Northern tree snake Dendrelaphis calligastra

Non-venomous

The northern tree snake is extremely slender and is green or brownish grey above with a cream or yellow belly below and a dark streak through the eye. It lives in rainforest, open forest and urban and farmed areas where it feeds on frogs and reptiles. Northern tree snakes grow to a length of 1.2 m.

Dendrelaphis calligastra, the northern tree snake (also called beautiful-bellied tree snake) is a slender, large-eyed, nonvenomous, diurnal snake. It grows up to 1.2 m in length and is greenish, brown, or greyish above with a cream or yellow belly.

This common snake is harmless, and readily recognised due to its cream to yellow belly and pronounced wide dark facial stripe passing across the eye.

Etymology

Dendrelaphis: 'tree Elaphe', after another genus of colubrid snakes. calligastra: 'beautiful-bellied'.

Habitat

Northern tree snakes are found in tropical north Queensland, from Paluma to Cooktown and eastern Cape York Peninsula, as well as southern Papua New Guinea. They live in a wide variety of habitats, including rainforest, urban and farmed regions, and open forest. They often bask in the leaf canopy of small bushes and trees and can escape very quickly through the canopy.

Diet

They eat frogs and reptiles.

Distribution

Dendrelaphis calligastra is common in Queensland's northern tropics and eastern Cape York Peninsula.

Breeding

The northern tree snake lays eggs in clutches from five to seven, with one female recorded as laying 11 eggs in January.