The print depicted here was included in Krefft's 700-copy limited edition Snakes of Australia published by the Government Printer though financed by Krefft himself in 1869. Plate VIII was drawn and lithographed by the natural science illustrator Helena Forde. The Black Snake is venomous, and is also known as the Red-bellied Black Snake. The Black Snake's length is between 1.5 and 2 metres. Helena Forde's artwork illustrates a very distinctive black, cream and red patterning. This plate lacks a natural setting background.Gerard Krefft, born in Germany in 1830 became one of Australia's early herpetologists, and in 1958 was appointed to the museum in Melbourne after returning with sketches from a Victorian government specimen collecting expedition. At the time that Snakes of Australia was written and published (1865-1869), Krefft was the Secretary and an Assistant Curator at the Australian Museum in Sydney. Krefft had from an early age shown skills in drawing and was himself an artist and draughtsman. While living in New York, and before moving to Australia, he had studied and copied some of Audubon's works. Gerard Krefft was lauded at the Sydney Intercolonial Exhibition of 1870 for his published research on Australian snakes, and Helena Scott and her sister received a Very High Commendation for the striking artwork that accompanied Krefft's text.