snake (Simoselaps bertholdi)
This very small snake, just 30 cm long, has short, blunt-tipped tails and pale faces. They are often found in dry habitats. This is a venomous species, it is so small its bite is so tiny it is unlikely to harm humans.
The species is a burrower, and this is a good defence against predators. They mainly feed on reptiles.
Little Whip Snake (Parasuta flagellum (synonymous with Suta flagellum))
Another tiny snake, at just 45 cm, has a black patch on their heads. They have a body coloured between light and dark brown. The snake has a reputation for being one of the cutest in South Australia.
The nocturnal species prey mostly on small frogs and lizards. The species hibernates in groups to conserve heat. They’re listed as vulnerable because of habitat destruction, but also because cats/dogs will hunt them.
Mallee Black-backed Snake (Parasuta nigriceps)
Adults are just 40 cm long, they are brown with creamy undersides. They are often found in semiarid savannas and woodlands. They tend to eat skinks and geckos, but they have been known to eat other snakes too.
They are a venomous species, but the species is docile and it is believed the venom isn’t harmful to humans. However, other species can look like this one, so always seek medical attention when you get a bite.
Prong-snouted Blind Snake (Anilios bituberculatus)
This snake grows to just about 30 to 45 cm. They have heads that are indistinguishable from their bodies. They can be easily mistaken for earthworms if you see them at all. The snake is a burrower and often stays near an ant tunnel.
These snakes aren’t capable of biting and are non-venomous too. They eat insects in huge quantities.
Shield-snouted Brown Snake (Pseudonaja aspidorhyncha)
A snake that grows to lengths of about 150 cm. They have narrow heads and are light to medium brown. The snake prefers dry wonderlands and stony deserts. They are also known to enter urban areas often and are active during the day. Though in hotter seasons, they can hunt at night.
They are a highly venomous species, a bite can be lethal. However, they are also a snake that prefers to avoid humans, rather than confront them. But a cornered snake may bite at any moment.
Western Brown Snake (Pseudonaja mengdeni)
Adults can grow to 120 cm. They are slim-bodied snakes, with short heads and round snouts. They tend to live in dry woodlands and stony plains. Their favourite prey includes small lizards, birds, and mammals, hunting during the day. They will also raid unattended nests for eggs.
Their venom is highly potent and can be lethal if left untreated. Therefore, if you think you’ve been bitten by this snake, seek medical attention immediately.
White-lipped Snake (Drysdalia coronoides)
This small snake (40 cm), has slender bodies. They are often light brown or dark olive with orange bellies. As their name suggests, they have a white line that appears above their lips. They are often found near grass or forested areas.
They are snakes that can withstand some very cold weather. This is partly because they can generate enough heat for themselves through movement. Their venom is normally harmless to humans, but some people do react to it.
Yellow-bellied Sea Snake (Hydrophis platurus)
Growing to just 70 cm, these snakes can often be found on the beach, where they have washed up. They have breeding grounds in free-drifting masses of sea kelp.
They are a very agile species when underwater. They can swim backward, change direction and move fast. They can also stay motionless for hours. They are a highly-venomous species, so it is best to keep away from them.
Common Death Adder (Acanthophis antarcticus)
While small, at just 65 cm, this is one of the most dangerous snakes in South Australia, with some of the longest fangs of any other snake in the area. It is also very venomous. They hide in leaf litter, waiting for prey to come past, which sometimes means that walkers get too close and get bitten by mistake.
An untreated bite from a common death adder will result in death for 50-60% of people.
Bardick (Echiopsis curta)
These small snakes are just about 40 cm long. They are camouflage experts, hiding among leaf litter on the floor. People often find that they step on one when walking in wooded or grassy areas.
It is a mild-tempered species. However, if it is provoked, it can become very fierce and defensive. Though there has not been much research into the snake’s venom, it is considered to be just as deadly as the common death adder.
Dugite (Pseudonaja affinis)
A snake that can grow to about 150 cm, this species is becoming ever more visible in urban areas, where it hunts mice and other rodents. They catch their prey by trapping them in their burrows, preventing their escape.
They are known to be highly venomous and can be out during the day or night, depending on the season. They are a shy species, but they have been known to bite and can be lethal.
There are lots of South Australian snakes that you need to watch out for. Look out for the snakes above if you want to keep safe and preserve nature. You can use devices like Envirobug’s snake repellers to keep the snakes away from your home.