Papuan Whip Snake

Demansia papuensis

Papuan Whip Snake (Demansia papuensis) Papuan Whip Snake, Demansia papuensis
Photograph by Paul Horner.
Demansia papuensis distribution


The Papuan Whip Snake is uniform light to dark brown or black.  The head is tan, with small dark spots.  The belly is usually dark.  This species grows to 1.5 metres.  Midbody scale rows 15; ventrals 198–228, anal divided, subcaudals divided 78–107.


Found in far north-eastern Western Australia, northern Northern Territory and northern Queensland, from the tip of Cape York Peninsula to Clermont area.


Lives in open forests and woodlands.


This species is active by day.


A potentially dangerous snake. Its venom properties are not known but probably neurotoxic.  If bitten, apply first aid and seek urgent medical attention.  First aid procedure for any snakebite from the Australian Venom Research Unit.


This species probably feeds on frogs and skinks.


This species lays up to 20 eggs.

Similar species:

This species most closely resembles the Black Whip Snake (Demansia vestigiata).  Black Whip snakes usually have pink to red shading under tail and fewer ventral scales (165–197).  It is also similar in appearance to the Coastal Taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus) which has a greater midbody scale count (21–23).

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