Red Belly Black Snakes

Kristy Gray got a front row seat to a fine display of athleticism when she spied a couple of red bellied black snakes wrestling on her lawn at Topi Topi, near Bungwahl. 

"Since the beginning of September we have seen several lone snakes,” Kristy told the Great Lakes Advocate.

“In less than a week we have seen two pairs out in the open, a worrying occurrence no doubt due to the dry hot weather,” she said.

Great Lakes snake expert John Smith said that contrary to the look of the pictures, the snakes weren’t mating.

“They don’t intertwine or stand up like they are in the pictures when they are mating, they just lay next to each other with their tails overlapping,” John said.

“These two are most likely sparring, or fighting for the attention of a female,” he said.

“They don’t often bite each other, they just intertwine and carry on for a while until one gives up and goes away.”

Kristy was excited to have the opportunity to witness something like this, but understandably, she had her reservations.

“It was a bit scary to stand so near the snakes. But I couldn't resist taking a chance to photograph them.”

The red-bellied black snake is a species of elapid snake native to eastern Australia. Though its venom is capable of causing significant morbidity, a bite from it is not generally fatal and is less venomous than other Australian elapid snakes.