The Red-bellied Black snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus) is one of Australia’s best-known snakes, and is very common in urban areas along the eastern coast of Australia. Although a Red-bellied Black snake is venomous and capable of causing significant illness, a bite is not generally fatal.
The Red-bellied Black Snake is glossy black on top and red, crimson or pink in colour on the lower sides and belly. The snout is often a lighter brown colour. It is a relatively large species of snake reaching up to two metres in length, although an average sized specimen would be closer to 1.4 m. Juveniles look similar to the less dangerous Eastern Small-eyed snake and can be easily confused.
The Red-bellied Black snake is most active by day. When not hunting or basking it lives beneath timber, rocks, rubbish, and down holes or burrows. Although, not an aggressive species, when provoked it will recoil into its striking stance as a threat. It will try to escape at the first opportunity.
The Red-bellied Black Snake’s diet consists primarily of frogs, but they also prey on reptiles and small mammals. They will eat other snakes, including those of its own species.
The Red-bellied Black snake is the only snake to eat the Eastern Brown snake.
Distribution and Habitat
The Red-bellied Black Snake is native to the east coast of Australia.