Common tree snake

Common tree snake  Photo: EHP

Common tree snake

Common name: common tree snake, green tree snake

Scientific name: Dendrelaphis punctulata

Family: Colubridae

Conservation Status: The common tree snake is listed as Least Concern in Queensland (Nature Conservation Act 1992).

Description: Agile and slender, this non-venomous snake can grow up to 2m but is usually a little over 1m. Its colour ranges from green to yellowish-green, brownish-green, black - even blue in a rare form. Its belly and neck are generally yellow. Under threat, the snake raises itself, revealing splashes of blue between its scales.

Habitat and distribution

The common tree snake is found in a wide variety of habitats, from woodlands to rainforest and tropical gardens. It is often found in trees, gardens, verandahs and sometimes even houses.

The common tree snake occurs throughout Australia's northern tropics and eastern Australia. It is also found from the Kimberley region (Western Australia) to Cape York and Torres Strait (Queensland), extending down the east coast into New South Wales and north into Papua New Guinea. It is common and widespread throughout Brisbane.

Life history and behaviour

This species is active by day where it looks for frogs and reptiles to eat in trees and on the ground. Come the night, it usually sleeps in tree hollows, crevices and foliage. It feeds mostly on frogs and skinks. Females lay between 4-16 elongated eggs.

Related information

Cogger, HG 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th edition. Reed New Holland, Sydney, New South Wales.

Wilson, S 2005. A field guide to reptiles of Queensland. Reed New Holland Press, Sydney, New South Wales.

Wilson, S and Swan, G 2008. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia. Revised edition. Reed New Holland Publishers, Chatswood, New South Wales.