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Common name: red-naped snake
Scientific name: Furina diadema
Conservation status: This species is listed as Least Concern in Queensland (Nature Conservation Act 1992).
The red-naped snake is a slender snake growing up to about 40 cm. It is red-brown in colour with a shiny black head and nape, and a distinctive bright red or orange patch on the back of its head. Its belly is white or cream.
Habitat annd distribution
The red-naped snake occurs in a wide range of dry habitats, it tends to stay away from very moist areas such as rainforests. You may stumble across this snake under rocks, logs, leaves, timber piles, old sheets of iron or in cracks and crevices and it can often be found near ant colonies or termite nests. It is one of the most commonly encountered small snakes in the suburban gardens of Ipswich.
The red-naped snake occurs in humid to arid areas of eastern Australia from Cairns in north Queensland to Port Augusta in South Australia. It has been recorded in about 18 National Parks in Queensland including Main Range, Girraween, Bunya Mountains, Koombit Tops and Tamborine National Park.
Life history and behaviour
Like many snakes, the red-naped snake is nocturnal, hiding by day and active at night when it feeds on small skinks. The red-naped snake is venomous, but is regarded as 'virtually harmless' to humans. When threatened it will strike back, but usually with its mouth closed.
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Ryan, M (Ed) 2007. Wildlife of Great Brisbane. Revised edition. Queensland Museum, Brisbane, Queensland.
Shine, R 1991. Australian snakes a natural history. Reed Books, 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 2003. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, Chatswood, 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.