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Ornamental snake

ornamental snake (Denisonia maculata)
Theodore, Queensland
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
Denisonia maculata - (Steindachner, 1867)
Pronunciation  den-is-SOHN-ee-ah   MACK-you-LAH-tah
Etymology  Denisonia: after Sir William Denison, a former governor of New South Wales.
maculata: 'spotted'.
Other names  Ornamented snakes
Hoplocephalus maculatus
Denisonia ornata
Hoplocephalus muelleri
Total length
Species avg: 50 cm
Litter size
Average: 7
Range: 3 - 11
Length and clutch size information comes from a variety of sources, but primarily from Shine (1991) and Cogger (2000).
Description Distribution Natural history Conservation Further information More photos


A stout snake, brown to black above, with the scales of the flanks lighter in colour and often with darker streaks. Belly is white or cream, with dark specks on the outer edges of the ventral scales. Lips are barred.

Similar species

De Vis' banded snake (Denisonia devisi) - has prominent bands on the body.

Scale count information

Dorsal scales at midbody   17
Ventrals   120 to 150 with a single anal scale
Subcaudals   20 to 40 and are single
Other scale information   Smooth scales
Danger rating   Potentially dangerous, although this snake has produced no known human fatalities.
Note: even a bite from a 'virtually harmless' or non-venomous reptile can result in serious complications. Play it safe and don't get bitten by anything.
Notes and disclaimer
This information may not be complete. While all care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information in this page, primary sources should always be consulted for definitive information. Animals have an endearing habit of disobeying the rules, so the information on this page should be interpreted with a degree of flexibility.
The author and site operator accepts no responsibility for any losses or damages incurred through using this web site or the information contained herein. Don't get bitten by anything!
This page may be cited as:
  Denisonia maculata at the Australian Reptile Online Database. Last updated 2019-05-09 14:33:49.
  Retrieved from on the 11th of July, 2020.
Before citing information contained in AROD, please read our Citing AROD page.

Copyright notice
This page, its content and layout are copyright © 2007-2020 Stewart Macdonald / Ug Media, unless otherwise stated.
All photographs in The Australian Reptile Online Database are © the photographer and may not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the photographer.
No part of The Australian Reptile Online Database may be reproduced without written permission from Stewart Macdonald.
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