Venomous Snakes: Steer Clear


Most Top End's venomous snakes are not considered deadly. by Graeme Gow

The northern half of Australia is home to many species whose bite requires medical treatment - so it is wise to steer clear.

Venomous Snakes Profile: Secretive Snake: Cryptophis pallideceps

Description: Head slightly distinct from neck, moderately slender body. Dorsal coloration is blackish, often with a paler head. The ventral surface can be creamish to pink.

Its maximum length is about 630 mm. It is found in the Top End of the Northern Territory.

Remarks: The secretive snake is a nocturnal species that shelters beneath rocks, logs, and other debris. It is probably a live-bearer. It mainly feeds on small lizards but will occasionally take frogs. It is not considered dangerous to humans, but a bite from a large specimen may require medical treatment.

Venomous Snakes Profile: Little Spotted Snake: Denisonia punctata

Description: Head depressed, slightly distinct from neck, moderately slender body. Dorsal coloration is light to reddish brown, often with a darker spot on each scale. The head and neck have prominent dark blotches. Ventral surface is white or creamish.

Maximum length is about 520 mm.

It is found in Northern Australia, with the exception of eastern Queensland.

Remarks: The little spotted snake is a nocturnal species usually associated with red desert areas. It is a live-bearer. One litter of five has been recorded.

It preys mainly on small lizards, but has also been recorded feeding on blind snakes.

Although it is not considered dangerous, its bite can be painful.

Venomous Snakes Profile: Black Whip Snake: Demansia atra

Description: Head deep and narrow, distinct from the neck, long slender body. Dorsal coloration is black, becoming reddish. The head is dark coppery brown. Dark posterior blotching may be present. The lips, chin, throat and undertail can be pinkish to whitish.

The maximum length is 1.8 mm.

It is found on the coast and adjacent areas of northern Australia, from the East Kimberleys Western Australia through the top end of the Northern Territory to central eastern Queensland. It is also found in Papua New Guinea.

Remarks: The black whip snake is an active diurnal species, which is occasionally semi-nocturnal on warm nights. Considered to be Australia's fastest moving snake, it is nervous and retiring. It will not bite unless provoked. It is an egg layer and may produce up to 20 eggs in clutch. It feed on small reptiles, frogs, mammals and insects. Although the exact potency of its venom is unknown, bites from large specimen are regarded as potentially dangerous to man.

Venomous Snakes Profile: Demansia papuensis:

This species, which is similar to the black whip snake, may be distinguished by its higher ventral and subcaudal scale counts, spotted head and its anterior ventrals not being black edged.

Venomous Snakes Profile: Yellow-face Whip Snake: Demansia Psammophis reticulata

Description: Head barely distinct from neck, elongate body. Dorsal coloration is greenish grey merging to coppery brown. Each body scale has prominent black edging, giving a distinctive reticulated appearance. The head is olive green or coppery brown, with a pale edged dark line running from the rostral to the eyes, where it meets a pale-edged, narrow comma-shaped marking surrounding the eye. The throat is yellow and the remainder of the ventral surface is yellowish white.

Its maximum length is about 900 mm.

It is found in all of Western Australia, apart from the far south and far north, southern Northern Territory and northern South Australia.

Remarks: The yellow-face whip snake is a fast moving, diurnal species which feeds on small reptiles and frogs. It is an egg layer, but there are no records of clutch size. Although it is venomous, it is not regarded as dangerous to man.

Venomous Snakes Profile: Curl or Myall Snake: Suta suta

Description: Depressed head distinct from neck, robust body. Dorsal coloration may be any shade of brown, occasionally olive green, often with dark tips on the scales, giving a reticulated appearance. The head and nape are dark brown to black. A dark line extends from below the eyes to the snout. This line is bordered by white scales. These marking are barely discernible or completely absent in aged specimens. The under-surface is white or cream.

Its maximum length is about 900 mm.

It is found in most of South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory, extending into eastern Western Australia. It is also found in the north-west corner of Victoria.

Remarks: This nocturnal, terrestrial species ranges through a variety of habitats, but is most common in dry arid areas. It shelters in earth cracks or under logs and other ground debris. It is a live bearer and may produce about six in a litter.

