White-crowned snake

white-crowned snake

White-crowned snake

Common name: white-crowned snake

Species profile: Cacophis harriettae

Family: Elapidae

Conservation status: This species is listed as Least Concern in Queensland (Nature Conservation Act 1992).


White-crowned snakes are dark brown or steely grey with a white or yellowish stripe across their neck. They can grow to 40cm in length and are venomous but not classed as dangerous.

Habitat and distribution

White-crowned snakes are found from around Rockhampton in Queensland to north-eastern New South Wales.

This snake spends its days hiding under leaves and other ground debris, but come night it emerges looking for food. They prefer damp places, so be alert for them under logs, rocks and sometimes even compost bins.

Life history and behaviour

White-crowned snakes feed mainly on small lizards.  It is an egg layer with clutch sizes ranging from 2-10 and an average of around 5 eggs. When threatened, they will defend themselves with thrashing strikes, but this is basically just show, for they rarely try to bite.