Green Tree Snake
Green Tree Snakes Visiting
If you live along the north or east coast of Australia, you may just spot this slithery buddy in your garden. The Green or Common Tree Snake is one of the most commonly seen snakes within this region in suburban backyards, parks, and even inner city gardens.
Green Tree Snakes have no fangs and no venom. They are very reluctant to bite and would rather slither away. If provoked, a Green Tree Snake will rise up, inflate its throat and body, and generally make itself look scary. It will also make a stink from its anal glands - so best not to get too close!
If you're not sure what kind of snake you have in the garden, keep well away. You may want to take a picture from a safe distance and send it to the Australian Museum to identify for you.
Look out for Green Tree Snakes sunbathing on rocks, slithering along windowsills, along the fence, on outdoor furniture, climbing on the beams or railings of the veranda, pergola, shed or garage. They are fantastic, fast climbers that spend most of their time up in the trees, though they do come down to the ground to hunt for a meal.
Mainly active during the day, Green Tree Snakes love to eat frogs, skinks, geckoes, lizards, reptile eggs, small mammals, stranded tadpoles and fish, and even the occasional water skink if they can catch them. They are active hunters and sniff out their prey as they probe leaves and loose soil with their heads. They can be quite quick as they chase their prey.
Green Tree Snakes love suburban gardens because they have lots of food in them, which is the result of them being well-watered and often mulched.
This slender snake is very inquisitive and will have a good look at you if you spot it in the garden. They have amazing, large eyes and keen eyesight. Once it realises you are not a threat and that you're far too big to eat, it will head off to a more sheltered spot.
The Green Tree Snake is a camouflage master amongst tree branches where it often looks like a branch, but also amongst leaves, plants and leaf litter because of its colouring. Its colour varies from grey to olive-green in NSW and most of QLD, dark brown, black or blue in northern QLD, golden yellow with a bluish head in the NT and WA. The skin between the scales is light blue.
At night the Green Tree Snake sleeps in tree hollows, rock crevices, narrow caves or abandoned buildings. During winter, groups of snakes congregate together to conserve heat.
Green Tree Snakes are 'solar powered'. When they wake upon a cold morning, especially after they have been sheltering in a dark spot, they will be very slow to get moving. They bask in the sun to get their body temperature up to about 30 degrees Celsius, and then they can move at top speed. Snakes simply go find some shade if they get too hot.
DID YOU KNOW?Snake skin is not slimy. It is dry and is made up of keratin, which is the same material that makes up human hair and fingernails.
TIPNot everything that slithers in the garden is a snake. Harmless lizards like Blue-tongued or Pink-tongued Skinks are often mistaken for snakes. They move in a snake-like manner with their legs held tightly against their sides. Try not to jump to conclusions if you see a scaly body slithering through the leaf-litter. Go to a safe spot where you can watch it for a while, and you may discover that you don't have a snake visitor at all.