Stephens' Banded Snake

Hoplocephalus stephensii

Stephens' Banded Snake (Hoplocephalus stephensii)Stephens' Banded Snake, Hoplocephalus stephensii
Photograph by Steve Wilson.
Hoplocephalus stephensii distribution


Stephens' Banded Snake is grey to black with brown or cream crossbands.  Specimens from Kroombit Tops, Warwick and the Stanthorpe area (south-eastern Queensland) are often plain black.  The lips are marked with dark vertical dashes.  The belly is cream to grey. This species grows to 1.2 metres.  Midbody scale rows 21; ventrals 220–250; anal single; subcaudals single 50–70.


Found in coastal south-eastern Queensland and north-eastern New South Wales.


Lives in rainforests, moist forests, heaths and vine thickets.


This snake is largely nocturnal.  It climbs well and spends most of its time up trees.


This species is potentially dangerous and a ready biter.  Its venom affects blood clotting. If bitten, apply first aid and seek urgent medical attention.  First aid procedure for any snakebite from the Australian Venom Research Unit.


Feeds mainly on frogs, reptiles and small mammals.


This species gives birth to live young (up to 9 per litter) between December and February.  The new born snakes are around 25 cm from the tip of the snout to the base of the tail (snout-vent length).

Similar species:

Similar to the Bandy Bandy (Vermicella annulata), which is more markedly black and white banded, with bands totally encircling body.  This species also resembles the Tiger snake (Notechis scutatus).  Unbanded specimens are similar to the Pale-headed snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus).

Additional information:

This species uses hollows in large old trees for shelter.  Some individuals use as many as 30 shelter trees within their home range.  Up to 5 months may be spent inactive in a tree-hollow during the winter.

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