Little Whip Snake
Little Whip Snake are extremely cute as can be seen from the photo. Their name describes them perfectly. They are little, and when scared whip about often emitting a foul odour.
These snakes appear in Melbourne and because of their small size, appear in the most unlikely of places. As a snake catcher, I'm always excited when I find a little whip snake. Learn more about these below.
Little Whip Snakes are very small as the name suggests. They can grow to a total length of 45cm however this is uncommon. Most found are approximately 20 - 30 cm long. They have an orange/red back that turns more pale towards the belly. The belly of a little whip snake is often cream coloured.
Little whip snakes have a distinct black patch on their head which extends from the back of the nape to between the eyes. They are often mistaken for juvenile eastern brown snakes that also are a similar colour with a black patch on the head but are totally different snakes.
DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT
Little Whip Snakes are usually found under rocks, soil crevaces, leaf litter and in dense shrubs where they can hide. They typically reside in woodlands and grassy areas.
In Melbourne, I have found them in Doreen, Kinglake, Hurstbridge, Campbellfield, the Northern Hospital on 3 occasions, Epping, Wollert, and more!
Little Whip Snakes when threatened will whip around and emit a foul odour. They are quite reclusive snakes from humans however several can be found together. They are nocturnal (active at night).
FOOD & REPRODUCTION
Little Whip Snakes prey on mostly small lizards (skinks). I once witnessed a little whip snake eating a small frog and on another occasion, a pinkie mouse.
Combat between males has been observed with little whip snakes. Mating tends to occur in late winter/spring and females give live birth of up to 7 snakes in late summer.