These venomous snakes feed on lizards, frogs, and small mammals. Of unpredictable nature, this snake derives its vernacular name from its threat display, which consists of flattening the body, curling tightly, then lashing from side to side. Although it was not previously regarded as dangerous, the toxicity of its mainly neurotoxic venom is not fully known and bites from large specimens may require medical treatment.

Australia to the venomous snakes

While Australia is home to some of the most fascinating and unique creatures in the world, its beautiful settings also attracts some of the world's most venomous snakes.

Keeping Advice Sheet

Northern Death Adder.jpg

Venomous Snakes

  • Southern Death Adder (Acanthophis antarcticus) -- Maximum length 100 cm. Category 5.
  • Desert Death Adder (Acanthophis pyrrhus) -- Maximum length 75 cm. Category 5.
  • Pilbara Death Adder (Acanthophis wellsi) -- Maximum length 70 cm. Category 5.
  • Western Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus) -- Maximum length 160 cm. Category 5.
  • Mulga Snake (Pseudechis australis) -- Maximum length 300 cm. Category 5.
  • Spotted Mulga Snake (Pseudechis butleri) -- Maximum length 180 cm. Category 5.
  • Dugite (Pseudonaja affinis) -- Maximum length 180 cm. Category 5.
  • Gwardar (Pseudonaja nuchalis) -- Maximum length 100 cm. Category 5.

NOTE: All species listed here are dangerously venomous snakes and are listed as Category 5. only the experienced herpeculturalist should consider keeping any of them. One must be over 18 years of age to hold a Category 5 licence. Maintaining a large elapid carries with it a considerable responsibility. Unless you are confident that you can comply with all your obligations and licence requirements when keeping dangerous animals, then look to obtaining a non-venomous species instead.

Natural Habits of Venomous Snakes

Venomous snakes occur in a wide variety of habitats and, apart from Death Adders, are highly mobile.

All species are active day and night.

Housing of Venomous Snakes

In all species listed except death adders, one adult (to 150cm total length) can be kept indoors in a lockable, top-ventilated, all glass or glass-fronted wooden vivarium of at least 90 x 45cm floor area. The height should be a minimum of 30cm if front opening and 45cm if top opening. Adult death adders require less room, 50 x 30 cm floor area being adequate, but for safety it is preferable  to use a top opening vivarium to house these rapid-striking snakes. It is recommended that all venomous snakes be housed separately (except during mating) to avoid problems associated with removal for cleaning, or when feeding. Juveniles (less than 40cm long) may be kept in smaller cages be strongly constructed, escape-proof and kept locked.

Captive Environment of Venomous Snakes

Furnishings should be kept simple. Try not to clutter up the cage too much. The floor covering should be easily removed for cleaning. Some alternatives are newspaper, pea-gravel, woodchips and indoor-outdoor loop-pile carpet. Do not use sand or soil, as this is unsuitable and will harbour disease-causing pathogens. Provide an enclosed shelter such as a wooden constructed hide box, shoebox or wine cask. The snake must be accessible when hiding, and a means to trap it there can reduce the need for handling when cage cleaning. All that is required for Death Adders is an area of leaf litter 3-4 centimeters deep. Before cleaning the cage, the snake should be removed and placed in a spare enclosure or secure bag.

Venomous snakes can be ascertained on tail shape, or with probing by a competent herpetologist. Breeding success is improved by allowing a cooling off period in both sexes for a month or so in winter. Mating occurs in late winter to late spring. All the above species, apart from viviparous Death Adders and Western Tiger Snake, are oviparous, depositing eggs 40-90 days after mating. The live bearers give birth 120-210 days post mating.


Adhered skin after sloughing is common in dry environments when humidity is too low. Try a larger water container. Soaking snake in wet bag for 30 minutes or so will often cause the adhered skin to come away in the bag.

Lack of appetite may be normal seasonal fasting, but is also caused by a too low cage temperature.

Regurgitation can also be a sign that the snake cannot get warm enough to digest its food.

Venomous Snakes Diseases

A clean artificial environment with the appropriate husbandry mentioned above will usually result in your pet reptile remaining healthy. Quarantine newly-acquired animals for at least a month before introducing them to those already being kept.

Reptile Mites on Venomous Snakes

Reptile mites are the scourge of many keepers. They can rapidly multiply and quickly kill a reptile. If an infestation is found, it is imperative that you take immediate action to eradicate it. Although small (a large female may be one-third the size of a pin head) they will be obvious on white paper as miniature black tick-like animals. If you find you have an infestation, it is important to kill it in situ. This can be achieved by placing a Sureguard Ministrip® within the respective cage for at least 8 hours before cleaning. Then follow up with two 8-hour cycles two days apart. DO NOT expose your pet to the pest strip for any longer or you may kill it.

