Is It Dangerous?
The White-Crowned Snake is extremely mildly venomous, although this venom is off low toxicity. They are very calm natured and must be heavily antagonized to bit. Their fangs are very small and are unlikely to penetrate a line of clothing.
Where Would You Find It?
White Crowned Snakes live in all kinds of habitats except arid/desert environs. This is due to their predilection for living under moist leaf litter and natural debris. They are common to find in the garden sheltering underneath logs, compost and grass clippings. They are also commonly spotted around outdoor patios of a night time moving around above ground level. They are common to find after floods as they are washed from their underground safety, and are a common Snake to find dragged inside by small pets as a ‘present’ for homeowners.
How Do They Behave?
White Crowned Snakes are nocturnal Snakes which means they are active of a night time. When threatened the Snakes will release a foul smelling odour, raise the top half of their body off the ground and makes various striking motion to attempt to ward off would-be attackers. White Crowned Snakes prefer damp and moist environments where it is easier for them to navigate underground.
What Does It Eat?
White Crowned Snakes are a reptile hunting species, digging underneath natural debris in search of lizards and lizard eggs.
How Big Do They Get?
White Crowned Snakes are a very small species of Snake, maxing out at around 50cm and much more commonly encountered around the 30cm size.
How Common Are They?
White Crowned Snakes are a very common species of Snake. Due to their nocturnal habits and secretive behaviour, they are scarcely encountered especially compared to how dense their population is. They are much more likely to spot in the yard then inside the home, as this is antithetical to their natural behaviour of taking shelter under leaf litter.
What Are Its Similar Species?
White Crowned Snake look extremely similar to their smaller cousin, the Dwarf Crowned Snake. They also look similar to the Golden Crowned Snake and these three make the Crowned Snake family found here in South East Queensland. All of these species are weakly venomous. White Crowns can also look similar to a variety of skinks and legless lizards alike, especially with their small size.
Did You Know?
- White Crowns are common after floods as they are washed out of where they take shelter.
- Due to their nocturnal habit and slow moving nature, White Crowns are frequently brought in by cats.
- White Crowned Snakes rarely bit with their mouths open and much more commonly will head-butt attackers.
- White Crowned Snakes smell awful!
- White Crowned Snakes only live on the East Coast of Australia.
- White Crowned Snakes have an extremely smooth texture and an iridescent sheen; meaning they shimmer in the light!
- The White Crowned Snake is technically classed as an Elapid (same family as Tiger Snakes and Brown Snakes).
- The White Crowned Snake is one of the only Elapids that constricts its prey!
A Snake Catchers Story…
“I had been called to a job to catch a Brown Snake which had shot off into some leaf litter in a backyard. As I start digging through the debris, I see something move out of the corner of my eye. Cautious because of the Brown Snake sighting, I softly rake the leaves away to discover a very sleepy and very annoyed White Crowned Snake. I could almost hear him ask me to shut the blinds. After being assured that this was not the Snake he saw, I went on to find the Brown aswell. Not the first time and surely won’t be the last that A White Crown gets caught up in the chase for something else! Poor little sleepy guy.”