Nature conservation

Threatened species

White-crowned Snake - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Cacophis harriettae
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Profile last updated: 12 Feb 2018


The White-crowned Snake is a small, slim snake up to 45 cm long. Its upper body is dark steely-grey to dark grey-brown and the belly is lighter grey. The black crown is encircled by a creamy-white band that is widest on the nape, extending around the sides of the head to enclose the snout. It is mainly nocturnal and reacts to disturbance by raising its head and upper body off the ground and making striking movements, but seldom attempts to bite.


Coastal and near-coastal areas from central eastern Queensland south to the vicinity of Coffs Harbour in north-east NSW. The western limit is the Legume area near the NSW-Queensland border; however, their stronghold appears to be the middle Clarence Valley.

Habitat and ecology

  • Favours low to mid-elevation dry eucalypt forest and woodland, particularly areas with a varied and well-developed litter layer, where their prey of small lizards may be more abundant.
  • Also occasionally found in moist eucalypt forest and coastal heathland.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
NSW North CoastCataract Predicted None
NSW North CoastChaelundi Known None
NSW North CoastCoffs Coast and Escarpment Known North of Coffs Harbour
NSW North CoastDalmorton Known None
NSW North CoastYuraygir Known None
Other StateQLD Known None
South Eastern QueenslandBurringbar-Conondale Ranges Predicted None
South Eastern QueenslandClarence Lowlands Known None
South Eastern QueenslandClarence Sandstones Known None
South Eastern QueenslandScenic Rim Known None
South Eastern QueenslandSunshine Coast-Gold Coast Lowlands Predicted None
South Eastern QueenslandWoodenbong Predicted None