Ticks on Venomous Snakes

When first obtaining your reptile, check it for ticks. These are often seen tucked up under the scales. They can be removed using tweezers and the bite site dabbed with antiseptic.

supported by Western Australian Society of Amateur Herpetologists Inc. (WASAH) and Department of Conservation and Land Management

Care of Australian Reptiles in Captivity - John Weigel Reptile Keepers Association, Gosford, NSW Understanding Reptile Parasites - Roger J Klingenberg, AVS, USA -

Further Reading on Venomous Snakes

Spotted Mulga Snake


Pseudechis butleri or Spotted Mulga Snake

Did you know...

  • Spotted mulga snake, sometimes called Butler's mulga snakes, are found in a small area in central Western Australia.
  • Spotted Mulga Snake is named after Harry Butler, well-known TV naturalist.
  • Spotted mulga snake is related to common mulga snakes, or king brown snakes. the same antivenom is used to treat bites from both species.

Where Spotted Mulga Snake can be found in Australia:

Spotted Mulga Snake eat a mainly reptiles, but will also take mammals.

Mulga Snake


h2<>Pseudechis australis or the Mulga Snake

The Mulga Snake is the heaviest of Australia's venomous snakes, and they also have the widest distribution. A large adult can reach a length of 3 metres. They have the largest venom output of any Australian snake. A 1.65 metre specimen once delivered 5 mL in one bite, which equates to 600 mg of dried venom. The Mulga Snake is in the Black Snake family, but because of its brown colour these animals are often thought to be in the Brown Snake family. Mulga Snake venom affects the skeletal musculature, being mainly haemolytic and cytotoxic, but it's also mildly neurotoxic and myotoxic.

Mulga Snakes will feed on any small animal, though they do have a preference for other snakes and lizards. Research is currently being undertaken using the Mulga Snake venom to help people suffering with blood clots. The Mulga Snake venom has strong anti-coagulant properties, which prevent the blood from clotting. The Mulga Snake is an egg layer, with females producing on average 12 eggs per clutch.

Did you know...

  • Mulga snakes have the largest venom output of any Australian snake.
  • The Mulga Snake venom has strong anti-coagulant properties, which prevent the blood from clotting.
  • Mulga snakes will feed on any small animal, though they do have a preference for other snakes and lizards.
  • The mulga snake is in the Black Snake family, but because of its brown colour these animals are often thought to be in the Brown Snake family.

Distribution of Mulga Snakes in Australia:

A large adult Mulga Snake can reach a length of 3 metres.

Inland Taipan


Oxyuranus microlepidotus or the Inland Taipan

The world's most toxic snake venom belongs to the animal you are now looking at. It is 50 times more lethal than the venom of the Indian Cobra. An average bite from an adult Inland Taipan is enough to kill 250,000 mice. This venom is strongly neurotoxic and has been shown to produce presynaptic ultrastructural changes in the rat diaphragm, preventing the animal from breathing.

The Inland Taipan is seldom seen by humans, in fact this animal was only recognised as a Taipan in 1974. In the areas where these animals live, summer ground temperatures often exceed 50 degrees Celcius. The snakes shelter in the deep cracks in the ground, where the temperature drops by up to 18 degrees Celcius.

The Inland Taipan needs to be careful when hunting rats. Having powerful venom is of little consequence if the prey item you've just sunk your fangs into turns and snaps your neck with one bite of its jaws. This is the reason Taipans use the 'snap and release' technique. Bite, move back quickly, and wait. It knows once its venom is delivered, it will be only a short time to wait for its victim to die and be ready for eating.

The only recorded bites from the Inland Taipan come from keepers, but there has never been a human fatality. In the wild their lives revolve around rat plagues - feast, breed and then die back with the next famine. The Inland Taipan is an egg layer, depositing 10 to 18 eggs deep underground during the summer months.

Did you know...

  • The inland taipan has the world's most toxic snake venom. It is 50 times more lethal than the venom of the Indian Cobra.
  • An average bite from an adult inland taipan is enough to kill 250,000 mice. This venom attacks the nervous system.
  • The inland taipan is seldom seen by humans. In fact, this animal was only recognised as a taipan in 1974. The only recorded bites from the inland taipan are to people who keep the species.

