Spotted Black Snake

Pseudechis guttatus

Spotted Black Snake (Pseudechis guttatus) Spotted Black Snake, Pseudechis guttatus
Photograph by Richard Jackson.
Pseudechis guttatus distribution

Identification:

The Spotted Black Snake has a variable colour pattern. The back is black, dark grey or, occasionally, light brown and sometimes has light bands or blotches. The belly is grey, blue-grey or brownish. It grows to 1.5 metres. Midbody scale rows 19; ventrals 175–205; anal paired; subcaudals single at front, remainder divided 45–65.

Distribution:

Found in coastal and sub-coastal areas of south-eastern Queensland and northern New South Wales.

Habitat:

Lives on open black-soil plains and downs, in eucalypt forests and woodlands, grasslands, pasture and cropped lands.

Habits:

Usually active at dusk and night but may also be active by day.

Danger:

A dangerously venomous snake with neurotoxic, haemotoxic and cytotoxic venom. Bites have not been known to cause human fatalities. If bitten, apply first aid and seek urgent medical attention. First aid procedure for any snakebite from the Australian Venom Research Unit.

Food:

Feeds mainly on frogs, lizards, snakes and small mammals.

Breeding:

Mating takes place in spring and early summer. Up to 16 eggs are laid between October and April. The hatchling snakes are around 22 cm from the tip of the snout to the base of the tail (snout-vent length).

Similar species:

The Spotted Black Snake is similar to the Red-bellied Black snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus. Brown-coloured specimens can be confused with Eastern Brown snakes, Pseudonaja textilis, which are slimmer and have orange blotches on belly and different scale characters. This species may also be confused with Collett's snake, Pseudechis colletti, which has a greater number of ventral scales.

Additional Information:

This species was once common in the Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane, but has declined markedly over the last 30 years.

 Spotted Black Snake, Pseudechis guttatus
Photograph by Steve Wilson.

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