White-crowned Snake

Cacophis harriettae

White-crowned Snake (Cacophis harriettae)Head of White-crowned Snake, Cacophis harriettae
Photograph by Richard Jackson.
Cacophis harriettae distribution


The White-crowned Snake is gun-metal grey above and below with a cream stripe around the snout and neck area.  This species grows to 50 cm.  Midbody scale rows 15; ventrals 180–200; anal divided; subcaudals divided 25–45.


Found in coastal eastern Australia from Proserpine (Queensland) to northern New South Wales.   



Found in woodlands, forests and suburban gardens.


This species is active by night.  It spends the day sheltering beneath leaf-litter, rocks and fallen logs.


This species is inoffensive and the venom is probably of low toxicity.  Its threat display, while impressive, is largely bluff.  The snake raises its body vertically and makes jerky, striking motions.


This snake feeds on skinks and their eggs.


2 -10 eggs are laid.  The hatchling snakes are around 15 cm from the tip of the snout to the base of the tail (snout-vent length).

Similar species:

This species is most similar to the Dwarf Crowned snake, Cacophis krefftii, and the Northern Crowned snake, C. churchilli.  These species have similar habits to the White-crowned snake and are also inoffensive.

White-crowned Snake (Cacophis harriettae) White-crowned Snake, Cacophis harriettae
Photograph by Richard Jackson.
albino White-crowned Snake A wild caught albino White-crowned Snake from Brisbane.

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