A coastal carpet python, one of the most commonly found snakes in the region. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer
A coastal carpet python, one of the most commonly found snakes in the region. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer Mike Richards GLADV071113SNKE

Need to know: traits of five common snakes in the region

1. Coastal carpet python

Non-venomous. Bites may cause lacerations or punctures.

Description: Large, heavy- bodied snake with a highly variable, mottled and blocked pattern and colour. White to cream on the underside.

Size: 2.3m. Largest reliable record is 4.2m.

2. Common tree snake

Non-venomous and bites infrequently. Emits odour if threatened.

Description: Sleek slender body with long, thin tail. Colour ranges from green, olive, yellow, brown and black to rare blue-grey on upper body. Belly yellow or creamy, with bright yellow on throat. Some specimens with blue or grey belly. Large eyes.

Size: 1.2m, can grow to 2m.

3. Brown tree snake

Mildly venomous. Bite causes localised pain and swelling and possibly headaches and nausea.

Description: Slender-bodied with bulbous head and narrow neck. Large eyes with vertical pupils. Upper brown to reddish-brown or even dark orange, with irregular indistinct darker cross-bands. Belly creamy, apricot or orange.

Size: 1.2m, can grow to 2m.

4. Yellow-faced whip snake

Potentially dangerous, especially to children. Bite may cause pain and severe symptoms.

Description: Very slender snake with long, thin whip-like tail. Large prominent eyes. Colour generally pale olive or bluish-grey, often with rusty flush or longitudinal stripes along front-third of body. Belly grayish-green, often yellowish under tail. Distinctive face markings. Obvious pale cream or yellow rim around eye, with dark comma-shaped marking curving back below eye.

Size: 65-70cm, can grow to more than 90cm.

5. Eastern brown

Highly venomous. It is the world's second-most venomous land snake and accounts for more fatalities than any other Australian snake.

Description: Highly variable in colour and pattern. Colour ranges from pale tan through orange, russet, dark brown and almost black, sometimes with cross-body banding. Belly usually cream, yellow or orange.

Size: 1.4m, can grow to 1.8m.