These are the most venomous of the commonly-encountered snakes in our region. They are found in dry forests, grass-lands and coastal heaths. They can vary in colour from light tan, orange, dark brown to black, sometimes having stripes and blotches. They are fierce and fast. After striking, they wrap around their prey of small vertebrate animals.
If disturbed, they are swift to retaliate, curving their body into an s-shape, ready to strike. Females lay 10–35 eggs a year, which take 3 months to hatch. Baby snakes have broad bands on the back of their heads.
Length: Up to 1.5m
Illustration: Mark Trinham