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White-crowned Snake

Cacophis harriettae

Weakly Venomous

Other common names: Crowned snake

White-crowned snake
White-crowned profile pic of head

Species Profile

White-crowned Snake

  • Significance to Humans

    Weakly Venomous

    The White-crowned snake poses no significant threat to humans. Like other crowned snakes, it is hesitant to bite, often resorting to bluff displays rather than actual bites. They have weak venom and small mouths. They may raise up and mimic striking with their mouths closed. In case of a bite, it’s essential to apply appropriate first aid and seek medical attention, as with any snake bite.

  • General Description

    The White-crowned snake is a small species with small eyes. Its body is typically dark steely-grey both on the upper and belly sides. One of its distinctive features is the ‘crown,’ a broad (at least 4 scales width) white or pale yellowish band on the nape of the neck that extends forward around the sides of the head, meeting at the snout. Within this crown, there is an enclosed oval- or diamond-shaped black patch on the top of the head. Midbody scales at 15 rows.

  • Average Length

    30-40 cm

  • Habitat in SE Qld

    Commonly found in moist, sheltered areas within forests, woodlands, and heathlands.

  • General habits

    The White-crowned snake is a secretive and nocturnal species. It preys on day-active skinks at night, while they rest in leaf-litter. Mostly terrestrial, it seeks shelter during the day in moist litter, under rocks, and logs.

  • Diet

    The White-crowned snake is a lizard & skink specialist

  • Local distribution

    Possibly the most abundant among Brisbane’s smaller snake species, and it is frequently encountered, being the most commonly seen of the crowned snakes in the area.

  • Around the home

    The White-crowned snake thrives in compost heaps, moist garden areas with abundant leaf-litter, and around rockeries, as these locations offer ideal habitat for their needs. They are sometimes discovered by roaming cats at night.

White-crowned Snake Gallery

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