Snakes

of South East Queensland

Marsh

Hemiaspis signata
Other common names: Black-bellied Swamp Snake, Swamp Snake and Grass Snake.
Marsh Snake
Significance to Humans: Mildly Venomous
Bites from this species have been known to cause severe local symptoms such as pain & swelling, with more general reactions such as headaches and nausea also recorded. All bites should still be treated immediately and attended to with correct first aid.

General description: Fairly uniform brown, olive or black above with dark grey or black belly surface. Two prominent narrow pale-yellowish stripes on each side of face, one running from snout, through eye and onto neck area, & one below eye running from snout to corner of mouth. In juveniles the head is often darker than the body. Scales smooth. Midbody scales at 17 rows.

Average Length: 50cm with occasional specimens nearing 70cm.

Habitat in SE Qld: Rainforest & moist well-vegetated areas such as wet sclerophyll forest, margins of creeks, dams, wetlands & low-lying seasonally flooded areas.

General habits: Diurnal, although may also be active at night in hot weather. Shelters under rocks, sheets of bark and thick debris.

Diet: Small frogs and lizards.

Local distribution: Found in a “moister” suburbs usually with riparian habitats nearby.

Around the home: May be found in damp or moist gardens under timber, sheets of iron & foraging amongst thick vegetation.

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