True to its name, the Red-bellied Black Snake in most cases is glossy black on its upper surface and bright red, or pink in colour on the lower sides and belly. However, some specimens can be found displaying no red at all. This species of snake is often found near streams, rivers, creeks and other wetland areas, yet can also be found in animal burrows and grassed tussocks near residential areas.
Red-bellied Black Snakes are the second most commonly found venomous snake in residential areas across the Adelaide metro area and the Adelaide Hills.
The average adult size is between 1.5 metres to 2 metres.
Red-bellied Black Snakes primarily feed on frogs, fish, other reptiles and small mammals. They are also known to eat other snakes, even those of their own species.
Unlike their close relations, Red-bellied Black Snakes give live birth to their young enclosed in a membranous sac. Neonates will emerge from the sac shortly after birth.
This snake is highly venomous but will choose to remain fairly shy and calm unless severely provoked – bites are rare as they prefer to enact a lengthy ‘fierce’ display with a flattened neck and hiss rather than strike.