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Dwarf-crowned snake

Cacophis krefftii


My own research leads me to think this is a Dwarf-crowned snake, a lesser known variety of Australian snake species. Their diet consists mainly of small lizards such as skinks. All crowned snakes are reluctant biters, relying more on bluff display than bite. They are weakly venomous and have tiny mouths and short fangs. They will generally rear up & ‘mock strike’ with mouth closed, more of a ‘head butt’. This snake was about 30cms in length so is quite small, and the neck band is coppery brown so I know it is not a juvenile red belly black snake. I almost stepped on this fellow because it was a pitch-black night, so the image was taken with a flash. It was on the driveway at a friend's place in the Brisbane suburb of Wynnum QLD Australia.


In SE QLD, they are coastal and only found to the East of the Great Dividing Range in rainforests and sheltered moist areas within open forest, along creek lines amongst leaf litter, rocks, etc. In suburban areas they like moist localities around the yard, under most ground detritus such as compost, logs and stones, and in well-vegetated gardens.


From an artistic point of view, this is my idea of minimalism and probably only one of a couple of shots I have taken that I can say for sure are minimalistic in style. I've seen many people's interpretation of this but I think this one is right on the money. It's simple and elegant, as minimalism should be.

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naross 10 years ago

Thanks, Shanna. This was the only photo I took. There was a dog and screaming children to contend with, and my greatest fear was that it may have been a red belly black. Other than the flash, it was dark so I wasn't about to take any chances. I long to see another one but have since found other varieties of crowned snakes. I've looked at other photos on this site and am 99% sure the ID for this one is correct.

ShannaB 10 years ago

Great find, Neil! Your ID is probably correct, but it would be great to see a closer shot of the head if you have one.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 10 years ago

Another super find Neil. Thanks for sharing it !!

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Queensland, Australia

Spotted on Feb 3, 2011
Submitted on Apr 21, 2013

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