Where in Australia Inland Taipan can be seen:

Inland Taipan uses the 'snap and release' technique when hunting rats to avoid being bitten by their prey when they've envenomated it.

Aspects of Snakebite and Snake Venom Properties

Snake Venom and Snakebites

by Andrew McKenzie (Originally published in Monitor Vol 13 Issue 1 2004)

Snake Venom: An Introduction

The following article has been written to explain what happens to a bite recipient if they suspect they have been bitten by a potentially venomous snake. The issues investigated are as follows;

i) How most bites occur, ii) What to do if bitten by a snake, iii) How venom affects the body, and; iv) Methodology in determining whether or not to administer antivenom

Snake Venom: How Most Bites Occur

Most snake bites involve the lower parts of the body, therefore, the lower leg and foot are commonly bitten. Some bites occur on the hands. Bites can occur when poking hands into hollow logs, under rocks or under common household or farmyard shelters such as sheets of tin. Bushwalking and walking through long grass are activities which can lead to people being bitten.

Other bites occur when people attempt to injure or kill a snake that they have encountered. The bottom line is that in the majority of cases of snakebite, the snake is only trying to defend itself. It should be noted that snakebite in domestic and farmyard animals is also a common occurrence (Mirtschin, et al. 1998), but the bitten animals again have in most situations provoked the bite by attacking the snake themselves.

Snake Venom: What To Do if Bitten by a Snake

The most important thing to do if bitten by a snake is to keep calm and encourage others to do so as well so that you can focus on application of first aid and seeking medical attention as soon a possible.

See the first aid description on the AVRU web site. The PI method is thought to slow the movement of lymph in the lymphatic system. This has never been proved but there is good evidence to support it. Snake venom is thought to move from the lymphatic system to the blood stream. There are some good references on this topic (see references I have included at end). What you should not do is wash or wipe the site where the bite is, as any venom on the skin surface is useful (but not critical).

If at all possible do not drive a vehicle as you may collapse and cause an accident. An ambulance or another driver is advised. Finally, do not use drugs or consume alcohol as the effects of these may mimic the symptoms of venom in the bloodstream leading to administration of an antivenom where it is not really required. Antivenom is only given if venom is detected, or in its absence, if systemic envenomation is indicated by the symptoms.

Snake Venom: How Venom Affects The Body

Venom can affect the body in a variety of ways.

In general, venom appears to be a mixture of enzymes and proteins that can act on several biochemical pathways or on a single physiological pathway within the body. The effects are characterised by:

Neurotoxins:- which inactivate the nerve and smooth muscle function of the body by upsetting the sodium (Na+)and potassium (K+) channels required for neurotransmission and cardiac function. There are also ion channel blockers and inhibitors.

Cytotoxins:- which affect the cells that come in contactwith the venom, either at the bite site or in the blood.

Hemotoxins:- can either be toxins which affect haemostasis in some way (those that activate the clotting cascade, or inhibit its activation). Also there are toxins which cause haemorrhage (act on the blood vessels) and toxins that alter the shape of red blood cells.

Myotoxins:- are toxins which break down muscle cells. They are usually PLA type molecules. Myoglobin from the muscle cells leaks into the blood and can cause myoglobinuria.

The chemical proteins and enzymes that have been identified so far are:

  • L-arginine ester hydrolases, which breakdown the bodies amino acids.
  • Hyaluroniclase, which effects the hyaluronic acid production vital for connective tissue in the body.
  • L-amino acid oxidase, which also breakdown the bodies amino acids.
  • Cholinesterases destroy or block acetylcholine thus interfering with neurotransmission.
  • Phospholipases, which destroys phospholipids essential for cell walls.
  • Ribo and deoxyribonucleic oxidases, essential for the manufacturing of genetic material in the body.
  • ATPases, essential for energy production of cells within the body.

Snake Venom: Methodology in Determining Antivenom Treatment

As a medical scientist, one of my duties is to perform the venom identification testing on specimens, both animal and human, so that the correct antivenom treatment can be administered or in the case of livestock, insurance claims can be processed.

