Diamond Python (Photo June Lahm)Most Australian snakes are defensive by nature and are unlikely to approach humans unless disturbed.  The red bellied black snake, common is Pittwater, is highly venomous and there are recorded deaths from bites.


  • Wear sensible shoes and thick socks when walking
  • Wear gloves when gardening.
  • Do not put hands or feet in or under logs, rocks, hollows, crevices or debris without first checking


There may be no initial symptoms but nausea, vomiting, sweating, abdominal pain, headache, diarhorea, drowsiness, chest pains and double vision may develop.


  • Keep the victim still and bring transport to them.
  • Do NOT wash the bite, suck out the venom or cut the affected area – doctors need the venom from the wound to identify the snake.
  • If the bite is on the head, neck or back, apply firm pressure if possible
  • Apply a crepe bandage firmly to the limb, particularly over the bite site, and immobilise with a splint is to stop the spread of venom
  • Seek medical attention, preferably by an ambulance with resuscitation facilities and antivenin for snakebites.

For species identification and first aid information see below.