Our website is getting a facelift.  We apologize for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your patience.

Please call a professional for verification of an identification made from the net.  Many species vary in colour and markings. 

The typical classification won't be in order as we are doing land snakes on this page only as they are more commonly encountered.  For Sea Snake and Introduced Species identification please go to the following pages. We are only adding the more commonly encountered snakes, not every species or subspecies.

  Click on the pictures for more information.

Most snake bites are unnecessary and are usually caused be someone trying to remove a snake with no prior training.  While some of the species are classified as harmless a bite from a larger specimen can cause a great deal of pain.

PLEASE CALL A PROFESSIONAL AND DON'T TRY TO REMOVE ANY SNAKE YOURSELF.  IT IS ILLEGAL TO KILL OR HARM NATIVE WILDLIFE, HEAVY FINES APPLY.

                                                                                   Snake or Lizard?

*Lizards will usually have eyelids. Snakes will have a fixed scale  covering the eye. (The exception to this are geckos and legless lizards). 

*Most lizards (goannas excluded) have a broad, fleshy tongue. 

*Lizards will usually have a ear opening. Snakes do not have ears.

*Snakes don’t have legs.  Most lizards have limbs.

Lizard - Legless Lizard. Striped Legless Lizard, Delma impar

Snake - Dwyer's Snake, Parasuta dwyeri

Land Snakes - Pythons

Children's Python                                          

Antaresia childreni

Reddish or yellowish brown on the top of the body, often with darker brown blotched markings.  White to cream on the underside of the body.  Found from north-western Queensland to the Kimberley region of Western Australia.  A nocturnal python. They are terrestrial. Reaches up to approximately 100cms in length.

 

Spotted Python                                               

Antaresia maculosa

Dark or yellowish brown on the top of the body, with darker brown to black blotched markings.  White to cream on the underside of the body. Found in eastern Queensland to north east New South Wales. Mostly nocturnal. A terrestrial python. Reaches up to approximately 140cms in lenght

Pygmy Python/Anthill Python                      

Antaresia perthensis

Reddish or occasionally yellowish brown on the top of the body, with darker flecking.  White to cream on the underneath.  Found in Western Australia from Goldsworthy to Mt Magnet including the Pilbara, Gascoyne and Murchison regions. Nocturnal. A terrestrial python.  Reaches up to approximately 80cms in length.

 

Western Stimson’s Python                   

Antaresia stimsoni stimsoni

Reddish or occasionally yellowish brown colour on the top of the body, with darker spotting. There is a pale lateral line from neck extending along first third of body. White to cream on the underside of the body.  Found in Western Australia from Perth to the Kimberley and east across to Kalgoorlie in the south and Fitzroy Crossing in the north. A nocturnal python. Terrestrial.  Reaches up to approximately 100cms in length.

 

Stimson’s Python                                

Antaresia stimsoni orientalis

A reddish or occasionally yellowish brown on the top of the body, with darker spotting. There is a pale lateral line from neck extending along first third of body. The body is white to cream underneath.  Found from eastern Western Australia across central Australia into South Australia including the northern Flinders Ranges, New South Wales, Northern Territory and across into Queensland to the Einasleigh Uplands and Mt Carbine area.  Mostly nocturnal. A terrestrial python.  Reaches up to approximately 120cms in length.

ALL ANTARESIA ARE CONSIDERED HARMLESS.

Black Headed Python              

Aspidites melanocephalus

A reddish to yellowish brown or white on the top of the body, with dark brown to black cross bands. The head and neck is black. Cream to yellow on the underneath, with orange, brown and black markings. No visible heat sensing pits. Found from Mundubbera, Queensland across northern Australia to Exmouth, Western Australia. A nocturnal python but will bask during the day. Terrestrial.  Reaches approximately 300cms in length.

Woma/Sand Python                             

Aspidites ramsayi

A reddish orange to yellowish brown or grey colour on the top of the body, with light to dark grey bands.  On older snakes the colour has often faded with age. The head and neck is yellow to orange. Some have dark marks over the eyes. Orange to yellow underneath with or without dark markings. No visable heat sensing pits. Found in  Westmar, Queensland across Australia, through western New South Wales, northern South Australia, south and central Northern Territory to near Broome, Western Australia. Also in Western Australia from Shark Bay to Perth, into the goldfields east of Kalgoorlie. A nocturnal python. Terrestrial.  Reaches approximately 220cms in length.

