The Common Death Adder has a stocky body with an arrow-shaped head. The tail tip is thin and ends with a short spine. The back can be shades of grey to reddish-brown and is usually marked with lighter bands. The belly is greyish to cream. Grows to 75cm. Midbody scale rows 21–23; ventrals 110–135; anal single; subcaudals, mostly single, some divided at tail-tip 35–60.