Eastern Small Eyed Snake (Cryptophis nigrescens)

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DESCRIPTION – Uniform black or dark grey with pink to silvery-white, opalescent ventral scales, and very small eyes. Light pink ventrals not extending to flanks as in Red Bellied Blacksnake. Growing to around 80cm. 15 mid body scales, 165-210 ventral, 30-47 sub ventral, anal single. Family: Elapidae.

DISTRIBUTION – Common in dry sclerophyll, rainforests, rocky heaths, around creek edges and in montane areas. Ranging along the east coast from Mossman, QLD down to eastern Victoria, inland to the eastern ranges.

ECOLOGY – Nocturnal. Terrestrial/fossorial, feeding on lizards, frogs, occasionally other snakes. Ovoviviparous, 2-8 live young.

VENOM – HIGHLY VENOMOUS – Strongly myotoxic venom, attacking tissues and bloodstream, one recorded death in Australia.

Updated November 2019 from Eipper, S. & Eipper, T. (2019) A Naturalists Guide To The Snakes Of Australia. John Beaufoy Publishing.