THE REPTILES OF AUSTRALIA - ELAPIDS

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SPOTTED BLACK SNAKE - Pseudechis (guttata)

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SPOTTED BLACK SNAKE
or BLUE-BELLIED BLACK SNAKE

Pseudechis guttatus
Highly Venomous - Extremely Dangerous
Note that this species and is very variable in pattern. It may have no spots at all or may be spotted, which is why it has 2 common names!
The Blue-bellied Black snake looks like a Common or Red-bellied black snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus), however it doesn't posses the red belly colouration usually found on red bellied black snakes. Some individuals may not have much black on them at all and extreme pattern variation results in species may also be mistaken for other large venomous snakes, such as the Eastern Brown Snake(Pseudonaja textilis), Mulga Snakes (Pseudechis australis), and Collettes Snake (Pseudechis colletti)!

SPOTTED BLACK SNAKE - Pseudechis (guttata)  
Spotted Black Snake (Pseudechis guttatus)

Reptiles of Australia
Approximate distribution of the Spotted Black Snake (Pseudechis guttatus)

SPOTTED BLACK SNAKE - Pseudechis guttatus
Spotted Black Snake (Pseudechis guttatus) found east of Millmerran Qld

SPOTTED BLACK SNAKE - Pseudechis (guttata)
Captive Spotted Black Snake (Pseudechis guttatus)

SPOTTED BLACK SNAKE - Pseudechis guttatus

This brown Spotted Black Snake (Pseudechis guttatus) (pictured above and below) from between Millmerran and Inglewood (Queensland) has only a small amount of speckling and could easily be mistaken for a different species - it was found crossing the road at night and is emaciated

Spotted Black Snake

 

SPOTTED BLACK SNAKE - Pseudechis (guttata)
The Blue-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis guttatus) snake above was in my reptile collection for many years.
It was an adult when it was given to me by Bill Dunmall who had a wildlife park at Hervey Bay in Queensland.
The snake was incredibly docile, probably because it was on display and used to seeing people admiring it all the time.
It never showed the slightest sign of aggression or nervousness and although I wouldn't normally free handle dangerous snakes (which I strongly discourage), I used to free handle this one. It was originally captured near Tara in Qld.


SPOTTED BLACK SNAKE - Pseudechis (guttata)
This Spotted Black Snake (Pseudechis guttatus) eating a skink is a juvenile from NSW.


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Contact John Fowler Author of the Australian Herpetology Website, Pythons of the World, BoaSnakes.info, PetGecko.info and Holiday in Kos - Owner of the Adelaide Reptile Forum

Contact John Hollister Author of John Hollister Reptile Collection - Herping the Trans-Pecos & Sweetwater, Texas Rattlesnake Roundup

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Updated December 14, 2020

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