NSW Support NatureMapr in your region (Are you from Local Government?)
Home Reptiles and Frogs Snakes Austrelaps ramsayi

Austrelaps ramsayi

Highlands Copperhead

Elapid (front-fanged venomous) 

The Highland Copperhead is one of three species of copperhead found in south-east Australia but this is the only species that occurs in the Greater Sydney area.

Dorsally this snake is usually blackish grey or brown with reddish upper lateral colouration and yellowish lower flanks (paraventral scales) with a cream belly. Sometimes its head is copper in colour and there is a distinctive darker stripe down the middle of their back, especially in juveniles. The best way to identify this species is the presence of several white triangles or 'sails' on the upper lip that distinguish it from other large elapids in the area. At a glance this often dark coloured species may be confused with the Red-bellied Black Snake but the body scales of Red-bellies is usually glossy, whereas Copperheads tend to have a matt finish. 

It may grow up to 1.25m in length and whilst potentially dangerously venomous, it is inoffensive by nature and bites from this species are rare if left alone and observed from a safe distance. 

It is restricted to higher altitudes, such as the Upper Blue Mountains. 

Page 1 of 1 - image sightings only 3 0 3

Austrelaps ramsayi (Highlands Copperhead) at Wentworth Falls, NSW - 7 Jan 2010 by PatrickCampbell Austrelaps ramsayi (Highlands Copperhead) at Blue Mountains National Park, NSW - 10 Dec 2007 by PatrickCampbell Austrelaps ramsayi (Highlands Copperhead) at Blue Mountains National Park, NSW - 8 Jun 2006 by PatrickCampbell
Austrelaps ramsayi (Highlands Copperhead) at Wentworth Falls, NSW - 7 Jan 2010 by PatrickCampbell
Austrelaps ramsayi (Highlands Copperhead) at Blue Mountains National Park, NSW - 10 Dec 2007 by PatrickCampbell
Austrelaps ramsayi (Highlands Copperhead) at Blue Mountains National Park, NSW - 8 Jun 2006 by PatrickCampbell

View distribution

reddish-brown upper lateral and pale yellowish lower lateral colouration
white triangular 'sails' on upper lip
supralabials (upper lips) strongly barred

Species information

  • Austrelaps ramsayi Scientific name
  • Highlands Copperhead Common name
  • Not Sensitive
  • Local Native
  • Non-Invasive
  • 0m to 1670.43m Recorded at altitude

Location information

Follow Austrelaps ramsayi

Receive alerts when new sightings are reported

Subscribe
89 sightings of 105 species in 58 locations from 52 members
Proudly Australian made, owned and hosted CCA 3.0 | privacy