SWAMP OR MARSH SNAKE Hemiaspis signata (Jan, 1859)
Found along the east coast of NSW and Queensland, the Swamp Snake is usually olive in colour although melanistic (black) specimens from NSW are known. Although this species averages 50 cm in length, 90 cm females have been recorded from Engadine (just south of Sydney). Although most larger specimens caught by the Author have been females, detailed studies
by Richard Shine indicate that there is little difference in adult sizes between the sexes, and that males may actually average slightly larger size than females.
The scalation is smooth with 17 mid body rows, 153-170 ventrals, divided anal, and 41-56 single subcaudals.
Swamp Snakes are usually found in marshy country, wet forests or adjacent to sand dunes. This species will aggregate in large numbers in areas of suitable habitat such as rubbish tips. This snake is mainly diurnal in habit and most specimens are caught during the day either on the move or under any suitable ground cover.
This snake feeds principally on frogs and skinks. Specimens caught and put in bags with other reptiles won't hesitate to eat them, even if the bags are being carried around.
Mating occurs in late autumn, winter and spring, with live young being produced in late summer. Although the average number of young produced is about six, larger females may produce up to twenty young. Young which measure about 10 cm are brightly coloured and have velvety black or dark heads.
The above was from the book Australian Reptiles and Frogs by Raymond Hoser and now available on a fantastic CD-Rom along with a vast amount of other information, papers and the like on reptiles, frogs and other wildlife.