White Crowned Snake (Cacophis harriettae)

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DESCRIPTION – Gun-metal grey to black on dorsal and ventral surface with a white to pale-yellow crown from the snout, past the eye and connecting in a wide band across the nape of neck. Up to 50cm. 15 mid body scales, 170-200 ventral, 25-45 sub ventral, anal divided. Family: Elapidae.

DISTRIBUTION – Along the East Coast from northern NSW (south of Grafton) to just north Townsville, QLD, inland to around Glenmorgan, QLD. Rainforests, forests, woodlands, suburban areas and gardens.

ECOLOGY – Nocturnal. Terrestrial/fossorial, feeds on lizards and lizard eggs. Commonly found in leaf litter, including gardens and mulch piles. Oviparous, lays 2-7 eggs. 

VENOM – MILDLY VENOMOUS – Bites may cause local pain and swelling, maybe systemic effects, not considered dangerous.

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