Tiger Snakes are a large group of distinct populations, which may be isolated or overlapping, with extreme variance in size and color. Individuals also show seasonal variation in color. The total length is typically about 1.2 meters. The patterning is darker bands, strongly contrasting or indistinct, which are pale to very dark in color. Coloration is composed of olive, yellow, orange-brown, or jet-black, and the underside of the snake is light yellow or orange.
The Tiger Snake uses venom to dispatch its prey, and may bite an aggressor; they are potentially fatal to humans. Tolerant of low temperatures, the snake may be active on warmer nights. When threatened, they flatten their bodies and raise their heads above the ground in a classic prestrike stance.
Tiger Snakes are found in coastal environments, wetlands, and creeks where they often form territories. Tiger snake venoms possess potent neurotoxins, coagulants, haemolysins, and myotoxins. Symptoms of a bite include localized pain in the foot and neck region, tingling, numbness, and sweating, followed by a fairly rapid onset of breathing difficulties and paralysis.
Tiger Snakes in the wild have a broad diet that includes fish, frogs and tadpoles, lizards, birds and mammals, as well as carrion. As the size of the snake increases, so to does the average prey size, however this increase is achieved not by larger snakes giving up on small prey but by them taking more large prey. Tiger Snakes are largely diurnal and hunt for prey during the daylight hours; however they will forage on warm evenings. They will readily search underwater and can stay under for at least 9 minutes. A bat was found in the stomach of one museum specimen, demonstrating the Tiger Snake’s ability to climb. Invertebrates have also been found in Tiger Snake stomachs however these could have been taken as part of carrion; other taxa such as grasshoppers and moths however may have been ingested as prey. Cannibalism amongst wild Tiger Snakes has also been reported. Prey items are grasped and subdued quickly by the powerful venom, with sometimes constriction being employed as well.