Nature conservation

Threatened species

Broad-headed Snake - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Hoplocephalus bungaroides
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Endangered
Profile last updated: 23 Feb 2024


The Broad-headed Snake is generally black above with yellow spots forming narrow, irregular cross-bands. Other yellow scales may link these cross-bands laterally to form a straight or zigzagged stripe along the body. These cross-bands help distinguish it from the similar-looking but harmless juvenile Diamond Python. Its head is flattened on top and distinct from the body. The belly is grey or greyish-black. The average length is about 60 cm, with a maximum of around 150 cm.


The Broad-headed Snake is largely confined to Triassic and Permian sandstones, including the Hawkesbury, Narrabeen and Shoalhaven groups, within the coast and ranges in an area within approximately 250 km of Sydney.

Habitat and ecology

  • Nocturnal.
  • Shelters in rock crevices and under flat sandstone rocks on exposed cliff edges during autumn, winter and spring.
  • Moves from the sandstone rocks to shelters in crevieces or hollows in large trees within 500m of escarpments in summer.
  • Feeds mostly on geckos and small skinks; will also eat frogs and small mammals occasionally.
  • Females produce four to 12 live young from January to March, which is a relatively low level of fecundity.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
NSW North CoastMacleay Hastings Predicted None
NSW South Western SlopesCapertee Valley Known None
South East CornerBateman Known None
South East CornerSouth East Coastal Ranges Predicted North of Kings Highway
South Eastern HighlandsBathurst Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsBungonia Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsCapertee Uplands Known None
South Eastern HighlandsHill End Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsKanangra Predicted None
Sydney BasinBurragorang Known None
Sydney BasinCumberland Known the south west margins of the sub-region
Sydney BasinEttrema Known None
Sydney BasinIllawarra Known None
Sydney BasinKerrabee Known None
Sydney BasinMoss Vale Known None
Sydney BasinPittwater Known None
Sydney BasinSydney Cataract Known None
Sydney BasinWollemi Known None
Sydney BasinWyong Known None
Sydney BasinYengo Known None