ALL ASPIDITES ARE CONSIDERED HARMLESS

Water Python/Rainbow Serpent                     

Liasis fuscus

A greenish brown to grey colour on the top of the body. The scales have a strong iridescence sheen to them.  The underneath is white beneath the head, yellow to orange under the body and grey under the tail. Their lips are usually peppered grey or black over white.  Found from Conway, Queensland, across northern Australia to Broome, Western Australia. Mainly nocturnal but will come out to bask during the day. Terrestrial to semi aquatic. Can reach approximately 220cms in length.

HARMLESS

 

Olive Python                           

Liasis olivaceus olivaceus                 

The top of the body is a pale dark brown, olive colour to grey. The underneath is cream to pale yellow colour.  Found across northern Australia from along the Selwyn Range, Queensland across to the Kimberley in Western Australia. Mainly nocturnal, but will come out and bask during the day.  A terrestrial and semi-arboreal python. 

Can reach up to 400cms in length.

HARMFUL

Centralian Carpet Python/Bredl’s Python           

Morelia bredli 

The top of the body is a reddish brown to dark brown,often darker on rear third, with white, yellow and black markings. The underneath is a white to cream below with orange brown and black spotting.  Found in the Northern Territory around the MacDonnell Ranges across to Hart’s Range. A nocturnal python. Both terrestrial and arboreal. lCan reach a length of approximately 300cms.

HARMLESS.

Rough Scaled Python                                

Morelia carinata

The top of the body is a dark brown or grey with irregular white bands and streaks that form blotches and bands. The underneath is white with brown with peppering towards rear. A very noticeable colour change from day to night -those that are brown during the day become silver at night. The mid body scales are very noticeably keeled. Found in the Kimberley on the Mitchell River Plateau and adjacent areas, also on Bigge Island Western Australia. A nocturnal python..

Can reach a length of approximately 200cms.

HARMLESS

Western Carpet Python                              

Morelia imbricata

Extremely variable. The top of the body is brown, black, grey or yellow with white to cream or yellow markings that form irregular bands, stripes and blotches. The underneath is white flecks or spots that can be either gray or black. Juveniles are a reddish colour. From Carrarang Station across the south-west corner of Western Australia to Esperance. in South Australia on the western Eyre Peninsula and on the islands of the St Francis group.  A nocturnal python, but has often be seen basking during the day. Both terrestrial and arboreal.  Can reach a length of approximately 270cms.

 

HARMLESS

Inland Carpet Python/Murray Darling Carpet Python/MD

Morelia spilota metcalfei

Extremely variable. The top of the body is brown, black, grey or yellow with white, cream, orange, yellow and pale brown markings that form irregular bands, stripes and blotches. The underneath is white with grey or black flecks and spots. The colouration shifts from dark in the south of the range to lighter with less black in the north. Juveniles are a reddish colour. This species can get quite a robust build as they age. Found along the Murray Darling basin, west of the Great Dividing Range From Pyramid Hill Victoria, west on eastern SAouth Australia and through western and central New South Wales to Dajarra in Queensland. A nocturnal python but are often seen basking during the day. Both terrestrial and arboreal.  Can reach a length of approximately 220cms.

 

HARMLESS

Carpet Python                                        

Morelia spilota spilota

Extremely variable. The top of the body is brown, black, grey or yellow with white to cream or yellow markings that form irregular bands, stripes and blotches. Southern animals are black with yellow flecking.The underneath is white with grey or black flecks and spots. The colouration changes from dark in the south of the range to lighter with less black as they occur further north. Juveniles are reddish.  Found over much of Australia from Marlo in Victoria to the Kimberley region of Western Australia. A nocturnal python, but is seen often basking during the day. Both terrestrial and arboreal. Can reach a length of approximately 320cms.

CARE SHOULD BE TAKEN

Green Python                                                  

Morelia viridis 

The top of the body on an adult is bright green usually with a broken white vertebral stripe. Some indivudials get a bluish flush.The underneath of the body is yellow  or white with green, blue and black markings. Juveniles are yellow with a brown vertebral stripe and brown and white flecks. Tail tip is usually a different colour to the body and used for caudal luring of its food.  Found in Queensland on Cape York Peninsula, in the Iron and McIlwraith Ranges. A nocturnal python but can often be seen out basking during the day. Arboreal.  Can reach a length of approximately 150cms.

