Kristy Gray had a front-row ticket to a spectacular exhibition of athleticism when she noticed two red-bellied black snakes grappling in her yard.
“We’ve spotted many lone snakes since the beginning of September,” Kristy from Topi Topi on NSW’s Mid North Coast revealed.
“We have spotted two couples out in the open in less than a week, an alarming occurrence no doubt owing to the dry hot weather,” she added.
According to Great Lakes snake specialist John Smith, the snakes were not mating, despite the appearance in the photos.
“When they’re mating, they don’t entangle or stand up as they do in the images; they just lay next to one other with their tails overlapping,” John explained.
“These two are probably sparring or battling for the attention of a girl,” he speculated.
“They don’t bite one other very often; they merely entangle and carry on for a while until one gives up and leaves.”
Kristy was thrilled to have the opportunity to witness something like this, but she was not without worries.
“It was a little unsettling standing so close to the snakes.” But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to shoot them.”
The red-bellied black snake is an elapid snake found in eastern Australia. Though its venom may cause severe morbidity, a bite from one of these snakes is rarely de.adly and is less poisonous than that of other Australian elapid snakes.