Australian National Botanic Gardens

Snakes are an important part of the Gardens’ ecosystem.

Two of the more common snakes seen in the Gardens are the eastern brown snake and red-bellied black snake.

Eastern brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis)

These snakes are often spotted during the warmer months. Growing up to 1.5 metres long, they come in a variety of brown shades and are a cream or yellow colour underneath.

Brown snakes like to sun themselves on pathways or rocks. They help look after the Gardens by preying on various species and keeping population densities in check. These snakes are venomous, so take care and follow our snake safety information.

Red-bellied black snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus)

Red-bellied black snake

This snake is less common in the botanic gardens but often appears in residential backyards and parks throughout the Canberra region. It’s a striking animal with a glossy black back and a bright red or pink belly.

Red-bellied black snakes tend to stay in areas where they can bask in the sun but escape quickly if needed. you might be lucky enough to spot one at the Rock Garden.

Although venomous, red-bellied black snakes are not aggressive and will usually try to escape under a rock or into the scrub if disturbed.

Snake safety

Both the eastern brown snake and red-bellied black snake are venomous, which means they can bite and cause harm to humans or other animals. If you see a snake in the Gardens:

  • stay at a safe distance
  • do not approach the snake
  • notify a ranger or staff member as soon as possible so they can identify the snake
  • never try to catch or kill the snake. Snakes are a protected species and killing or harming one is an offence.

Find out more about staying safe in the Gardens