 

HARMLESS

Scrub Python/Amethystine Python          

Simalia amethistina

The top of the body is brown with yellowish and black markings forming irregular bands and blotches.  There is a pearlescent sheen  to the scales.The belly is white to cream and has no markings.  Found in north east Queensland. A nocturnal python but has been known to bask during the day.  Terrestrial but will on occasion climb trees. Can reach approximately 550cms in length.

POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS.

Oenpelli Python                               

Simalia oenpelliensis

The top of the body is a dark brown or grey with irregular white bands and streaks that form blotches and bands. The undernaeath is white with brown peppering towards the rear. There is a noticable shift in colour from day to night - brown during the day become silver at night.  Found in western Arnhem Land Northern Territory. A nocturnal python.  Can reach a length of approximately 500cms.

 

HARMFUL

Colubrid Snakes

Brown Tree Snake/Night Tiger, Doll’s Eye Snake

Boiga irregularis

The top of the body is a reddish brown to dark brown above, with darker reticulations. Some specimens are alternatively,  reddish orange with contrasting white bands. The underneath is white, yellow or orange.  Found across northern and eastern Australia from the Kimberley, Western Australia to Wollongong, New South Wales. A nocturnal snake, but will bask during the day. Arboreal. Can reach a length of approximately 200cms.

HARMFUL

Northern Tree Snake               

Dendrelaphis calligastra

The top of the body is Grey to dark brown, some have black speckling. The edge of most scales along the middle of the body is pale. There is a bright yellow to white streak on the side of the head. Black edging along  the snout beneath the eye to the neck. this is not present on the Common tree snake. There is greyish and mottled darker pigment below.  Found in north east Queensland, from Mt Elliott onto the Torres Strait islands. A diurnal, aboreal snake.  Can reach a length of approximately 120cms.

 

HARMLESS

Northern Tree Snake image kindly supplied by Shane Black

Common Tree Snake/Green Tree Snake/Yellow Bellied Black Snake/Common Bronzeback           

Dendrelaphis punctulatus

Extremely variable, the colouration depends on the location of the snake - ranges from golden yellow with grey or white head, golden brown with darker head, Black with lighter underside, blue to blue grey or green with a yellow flush to the head.  Along the midbody scales of most pale white to pale blue, only visible when the snake feels threatened. The underneath ranges from whitish, blue, green, black or yellow.  Found in eastern New South Wales from Batemans Bay, through eastern Queensland and across the top end of the Northern Territory and Kimberley region of Western Australia.  A diurnal, arboreal snake. Can reach a length of approximately 170 cms.

 

HARMLESS

Australian Slaty Grey Snake         

Stegonotus australis

The top of the body is black, dark grey or dark brown and the lower flanks pale grey. The underneath is whhite to cream.  Found across northern Australia from Wadeye Northern Territory across the top end region of the Northern Territory on to Cape York and south to Sarina, Queensland.  A nocturnal, terrestrial snake. Has enlarged teeth. Can reach a length of approximately 180cms.

 

HARMLESS

Water Snakes

Keelback/Fresh-water snake        

Tropidonophis mairii

Grey to brown on the top of the body, with darker flecks and spotting. The underneath is white, yellow, orange to greenish with darker spotting. Many of the dorsal scales are keeled giving rise to the name.  Found across northern and eastern Australia from the Kimberley, Western Australia to Grafton, New South Wales. Also in Papua New Guinea  and parts of Indonesia. A cathemeral, terrestrial snake,  found commonly in yards.  The enlarged rear teeth inflict deep cuts.

Can reach a length of approximately 90cms.

HARMLESS

Elapids

 

Common Death Adder                                     

Acanthophis antarcticus  

A medium sized snake with a stout body. The coloration will vary greatly - ranging from a light grey through to tan to dark reddish brown, all having darker cross bands.  The underneath is usually lighter than the top, with darker flecking.  The lips are usually striped white or cream. The tip of the tail which is referred to as the caudal lure is white to yellow but also may be black. Found in southern WA along the southern coast to SA and through of most of New South Wales into north east Queensland.  All Death Adders are more active at night, they are skilled at the art of camouflage. 

 

Floodplain/Barkley Tableland Death Adder