Red Belly Black Snake Facts | The Australian Snake

The Red bellied black snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus) is commonly found in Australia including New South Wales, rural Victoria, and Queensland. It makes its habitat in regions that are abundant in water bodies such as creeks, lakes, waters, and some swamps and rivers. It is characterized by its shiny dorsal surface along with its unique reddish belly, and the snake grows to about 1.5 – 2.0 meters in length.

Red Belly Black Snake Facts


  • Red bellied black snake is primarily diurnal and they usually come out in day time. However, they also become active in night.
  • Red bellied Black snakes have a fairly large territorial range even though they prefer to stay in places near water. At times they do go farther from damp places in search of their prey.
  • They go into the water when feel threatened but if the threat continues they are likely to hiss loudly by flattening its neck.
  • They travel as far as 50 meters away from the sea in order to mate.
  • Although they are venomous yet they do not bite and would like to retreat most of the time.
  • It’s hard to come across red-bellied snakes because they are extremely sensitive to any vibration caused by one’s approaching.
  • Unlike other snakes, red bellied female snake can litter up to 40 live snakes.
  • The toxicity of this snake is not that dangerous thus not a single human fatality has been documented in years.
  • The northern red bellied species display a grayish brown upperside along with the reddish orange underside.
  • They typically prefer sunny areas where they can hide in rocks, debris, rock piles, logs, and other shaded hiding places.


  • They are known to feed on frogs, small snakes, lizards, nestlings, mice, and other young black snakes. Black snakes also feed on small mammals and reptiles.

Distribution and Habitat

The snake is native to the east coast of Australia. It occurs in plains, bushland, and urban forestry regions and feel home in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Cairns, and Sydney.

In Sydney where snakes can easily prey frogs, red bellied snake is very common. Besides, it also lives in the Valley down the creek-line.



Edited by Daniel Lunney, Pat Hutchings, Dieter Hochuli, 2010, Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, The Natural History of Sydney.

Waleed Khalid

A professional writer and a passionate wildlife enthusiast, who is mostly found hooked to his laptop or in libraries researching about the wildlife.

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