Urban reptiles

Snakes of the Greater Brisbane Area

This identification page is constantly under construction, not all snakes are pictured in this page and many are wildly variable. NEVER attempt to identify a snake, the consequences are potentially fatal!



Pythonidae is family of constrictor snakes, contains animals such as the reticulated python found in South East Asia.


They have no fangs but rather many re-curved teeth. Only 2 pythons are found in SEQ, one is quite uncommon. However, carpet pythons are one of the most successful urban reptiles. Semi arboreal animals, that contain no venom. They pose very little threat to humans. They keep the noise/ messy possum, rat and bat populations in check.

Python catcher

Common Name: Coastal Carpet snake

Scientific Name: Morelia spilota mcdoweli


Description: Large bodied snakes, highly variable colours from orange/ yellow to green/browns. Often has “camo” like patterns but some rarer cases can have minimal patters.

Common Name: Spotted Python

Scientific Name: Antaresia maculosa


Description: Smaller pythons with dark brown colours and darker spots throughout the body. They typically live around rocky outcrops



Colubridae  is a large family of snake which have rear fangs.

A total of 3 colubrids live in SEQ and are mostly not venomous with one exception. The brown tree snake is venomous but is considered ‘mildly venomous’.  These snakes can be vibrant and tend to be more arboreal (tree dwelling).  Beautiful looking snakes to have around the backyard.

Common Name: Common Tree Snake

Scientific Name: Dendrelaphis punctulatus


Description: Variable colouration, narrow and slender body, often yellow or white under chin.

Common Name: Brown Tree Snake

Scientific Name: Boiga irregularus


Description: brown and banded pattern, larger head and narrower neck.

Tree Snake Removal

Common Name: Freshwater Keelback

Scientific Name:Tropidonophis mairii


Description: Keeled scales (ridged), variable patterning, looks to have a smirk.



Elapidae  is a family of venomous, front fanged snakes. This is the most diverse family of snakes found in Brisbane/ Ipswich.


Such a diverse range of elapids can be found in and around Brisbane and Ipswich. Some, like the eastern brown snake, seem to flourish in the urban environment but others like stephens banded snakes are rarely found. Fill a variety of niches in the environment and are essential to maintaining a healthy ecosystem in Australia.

Identification red belly

Common Name: Red-bellied Black Snake

Scientific Name: Pseudechis porphyriacus

Description: Glossy black scales on the back, dark red scales along the lower flanks. Usually cream or light red belly. Often has a brown nose in SEQ.

crown snake

Common Name: Golden Crown Snake

Scientific Name: Cacophis squamulosus


Description: Dark brown or black/grey. Yellow streak around face that does not meet at the back of head. Often has red or orange scaled on the belly.

Common Name: White-crowned Snake

Scientific Name: Cacophis harriettae


Description: Dark grey to black colour with a broad white ring around the head.

Common Name: Dwarf Crown Snake

Scientific Name: Cacophis Krefftii

Description: Dark brown to black/grey. They are the smallest of the crown snakes with a fine yellow or orange tinged ring around the head

Common Name: Death Adder

Scientific Name: Acanthophis antarcticus

Description: Colour can be quite  varied in browns, greys, oranges and reds. The distincting wide head and lightly coloured caudal lure (tail) as well as their stocky build set these apart as unique elapids.

Common Name: Stephens’ Banded SNake

Scientific Name: Hoplocephalus stephensii


Description: Individuals can vary, usually contain dark brown/balck bands between orange and lighter browns.  Faces blotched or barred on sides.

Common Name: Common Bandy Bandy

Scientific Name: Vermicella annulata

Description: Black and white bands along body with a pointed nose.  When threatened they make loops in the air with the body to ward off predators.

Common Name: Yellow Faced Whip snake

Scientific Name: Demansia psmmophis


Description: Light grey/ green/Brown with yellow comma like shape around the eye. 2 light red bars located either side of the spine in the top half of the animal.

Yellow faced whip snake identification
eastern brown snake

Common Name: Eastern Brown Snake

Scientific Name: Psudenaja textilis

Description: variable in colour, can be patterned or pattern-less, can be browns to reds or greens.

Rough scaled snake

Common Name: Rough-scaled Snake

Scientific Name: Tropidechis carinatus


Description: Brown to green in colour, often with dark banding that usually fades toward the back of the animal. Often mistaken for a keelback due to the rough appearance of the scales.

Common Name: Eastern Small-eyed snake

Scientific Name: Cryptophis nigrescens

Description: Often a grey to black colour showing a cream to red underbelly, it is therefore often mistaken with a red belly black snake but unlike the black snake it doesn’t have red flanks, just the underbelly.

eastern small eyed snake

Common Name: Marsh snake

Scientific Name: Hemiaspis signata


Description: Usually dark in colour with 2 distinct lines on the face which is lighter in colour.

Marsh snake
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