Is It Dangerous?
The Brown Tree Snake is a venomous species of Colubrid. Due to their rear fanged nature, a bite from a Brown Tree Snake is unlikely but still possible. The venom is weakly neurotoxic, meant to disable and subdue Lizards. Bites are painful but ultimately non-life-threatening. Despite their relatively weak venom and unlikelihood to envenomate, the Brown tree Snake is very aggressive when disturbed and will try to bite multiple times.
Where Would You Find It?
Brown Tree Snakes are common in many environments, although they prefer forested habitats as they enjoy climbing. Brown Tree Snakes prefer coastal environments and are common close to waterways. They do not thrive in arid environments. Around the home, Brown Tree Snakes are common to find in or around bird aviaries, in roofs and climbing around outdoors in trees or on patios.
How Do They Behave?
Brown Tree Snakes are nocturnal and prefer to rest during the day. They are very aggressive when provoked, and will rear up into an ‘S’ shape, striking multiple times. Brown Tree Snakes love to climb, and are very rarely seen on the ground. The Brown Tree Snake is a foraging species and it moves around a good deal by night in search of prey items which are sleeping.
What Does It Eat?
The Brown Tree Snakes favourite food is birds however they will accept all potential food items including rats and mice, bats, lizards and frogs.
How Big Do They Get?
Brown Tree Snakes can grow up to 2 metres long, however at this size Brown Tree Snakes are quite skinny so they can remain good climbers. They are more commonly encountered at 1-1.5m long however.
How Common Are They?
Brown Tree Snakes are a fairly common Snake and are most frequently encountered in roofs or sheds or when they help themselves to poorly protected pet birds. Being nocturnal, many encounters with this interesting serpent would go unnoticed. It is more common in forested areas or properties in close proximity to heavy vegetation.
What Are Its Similar Species?
Brown Tree Snakes are frequently mistaken for Tiger Snakes due to their similar patterning. Young Brown tree Snakes can look very similar to Coastal Carpet Pythons aswell.
Did You Know?
- In a study on the natural predators of the Brown Tree Snakes, two definite predators were identified: the Red Bellied Black Snake and the Cane Toad.
- The Brown Tree Snake is Australian only venomous rear fanged Snake.
- Brown Tree Snakes are classed as an invasive species in Guam, where they were accidentally introduced and now thrive.
- Contrary to popular opinion, the Brown Tree Snake is not a result of the Tree Snake and the Brown Snake mating.
- Brown Tree Snakes are also called ‘Night Tigers’.
- The Brown Tree Snake has extremely protruding eyes and a very bulbous head with a thin neck.
A Snake Catchers Story…
“It was early morning and an unfortunate homeowner had discovered that she was missing several birds from her aviary. She believed a Snake was hiding under the flooring as there was a raised lump that was not usually present. I thought the culprit was in all likelihood a Coastal carpet python, and yet when I lifted the flooring I revealed a VERY fat Brown Tree Snake that had clearly eaten too much! The 2m Snake could hardly more it was so full! I bet the bellyaches over the next few days would not have been fun.”