Black_snake.JPG (13992 bytes)Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus): Australia is home to a number of venomous snakes. Many Australians are somewhat paranoid about snakes and often take great risks trying to kill these reptiles. They are perceived to be a threat to life and limb. Figures show that you are at greater risk driving your car than being threatened by a snake. Also more people die, in Australia, from bee stings than snakebite. In general snakes are just as frightened of you as you are of them.

When our children were young we were rather twitchy about snakes close to the house. Now our children have grown up and left home we are more laid back (figuratively rather than literally) about snakes and are prepared to live and let live. This is particularly the case with Red-bellied Black Snakes. Although venomous, these snakes are very cautious animals.

We have a resident Red-bellied Black Snake that we often see sliding through the garden. We even saw this reptile in the middle of winter one year.

Red-bellied Black Snakes are fairly common in eastern Australia. They usually reach a length of 1.5 metres and have a glossy black upper surface and distinctive red under surface. Although venomous they are not aggressive and do not present a threat to life and limb.

Frogs figure prominently in their dirt. Reptile and small mammals are also eaten. Red-bellied Black Snakes bear their young alive and will produce 8 to 40 juveniles.
The photograph was taken around Christmas when our resident reptile decided to visit the timber deck outside our family room. After posing for photographs our visitor retreated to more suitable habitat.