The Sunshine Coast, like many other areas of Queensland, is home to a large number of snakes. The Sunshine Coast has a diverse range of snake species, not just the sub-species, and many individuals have seen these slippery reptiles on their properties in locations where they are not supposed to be.
Knowing what to do if you encounter a poisonous snake is critical, considering the many venomous snake species on the Sunshine Coast. Here are eight snake species commonly found on the Sunshine Coast – and how you can identify them.
Green Tree Snakes
Green tree snakes are common snakes found on the Sunshine Coast. They have a green head and neck, which is where they get their name from, as well as a yellow underbelly. These snakes are extremely venomous, however they tend to avoid human contact, unlike many other snake species in Queensland.
Green tree snakes feed on lizards, frogs, and birds. They are also extremely agile climbers that can scale almost any surface, including wire fences or brick walls.
One way to tell the difference between a green tree snake and a brown tree snake (read below) is that green tree snakes have an arrow-shaped head, whereas brown tree snakes do not.
Brown Tree Snakes
Brown tree snakes are also common snakes found on the Sunshine Coast. They have a brown head and neck, as well as yellow skin underneath their bodies. These snakes are extremely venomous, however, they tend to avoid human contact, unlike many other snake species in Queensland.
Brown tree snakes feed on lizards, frogs, and birds. While these snakes are highly venomous, they avoid human contact as much as possible.
One way to tell the difference between a brown tree snake and a green tree snake (read above) – apart from their colouring! – is that brown tree snakes have a triangular head, whereas green tree snakes do not.
Eastern Brown Snakes
The eastern brown snake is one of the most venomous snakes in the world. It is characterised by its brown coloured scales and a cream underbelly. This relatively small snake can grow up to approximately two metres long, with a red coloured head and neck from the top of the snout to between the eyes.
Eastern brown snakes are commonly found on the Sunshine Coast and throughout Queensland, feeding on a variety of small critters including lizards, birds, and mammals.
The carpet python is a species of non-venomous snake that can be found throughout Queensland, including on the Sunshine Coast. These snakes tend to spend all their time in trees and are famous for their large size. They can grow up to six metres long!
Carper pythons are found around waterways, where they feed on small mammals and birds. They tend to curl themselves in a ball shape when threatened, which can be misleading for some people.
These large, thick snakes can grow to over 3 metres in length and weigh up to 10kg. They have a large head covered in small fragmented scales. There are defined heat pits on the lower jaw with less defined pits on their upper lip and snout. Their colour can vary greatly, though they mostly look carpet-coloured.
Red-Bellied Black Snakes
The red-bellied black snake is a very common snake species found on the Sunshine Coast. These stout, venomous snakes can grow up to two metres in length and have a slightly flattened body with a broad head.
Red-bellied black snakes are characterised by their deep black scales, which contrast starkly with their bright yellow underbellies. These snakes have a red-coloured underbelly, hence their name – however they can vary in colour from black to cream and pink.
Red-bellied black snakes feed on small mammals and lizards, as well as frogs and insects. They typically hide in shrubs or long grass where they remain camouflaged until prey comes close enough to strike. The venom of these snakes is very strong, however, due to their tendency to avoid human contact, bites are rare.
Common Death Adders
The common death adder is one of the most venomous snakes found on the Sunshine Coast, and nationally across Australia. Extremely dangerous and lethal, these snakes are characterised by their shovel-shaped head and dark brown – almost black – scales.
Common death adders are usually around 1.5 metres long, with a slightly flattened body that allows them to hide in crevices or burrow under loose ground cover.
Death adders are found in warm environments, with summer temperatures of 34°C or more often selected as their preferred habitat. They feed on small mammals and birds, injecting venom through their large fangs to immobilise prey before consumption.
In comparison to other snakes within Australia, the common death adder has a disproportionately large head and large fangs. They are also characterised by their unique triangular-shaped head.
Keelback Snakes (Freshwater Snakes
The keelback snake is non-venomous, and can be found on the Sunshine Coast, including in urbanised areas. This snake is characterised by its dark brown to black skin with yellow bands across its body. As their name suggests, keelback snakes are often found near water sources that provide them with cover and food (fish).
The keelback snake can grow up to 1 metre long, though they typically remain closer to half this length. These snakes feed on rodents and fish outdoors; however, they will happily eat earthworms if given the opportunity indoors!
Yellow Face Whip Snakes
Yellow face whip snakes are a species of non-venomous snake found throughout Queensland, including on the Sunshine Coast. These long, thin snakes vary in colour from yellow to brown and have distinctive thick yellow bands across their bodies.
These small to medium sized snakes can grow up to 1 metre long, with an extremely slender body that is often mistaken for that of a tree branch or twig. They are often found hidden beneath leaf litter or ground cover, where they wait patiently for prey to come close enough for capture.
Yellow face whip snakes feed exclusively on lizards, hunting them down before constricting them until death. Their venom is not considered dangerous to humans however caution should be taken if you attempt to handle one of these reptiles!
Contact Snake Rescue Sunny Coast
If you have found a snake on your property, in your office, or within your home, call the professionals at Snake Rescue Sunny Coast. With nearly a decade of experience in handling some of Australia’s strangest – and most dangerous – reptiles, they can confidently and safely capture and relocate any snake you encounter.
The Snake Rescue team have dedicated their lives to helping people understand more about Australia’s unique wildlife. Get in touch with them for more information and assistance on snake species, snake identification, and more.