Pseudechis porphyriacus, often called the red belly black snake, is a medium-sized black snake that has a red belly. While it is often called the red belly black snake, the actual name should be Red-bellied Black Snake.
The snake is one of the venomous snakes that live in Australia and it is also one of the most encountered snakes in the country. But, despite it accounting for 16% of all snake bites in the country, the snake is not aggressive and it generally prefers to avoid contact with humans, preferring to hide and sulk away rather than attack.
In this article, we will look into how to get rid of red belly black snakes.
The red-bellied black snake is a medium snake that tends to grow to about two metres long at most. Though there have been reports of some female red-bellied black snakes growing to 2.5 metres. This size makes it one of the largest venomous snakes in the country.
The snake doesn’t have a visible constricted neck area, making it hard to distinguish the neck from the body but you can spot the head because the snout area on the snake is usually brown, compared to the black body.
The snake is typically diurnal. You can confirm this by looking at the eyes. The eyes, which are located below a noticeable brow-ridge, have round pupils, typical of snakes that are out and about in the daylight.
As you would expect, the snake’s body is a black colour with a belly that is red. The black body is glossy, making it a very attractive snake. The flanks and belly of the snake is bright red or orange and this will fade to a pink or dull red.
The species belongs to the elapid family. They have hollow, syringe-like fangs that they use to inject venom into prey or as a defence mechanism if they feel threatened.
This snake has a pretty wide distribution. It occurs in Queensland all the way along the east coast through New South Wales and Victoria. The snake also has a disjunct population that is at the southern end of Mouth Lofty Ranges in South Australia.
There are reports of a population living on Kangaroo Island, this is not true.
The species can be commonly found near streams, swamps and lagoons. Although it is not always found in these locations. There have been reports of them being found in wooded areas and even grasslands. Some individuals have been known to find themselves on rural properties where there are drainage canals or farm dams.
During the night and hottest parts of the summer, the snakes are often found sheltering in thick grass clumps, under logs or in mammal burrows. Interestingly, individuals of this species tend to have a preference of what home they live in and this can differ from individual to individual.
While the snake is not well-known to be near urban areas, humans can sometimes attract the snake by adding water features, swimming pools or leaving out large bodies of water in their gardens. The snakes can detect these features in a garden from a long distance, and therefore can be attracted to them as a source of water and to hunt in them.
The red-bellied black snake has a rather varied diet. Due to their preference of living near water, it is common for the snake to prey upon frogs, fish, eels and other water life. However, they are also known to prey upon rodents such as rats and mice as well as lizards, birds and sometimes snakes.
The red-bellied black snake is known to be a good swimmer, so most of the water related prey can be caught while the snake is swimming. And the snake loves to be near bodies of water or wet forests.
The red-bellied black snake prefers not to attack humans. Humans cannot be considered a prey item because even the smallest child is far too large for the snake to eat. Snakes prefer not to use their venom unless they are trying to catch a prey item that they want to subdue.
However, that doesn’t mean that this species will not bite humans if they are provoked. Normally, the snake will attempt to escape from a situation when it comes into contact with a human. Though if all escape routes are gone or the snake feels that its life is in immediate danger then the snake will ‘lunge’ at the individual and bite them.
Sometimes, the snake will deliver what is known as a dry bite, one without venom. However, this can be a fatal assumption to make.
A bite from the red-bellied black snake is deemed to be very painful and you will need to seek medical attention immediately. The least you can expect is swelling and prolonged bleeding in the local area. However, some people experience local necrosis that might lose you a finger.
The red-bellied black snake, otherwise known as the red belly black snake, is a venomous snake that lives on the Eastern coast of Australia. It is a rather large snake that likes to live near water. The snake is not normally an aggressive individual, but will retaliate if it feels threatened. The best option is to discourage it from your garden or leave it alone when encountered.
The red-bellied black snake lives on the eastern coast of Australia. The snakes can be found mostly near bodies of water such as rivers, lakes and lagoons.
Red-bellied black snake individuals always seem to have a preference for their main homes. Some prefer to live under rocks and others in mammal homes. Individuals in the same area can have different preferences. The snakes tend not to move around too much either.
The red belly snake will move only when it requires something, like most other snakes. The snake will move to seek water, food or shelter when disturbed. During the springtime, it will also seek out potential mates.
The snake can be found in Brisbane. While the snake prefers areas that are wet, it can sometimes venture into urban areas when they are hungry, thirsty or disturbed. Be sure to always look out for them in water features in a garden.
The main area where the red belly black snakes lives in is Queensland, though they can be found all along the east coast of the country. The snake is often found near water features, whether natural or man-made.