The Lowland copperhead (Austrelaps superbus) is a venomous snake species in the family Elapidae. It is found in south-eastern Australia, including Tasmania. It is commonly referred to as the copperhead, but is not closely related to the American copperhead, Agkistrodon contortrix. If provoked, the Lowland copperhead is a dangerous snake with neurotoxic venom, which can kill an adult human if correct first aid is not applied promptly.[1][2]


The Lowland copperhead is generally between 1 metre and 1.5 metres long (3ft - 4ft 6") [3]. Their colour varies a great deal, from a coppery mid-brown to yellowish, reddish, grey or black. The copper head colouring that gave rise to the common name is not always present. It is commonly mistaken for red bellied black snakes and eastern brown snakes.


A. superbus has a preference for areas of low vegetation near water bodies where it hunts for frogs, lizards and snakes including smaller snakes of its own species [4], but has been found in Sandstone Ridgetop Woodland around Sydney although such habitat is also usually near water bodies[5]


  1. TPWS: Wildlife of Tasmania – Lowland Copperhead
  2. Cogger, H.G. (1979). Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Reed: Sydney. ISBN 0-589-50108-9
  5. Hawkeswood T. J., Turner J.R., 2008 A record of Austrelaps superbus (Günther, 1858)(Reptilia: Elapidae) from Leura, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia with a description of its habitat, Calodema Supplementary Paper No. 90 (2008)

fr:Austrelaps superbus

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