Little Whip Snake

by James Mustafa

On Saturday the 4th of October, Scott Baker and I decided to have a crack for Painted Honeyeater in Muckleford State Forest in hope of adding to my 2014 VicTwitch list (more info see Though the forest was alive and filled with birds we did not manage to find the target species.

As compensation, we stumbled upon a Little Whip Snake Rhinoplocephalus flagellum along Sullivan’s Track. As it was still early morning, the reptile was cold and required the sun to warm up. We watched it slowly slide its way through the forest floor, posing brilliantly for some photos. The Little Whip Snake is poisonous, so it takes an experience reptile handler to deal with this species. Fortunately, I was with one!


Scott Baker with Little Whip Snake


Little Whip Snake, Sullivan’s Track, Muckleford State Forest, 4th October 2014.


A relatively common reptile of the box-ironbark country.

The Little Whip Snake was considered a non-deadly species until recently, when an unlucky herpetologist was bitten and died soon after. This species is mostly active at night and feeds on small lizards and frogs.

4 responses to “Little Whip Snake

  1. James, I’m afraid your ‘Little Whip Snake looks suspiciously like a young Brown Snake. Are you sure of your identification? The back on the tail in the second photo seems to be keeled. We see them reasonably often near our place, but I have known several people to be fooled by them before today!

    • Hi Rita,

      Sent the photos to a herpetologist to get them checked! Definitely a Little Whip Snake in this case. Original thought it was a young brown too but had it double, triple checked!

  2. Geoff, We usually have a pair of painted honeyeaters at Fryerstown. I’ll let you know if they’re around but haven’t heard ‘Georgie’ yet.


  3. If you bite it and you die it was poisonous, if it bites you and you die it was venomous!

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