The elapid snake family includes the front-fanged venomous species. Everyone has heard of the more fearsome Eastern Brown Snake and the Mulga Snake, but what about some of our smaller species of elapid snakes? Introducing Australia’s own Coral Snake (Brachyurophis australis), a reddish –orange, slightly venomous species.
What do they look like?
The Coral Snake colour is variable, being pink, red/orange to brown. Most commonly there are dark stripes across the body; however, they have been recorded as being un-banded. Two thick black bands across the head and neck are also present.
Are they dangerous?
Although classified as a venomous snake, they pose no danger to humans, only to the skinks and reptile eggs that they eat. In saying that, every snake, venomous or not, should be treated with caution and all handling left to the professionals.
Where are they found?
Found in the east of Australia in QLD, NSW, VIC and SA. This secretive snake is rarely seen as it is a nocturnal burrower. It is occasionally sighted on warm, humid nights when it comes to the surface. As with a number of our smaller snake species, these little guys are most commonly found beneath rocks and logs when they are being moved during general construction, gardening and yard clean ups when the ground is disturbed.
Although not generally known, they are an important species and do an excellent job in their role of keeping our ecosystems balanced and happy.
By Mckenzie Higgins, Fauna Spotter for Boobook