Little Whip 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: Suta flagellum
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Profile last updated: 01 Dec 2017


The Little Whip Snake is a small, slender snake, reaching 45 cm in length. Its most conspicuous feature is the black hour-glass-shaped patch from the back of the nape to between the eyes. Some specimens also have a black snout-band. The body is tan to orange above and creamy below. Each scale is emphasised by its dark edge, giving the animal a "netted" appearance. If disturbed it may hurl itself about, whip-like, and emit a foul smell. They are venomous, though their size and small venom dosage is such that they are virtually harmless, though a bite can be painful.


The Little Whip Snake is found within an area bounded by Crookwell in the north, Bombala in the south, Tumbarumba to the west and Braidwood to the east.

Habitat and ecology

  • Occurs in Natural Temperate Grasslands and grassy woodlands, including those dominated by Snow Gum Eucalyptus pauciflora or Yellow Box E. melliodora.
  • Also occurs in secondary grasslands derived from clearing of woodlands.
  • Found on well drained hillsides, mostly associated with scattered loose rocks.
  • Most specimens have been found under rocks or logs lying on, or partially embedded in the soil.
  • Little is known about the habits of this small snake as it is primarily nocturnal.
  • Feeds on lizards and frogs.
  • Up to seven live young are born between September and February.

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
Other StateSA Known None
Other StateVIC Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBondo Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsBungonia Known None
South Eastern HighlandsCrookwell Known None
South Eastern HighlandsKybeyan-Gourock Known None
South Eastern HighlandsMonaro Known None
South Eastern HighlandsMurrumbateman Known None