Is It Dangerous?
The Marsh Snake is a venomous species of Elapid Snake. It has front facing fangs and has venom which cause symptoms ranging from nausea, headaches, severe local pain, swelling and muscle soreness. Its venom features procoagulants.
Where Would You Find It?
In keeping with their namesake, the Marsh Snake is almost exclusively found in very close proximity to water where it can hunt its favourite prey. They prefer to take shelter in undergrowth and under thick debris. Around the home, Marsh snakes are often seen after rain, in pools and around outdoor patios. These shy Snakes rarely enter the home, and their presence inside the home is usually accounted for by a pet dragging them in.
How Do They Behave?
Marsh Snakes are shy and secretive Snakes that are rarely seen. They are mostly active during the day, though will move around on warm nights. When provoked like all Snakes, Marsh Snakes will prefer to escape than confront their would be predator. Marsh snakes typically do not climb, and are much more frequently seen on the ground.
What Does It Eat?
The favourite food of Marsh Snakes is lizards, but being a reptile hunting species they also love frogs, tadpoles and lizard eggs. They likely also feed on fish when possible.
How Big Do They Get?
Marsh Snakes are a very small species of Snake, maturing at around 20cm and growing to a maximum length of just 0.6m.
How Common Are They?
Marsh snakes are a scarcely seen species, encountered very infrequently. They are a species that is likely present in good numbers, but rarely spotted due to their propensity to be near water and they small size. They can also be confused with the White-Lipped Snake found in NSW and Victoria.
What Are Its Similar Species?
Marsh Snakes can look like small Black or Brown Snakes, the largest giveaway to their identity being the vibrant white lines stretching from the sides of their mouth.
Did You Know?
- Marsh Snakes are often encountered when lifting up ground lying timbers in the yard.
- Marsh Snakes have a ‘glossy’ appearance that shimmers in the light.
- The Marsh Snake is endemic to the East Coast of Australia.
- The Marsh Snakes colour can vary from light olive to dark black.
- A Marsh Snake bite has never led to a confirmed fatality.
- Marsh Snakes have extremely small fangs as they hunt creatures with comparatively thin skin.
- Marsh Snakes will eat other kinds of Snakes!
Snake Catchers Story…
“The first time I ever caught a Marsh Snake I had to enter the depths of the Snake study stored miles back in my brain to remember the exact name of the species, such is the elusiveness of the Marsh Snake. The Snake itself had found itself inside a house and in a cupboard. When I first saw it I remember thinking how gobsmackingly pretty it was and I wondered if it was as smooth to the touch as it looked. It certainly was, and to add to the experience the Snake musty have been in a great mood because he didn’t rear up once and was an easy little guy to work with and release.”