Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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Red Belly Twist

Our resident red-bellied black snake, Beyonce, has temporarily moved from Backyard to Bush to Taronga’s reptile area for breeding.

Female red-bellied black snakes give birth to live young, a relatively uncommon process for reptiles, which commonly lay eggs. These snakes can give birth to up to 20 tiny snakes!

Red-bellied black snakes are a beautiful, iconic species of elapid snake, found along the east coast of Australia. Elapid snakes are characterised by a set of hollow, fixed fangs through which they inject venom into their prey.

A snake can generally eat prey up to five times the diameter of their head due to their amazing lower jaw, which is made up of two separate bones, held together by a very flexible and strong ligament. This allows the snake to stretch its jaw over large objects.

Red-bellied black snakes can grow up to 1.5-2 meters long and have a beautiful shiny black body with a vibrant red stripe down their belly.

In nature, red is a colour of warning. The red-bellied black snake has red colouration to warn any animals that may attempt to harm them, of their venomous nature.

You can visit Beyonce’s friend, Jay-Z, near the back veranda of the house at Backyard to Bush.

- Backyard to Bush Keeper, Bec Noad

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