The ornamental snake feeds almost exclusively on frogs, which it hunts at night around water and in damp areas (2) (3) (4). The species is viviparous, giving birth to between 3 and 11 young, which have a snout-vent length of around 12 centimetres at birth (4).
Regarded as a potentially dangerous species (3), the venom of the ornamental snake may cause loss of consciousness in humans (5). This snake shows a distinctive defence posture, depressing and inflating the body when threatened, and holding it in a series of stiff curves, before thrashing about and striking out if approached (3) (8). However, it is reported to bite only as a last resort (8). The ornamental snake is also capable of flattening the body when squeezing through narrow spaces (3).