Marsh Snake (Hemiaspis signata)

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DESCRIPTION – Variable greenish-brown through to black, head often olive coloured, yellowish towards ventral scales. Two prominent white stripes on face, one from snout along upper labials, one extending backward from eye to neck. Ventral usually dark grey/black, occasionally orange colours in northern populations. Growing to around 90cm. 17 mid body scales, 150-170 ventral, 40-60 sub ventral, anal divided. Family: Elapidae.

DISTRIBUTION – Common rainforests, grasslands, swamps, heaths, around creek edges and in montane areas. Isloated northern populations on the east coast from Cairns & Eungella QLD, largely continueou from Gladstone QLD down to Nowra NSW.

ECOLOGY – Diurnal. Terrestrial/semi-aquatic, feeding on lizards, frogs, fishes, occasionally other snakes. Ovoviviparous, 3-16 live young.

VENOM – VENOMOUS – Bites known to cause local pain and swelling, some procoagulant activity, no recorded deaths in Australia.


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