RED BELLIED BLACK SNAKE
The adult Red Bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus) is generally iridescent black with the scales at the side of the belly being red, however there have been some sub species caught in the Para Wirra area of S.A; with having a silver/blue coloured belly scales and the absence of the traditional "Red Belly".
This reptile is "Ovoviviparous" meaning the eggs hatch within the female or as the egg is laid or shortly after. The egg has a transparent membrane and lacks the leathery white outer layer as in the eggs of "Oviparous" snakes. Clutches may generally range in size from 5 > 40, depending on the length & condition of the female.
The Red Bellied Black Snake grows to an average length of 1.5mts; but occasionally large specimens have been caught being in excess of 2mts. They are found throughout eastern Australia from Northern Queenland to the Southeast of South Australia. In S.A. they are commonly located on the Fleurieu Peninsula, at Para Wirra and around Adelaide & many of the creeks on boths sides of the Mt. Lofty Ranges.
The Red Bellied Black Snake is usually located near water, either in swamp or marshy areas, freshwater lakes, rivers, creeks and dams. Although 'diurnal' this snake may also be encountered on warm evening after days of extreme heat.
Although this species mainly feeds upon frogs, it's diet may also contain small mammals eg; mice & rats, other smaller reptiles including it's own young, birds nesting in low lying areas and fish including eels. Due to water pollution and the destruction of good aquatic habitats, the lack of tadpoles/frogs breeding & the introduction of cane toads, the numbers of Red Bellied Black snakes has declined over the last twenty or so years. (Our expanding suburbs & climate change would also have negative effects on the sizes of populations around. With the introduction of wetlands throughout our suburbs this may see an increase in numbers.
Upon 'envenomation' (snake-bite) from this species, one is more likely to loose a limb than life, although deaths have been recorded. Secondary infections involved with bites from this snake can also cause major complications and any suspected snakebite from this snake must be treated with immeadiate 'First Aid' and transported to the nearest major hospital & URGENT medical assistance sought.