Golden Crowned Snake (Cacophis squamulosus)

< Back to Main ID Page

DESCRIPTION – Dorsal surface grayish-brown to dark brown, ventral surface orange-pink with variable series of black spots. ‘Crown’ of pale yellow-brown stripe starting at snout & sweeping back along both sides of face and trailing down the neck, not connecting at the nape (like C. kreffttii or C. harriettae). Around 50cm, up to 90cm. 15 mid body scales, 165-185 ventral, 25-40 sub ventral, anal divided. Family: Elapidae

DISTRIBUTION – From Canberra, ACT, north through NSW to Cairns, QLD. Prefers deeper forested woodland areas, particularly rain forest on mountain slopes, near waterways and moist environment. Also found in suburban gardens.

ECOLOGY – Nocturnal. Terrestrial. Feeds largely on lizards. The largest of the crowned snakes, will bluff if threatened, rearing into S-shape to display ventral pigmentation. Oviparous, lays 2-15 eggs.

VENOM – MILDLY VENOMOUS – Bites from larger individuals may present a health risk, causing local pain and swelling, maybe systemic effects, but unlikely to be dangerous.

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