Snakes of South East Queensland

Golden-crowned Snake

Golden-crowned Snake

Cacophis squamulosus
Other common names: Crowned Snake.
Golden-crowned Snake

Species Profile

Significance to Humans:

Weakly venomous
The Golden-crowned Snake is considered to be weakly venomous. However known bites have in some cases caused significant localised symptoms that required medical oversight.Bites should therefore be treated with caution. All crowned snakes are reluctant biters. They will rear up in a bluff display & may ‘mock strike’ with mouth closed. The Golden-crowned Snake is the largest species of all the Crowned snakes & will bite if highly provoked or antagonised. As with any snake bite apply correct first aid and seek medical attention.

General description:

The Golden-crowned Snake is most typically greyish-brown to dark brown with salmon to orange belly with mid line of black spots. ‘Crown’ of parallel creamy-yellow or paler yellow-brown single stripe starting at snout & sweeping back either side of face and along neck, generally across eyes. The Crown does not form band across nape of neck. May be incorrectly identified as a small Red Bellied Black Snake. Midbody scales at 15 rows.

Average Length:

Females reach a greater overall body size and measurement than male snakes. Males reach about 50cm but female specimens have been noted to reach 90cm.

Habitat in SE Qld:

The Golden-crowned Snake is found across Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich and Logan suburbs, especially where moist gullies and drainage features are prominent. In more natural areas the Golden-crowned Snake occupies rain forest, and sheltered, moist areas within open forest. This may include creek lines, amongst leaf litter, rocks, logs. As a general rule the Golden-crowned Snake can be found wherever good, lush ground cover prevails.

General habits:

The Golden-crowned Snake appears to be a strictly nocturnal snake species. It is often encountered active on wet or stormy nights. Interestingly, the Golden-crowned Snake tends to be active at more cooler periods than other snake species found in the same habitats.

Diet:

It is an active forager searching for lizards such as skinks and their eggs. Has been known to occasionally take small frogs.

Local distribution:

Found across moister suburbs of the Greater Brisbane bioregion including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Ipswich, The Redlands and Logan. Generally restricted to moister suburbs or homes near well vegetated riparian margins.

Around the home:

The Golden-crowned Snake can be found under compost, logs and stones in well-vegetated gardens. It is synonymous with moist garden areas with abundant leaf-litter, and around rockeries that provide ideal habitat.

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