Tiger Snake

Notechis scutatus

Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus) Tiger Snake, Notechis scutatus. Notechis scutatus distribution


The Tiger Snake has a solid build and a large, flat head. The back is usually olive green to brown with numerous ‘ragged' crossbands. The belly is cream to grey. This species grows to 2 metres. Midbody scale rows 17–19 (rarely 15); ventrals 140–190; anal single; subcaudals single 35–65.


Found in south-eastern Queensland, eastern and southern New South Wales, most of Victoria, south-eastern South Australia, Tasmania and the islands of Bass Strait. In Queensland, Tiger Snakes are found as isolated populations (Carnarvon Ranges, Maryborough, Cooloola, Caloundra-Beerwah, Bunya Mountains, Border and Main Ranges). A single specimen was collected on North Stradbroke Island in 1912 (Queensland Museum record).


This species is mainly found in moist areas; rainforests, heaths, open forests and river floodplains.


This species is active by day but is also nocturnal in warm weather.


Tiger Snakes are dangerously venomous. Their venom is strongly neurotoxic and haemotoxic and bites have resulted in many human deaths. If bitten, apply first aid and seek urgent medical attention. First aid procedure for any snakebite from the Australian Venom Research Unit.


Feeds mainly on frogs but mammals, birds and lizards are also taken.


Gives birth to live young (14–37). Newborn Tiger Snakes are around 19 cm from the tip of the snout to the base of the tail (snout-vent length).

Similar species:

This snake is most similar to the Rough-scaled snake (Tropidechis carinatus), which has keeled scales and different scale counts. The common names `Night Tiger’ and `Swamp Tiger’ are used for the Brown Tree snake (Boiga irregularis) and the Freshwater snake (Tropidonophis mairii), respectively. Both these species can have distinctively banded bodies. Similarly, banded Eastern Brown snakes (Pseudonaja textilis) and Stephen’s Banded snakes (Hoplocephalus stephensii) can also resemble Tiger snakes.

Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus) Tiger Snake, Notechis scutatus.

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