pseudechis porphyriacus


The genus Pseudechis contains the group of elapids commonly referred to as the Black Snakes. These snakes are found in every Australian state with the exception of Tasmania and some species are found in Papua New Guinea. They inhabit a variety of habitat types, from arid areas to swampland. All species are dangerous and can inflict a potentially lethal bite. Most snakes in this genus reach about 2m and vary in colour. Some species are brown, where others may be black. The most recognisable and widespread species in the genus are the Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus) and the Mulga Snake (King Brown) (Pseudechis australis). These snakes will feed on lizards, frogs, birds, small mammals and even other snakes. All species, except the Red-bellied Black Snake are egg laying.


There is current debate on the taxonomy of these snakes and more species are likely to be described in the near future.

Mulga Snake or King Brown Snake, Pseudechis australis (Gray, 1842)
Spotted Mulga Snake, Pseudechis butleri (Smith, 1982)
Collett's Snake, Pseudechis collettii (Boulenger, 1902)
Blue-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis guttatus (De Vis, 1905)
Papuan Black Snake, Pseudechis papuanus (Peters & Doria, 1878)
Red-bellied Black Snake, Pseudechis porphyriacus (Shaw, 1794)


  • Australian Fauna Directory
  • Swan, G. 1995. A Photographic Guide to Snakes & other Reptiles of Australia. New Holland: Sydney. ISBN 1-85368-585-2

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