The most commonly known species of Black Snake, also called the common Black Snake. It has four relatives, the Mulga, Spotted Mulga, Collett's and the Blue Bellied Black Snake.
This snake would be the easiest to identify of all Australian elapids. Its whole body is jet black, yet tends to fade to a dark brown prior to sloughing. The belly is red to a creamy pink. Northern specimens tend to have paler ventral scales compared with snakes from Victoria and southern New South Wales. The body is fairly thick set and they have large scales and a divided anal plate. The iris is dark brown.
This snake is adapted for cooler climates being able to warm up quickly with its dark colouring. It often frequents streams and creeks, where it hunts its favourite food, frogs. Their numbers have been greatly reduced due to Cane Toads and people with the "ol' shovel". Thankfully people are now learning that snakes don't pose a threat and less are being killed for being a snake. A good thing too as Red Bellied Black Snakes are one of the Eastern Brown Snake major predators, keeping their numbers in check. Males wrestle vigorously for mating rights in Spring and the female will lay an average of 12 clear sacs in January to April. These sacs are not eggs but do hold the baby snakes. They hatch about an hour after being layed, in a sense making them viviparous (live birth).