Green Tree Snake Facts

By Lanh Ma; Updated April 24, 2017
Common Green Tree Snake

The green tree snake, known by its scientific name of Dendrelaphis punctulata, is also called the common green tree snake. It is harmless to humans, and according to the NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service, this species has the widest distribution of all tree snake species and is common in the wild.


The green tree snake is slender, with a whip-like tail and a head that is slightly wider than the body. Its eyes are large, with rounded pupils. Depending on where it lives, the green tree snake may have a back that ranges from being being dull green to olive to blue green. Most green tree snakes have bright yellow scales on their ventral areas. Some specimens might also show blue or bright yellow specks on their back.


Green tree snakes are native to the northern tropics of Australia, as well as the eastern portion of the continent. They can be found in both dry and wet habitats, and they are equally comfortable in grasslands and forests. They are an arboreal species and spend most of their time in the trees and shrubs, securing themselves to their perch by wrapping their tails around the branches.


The average size of a green tree snake's clutch can range between five and 12 eggs. When these snakes are full grown, they can range between 3 and 5 feet, with some very large specimens growing to be 6.5 feet.


Green tree snakes are diurnal hunters and have keen eyesight. They primarily eat frogs, by they are also very willing to eat geckos, skinks and other lizards. They are also known to occasionally eat fish, and they devour their prey alive, with no constriction.


The green tree snake may release an unpleasant musky odor when it is frightened. It is also capable of inflating its neck and the forward part of its body, stretching out so that the blue skin between the scales is visible. This behavior can alarm a predator enough that the snake can get away. When sufficiently aroused, the green tree snake will also bite, but this is not very effective as its teeth are tiny, and it has no fangs.