Redbellied black snake

Pseudechis porphyriacus

SUBFAMILY

Hydrophiinae

TAXONOMY

Coluber porphyriacus Shaw, 1794, Australia.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

None known.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

This snake's average length is approximately 59 in (1.5 m). It is shiny black with a bright red venter.

DISTRIBUTION

Southeastern Australia; isolated populations in coastal Queensland.

HABITAT

This snake inhabits creeks, ponds, and swamps.

BEHAVIOR

This species is active during the day. It is gentle and calm and slow to react. Males engage in combat over females.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

The red-bellied black snake's diet consists primarily of frogs, but it also preys on reptiles and small mammals.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

The species is live-bearing; the female gives birth to eight to 40 young.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

This snake is highly venomous. Fatal bites have occurred, but this snake has a calm disposition and tries to avoid human contact. However, it is often found in urban areas. ♦

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