Animal Species:Yellow-faced Whip Snake

The Yellow-faced Whip Snake is a slender and fast-moving snake, active during the day. It is common throughout most of Australia. It is often confused with the Eastern Brown Snake, and it is hard to observe closely, being alert and fleeing quickly when disturbed.

Standard Common Name

Yellow-faced Whip Snake

Identification

It is pale grey to brown in colour, with reddish colouring on the head, and sometimes on the tail as well. The belly is grey-green to yellowish. A dark comma-shaped streak runs from the eye to the corner of the mouth. The face is usually but not always yellowish, with a narrow, yellow-edged dark bar around the front of the snout from nostril to nostril. The average length is 80cm, with a maximum of 1m. Males are larger than females. It can be distinguished from the Eastern Brown by its facial markings, and smaller size.

Size range

80 cm - 100 cm

Distribution

The Yellow-faced Whip Snake is common throughout most of Australia.

Habitat

The Yellow-faced Whip Snake is found in a wide range of habitats, except swamps and rainforest, from the coast to the arid interior.

Seasonality

During winter theYellow-faced Whip Snake may shelter beneath rocks, and has been observed aggregating with several other individuals on occasion.

Feeding and Diet

The Yellow-faced Whip Snake feeds mainly on small diurnal lizards, as well as frogs and lizard eggs. They have good eyesight, and can chase and capture lizards on the run.

Life cycle

The Yellow-faced Whip Snake lays eggs in early summer in the south of its range, with clutches of 5-20 eggs (the average is six) being recorded. Communal egg-laying of up to 200 eggs, in deep soil or rock crevices, has also been reported.

Danger to humans and first aid

The Yellow-faced Whip Snake is a venomous snake, but is not considered dangerous. However, a bite could be extremely painful, with much local swelling.

Classification

Species:
psammophis
Genus:
Demansia
Family:
Colubridae
Order:
Squamata
Subclass:
Lepidosauria
Class:
Reptilia
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  • HG Cogger. 1992. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Reed Books.
  • H Ehmann. 1992. Encyclopedia of Australian Animals: Reptiles. Angus & Robertson.
  • K Griffiths. 1997. Frogs and Reptiles of the Sydney Region. UNSW Press, Sydney


Ondine Evans , Web Researcher/Editor
Last Updated:

Tags snake, reptiles, vertebrates, identification, wildlife of sydney, venomous,