Uncovering the Secrets of the Slaty Grey Snake

One of the most common snake species in Darwin and Australia's Top End region, the Slaty grey snake is a medium-sized species with shiny scales. They have been known to defend themselves aggressively when disturbed.
One of the most common snake species in Darwin and Australia's Top End region, the Slaty grey snake is a medium-sized species with shiny scales. They have been known to defend themselves aggressively when disturbed.

The Slaty grey snake is one of the most common snake species in Darwin and Australia's Top End region.

As well as having a predilection for rain showers and hunting at night, these darkly coloured reptiles have been known to bite aggressively when disturbed.

To keep you safe while exploring the rainforests and floodplains of Australia's Top End, we have collated this article to bolster your familiarity with the Slaty grey snake and snake bite first aid.

We also cover snake bites in the following first aid courses:

We have training locations in every state, capital city, and major town throughout Australia, including Darwin - head to our website to find and enrol in a first aid course near you today.

Appearance

The Slaty grey snake has the following identifying characteristics:

  • A medium-sized body that can grow up to 144 cm in males and 108 cm in females
  • Their dorsal scales are shiny and can range from deep brown to dark grey or charcoal
  • Their ventral scales can range from white to cream

Habitat and distribution

Found in Northern Australia, including Darwin, the Slaty grey snake is generally found in moist environments, such as forests and grasslands and woodlands with floodplains.

Here, they shelter in or under:

  • Rocks
  • Logs
  • Leaf litter

Feeding and behaviours

Mostly active from dawn until dusk, the Slaty grey snake is also commonly seen after rain showers.

They feed on a wide variety of prey, including:

  • Birds
  • Frogs
  • Fishes
  • Reptiles and reptile eggs
  • Small mammals

If you encounter a Slaty grey snake, take care - though they are not venomous, they can bite aggressively and emit a foul odour when disturbed.

All snake bites, including those from the Slaty grey, should be treated as venomous until proven otherwise by a doctor at a hospital.
All snake bites, including those from the Slaty grey, should be treated as venomous until proven otherwise by a doctor at a hospital.

First aid

It can be difficult to positively differentiate one snake species from another, as individuals of the same species can vary dramatically in colour, pattern, and size.

As such, all snake bites should be treated as venomous until proven otherwise by a doctor at a hospital.

If you or someone else sustains a snake bite, call Triple Zero (000) for emergency services and apply a pressure bandage as part of the Pressure Immobilisation Technique. More information can be found in our article on snake bite first aid.

It is important to remember, the best way to avoid a snake bite is to refrain from approaching, capturing, or killing snakes at home or in the wild.

Snakes will never go out of their way to attack you, so if you need a snake relocated from your property, contact a professional snake catcher, instead.

Final thoughts

To get hands-on experience with treating bites from Slaty greys and other Australian snakes, enrol in one of our first aid courses:

We have training locations in every state, capital city, and major town throughout Australia, including Darwin.

Head to our website to find and enrol in a first aid course near you today.

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