Thursday, January 08, 2009

Common Tree Snake

It's not everyday you see a snake in suburbia. I happened to find one on the road just outside our house this afternoon. Unfortunately it was dead, run over by a car.

I must say I was shocked to see it. My first emotion was fear, fear for my young children. You just don't expect to see a potentially deadly creature so close to your home. However, as I'm very interested in all our local wildlife I just had to take a closer look to see what I could learn.

On looking closer at it I noticed it had beautiful bluish-grey colouration on its dorsal scales and a lovely pale yellowish-green colouration to its ventral scales. It was approximately one metre (3 feet) in length. I took these photos so that I could possibly identify it.

Through my research on the Internet I'm fairly certain that it's a Common Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulatus). Also known as the Green Tree Snake, the Common Tree Snake is apparently quite common in South East Queensland and is one of only two types of tree snakes found in Australia. It is non-venomous and preys mainly on frogs and small mammals. The Common Tree Snake is diurnal (active during the day and resting at night). During the day it looks for food in trees and shrubs and on the ground. Come the night it's usually asleep in tree hollows, crevices and foliage.

Although it's unfortunate the snake was killed, I'm pleased to know that we have such a beautiful, non-venomous species in our locality.

Here's a picture of what a live Common Tree Snake looks like.

Image courtesy of

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