Ectotherms Wiki

The red-bellied black snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus) is a species native to eastern , where it is generally found in woodlands, forests and swamplands. Similar to other snakes, the red-bellied black snake is an ectotherm and achieves thermoregulation by various behavioural and physiological adaptations.

Active red-bellied black snakes are able to maintain their body temperature in the range 28 – 31 degrees Celsius by moving between sunny and shady areas. These snakes are able to heat up rapidly during the morning by basking. Whilst basking, red-bellied black snakes are able to flatten their body to increase their surface area which allows for more absorption of solar radiation. The snake is able to detect areas of sunlight around it and consequently moves towards these areas. However when it is only able to detect a small patch of light, it is able to move so that the light only shines on its head. After reaching an optimal temperature the red bellied black snake then begins hunting for frogs and other small mammals.

In order to conserve heat in the evenings, the red-bellied snakes reduce their activity as they are diurnal and are also able to return to their natural shape and coil up to reduce their surface area and thus reducing heat loss.

Red bellied black snakes are also oviparous as their offspring are produced in separate sacks. These young snakes emerge out of thjsjjseir sacks shortly after birth which enables females to have greater control over the temperature in which they raise their youngs.