At present, the Commonwealth Serum Laboratory (CSL) manufacture the only detection kit that is a rapid Enzymic Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay (ELISA) that takes approximately 25 minutes to perform. The kit is useful in identifying the correct antivenom to use in snake bites in Australia and Papua New Guinea. Specimens can be collected via bite site swabs in urine, blood or bodily tissue. In the detection process as a medical scientist, I have found that urine specimens are more accurate than blood as red cells from whole blood can give false positive readings if the reaction wells are not fully washed properly during the wash stage of the kit. Swabs may detect venom but envenomation may not necessarily have occurred.

It is very important not to administer antivenom until venom has been detected, and the correct monovalent, i.e. serotype specific antivenom, can be administered. If the patient has been bitten and clearly showing signs of envenomation, a multipurpose polyvalent antivenom can be used. If identification is to be delayed, however, there may be some adverse effects. Dosages are usually required in higher amounts.

The kit categories include five monovalent antivenoms each of which contain a number of snake venoms that the antivenom neutralises. These are as follows:-

Tiger Snake: intended to neutralise Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus), Copperhead (Austrelaps superbus), Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus), and the Clarence River or Rough Scaled Snake (Tropidechis carinatus). Brown Snake: intended to neutralise Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis), Dugite (Pseudonaja affinis), and the Gwardar (Pseudonaja nuchalis).

Black Snake: intended to neutralise King Brown or Mulga Snake (Pseudechis australis), Papuan Black Snake (Pseudechis papuanis), and the Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus).

Death Adder: intended to neutralise Death Adder (Acanthophis antarcticus), and the Desert Death Adder (Acanthophis pyrrhus).

Taipan: intended to neutralise Taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus) and the Small Scaled or Fierce Snake (Oxyuranus microlepidotus).

The principal of the test is that a colour change will develop in a ‘well’ of the required antivenom thus allowing the choice of a specific monovalent antivenom.

Antivenom is made by administering horse blood with snake venom in small amounts, which causes an immunological response by the blood to develop antibodies against the venom. The serum proportion of blood is then separated and freeze-dried. The product is reconstituted (liquefied) prior to use.

Snake Venom: References:

Bohinski, R.C. (1987), Modern concepts in Biochemistry, 5th Edition, Allyn & Bacon Inc, Massachusetts, USA. Brazaitis, P. & Watanabe, M.E. (1992), Snakes of the world, Michael Friedman Publishing Group, New York, USA. Curtis, H. (1983), Biology, 4Ih Edition, Worth Publishers inc, New York, USA. Ehmann, H. (1992), Encyclopedia of Australian Animals; Reptiles, Angus & Robertson Publishers Pty Ltd, Sydney, Australia. Rang, H.P., Dale, M.M., & Ritter, J.M.(1993), Pharmacology, 3rd Edition, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, Scotland. Shine, R. (1994), Australian Snakes a natural history, Revised Edition, Reed Books, Chatswood, Australia. Slater, P. (1997), Amazing Facts about Australian Frogs and Reptiles, discover and learn, vol4, Steve Parish Publishing Pty Ltd, Fortitude Valley, Australia. Snake Venom Detection Kit; (kit insert), (1999), CSL Biosciences Department, Parkville, Australia. Mirtschin,P. J., Masci, P., Paton, D. C., Kuchel, T. (1998). Snake bites recorded by veterinary practices in Australia. Aust Vet J. 76: 3 195-1 98 Sutherland, S.K. (1992). Deaths from snake bite in Australia, 1981 -1 991. Med. J. Aust.. 157: 740-746 Sutherland, S. K. (1991). Snake Bites Patient Management Guide ERR: 62-63 Sutherland, S. K. (1990). Treatment of snake bite. Aust. Family Physician. 19: 1 1-1 3 Sutherland, S. K. (1974). Venomous Australian creatures: The action of their toxins and the care of the envenomated patient. Anaesth. Intens. Care. 11 :4: 31 6-328 Sutherland, S. (1983). First aid management of snakebite. Med. J. Aust. Feb 5: 106. Sutherland S. K., Duncan, A. W. (1980). New first-aid measures for envenomation. Med. J. Aust. April 19: 378- 379. Sutherland, S. K., Coulter, A. R., Harris, R. D. (1979). Rationalization of first-aid measures for Elapid  snakebite. The Lancet . Jan. 27: 183-1 86

Snake Venom

Stephens' Banded Snake


Hoplocephalus stephensii or the Stephens' Banded Snake

Did you know...

  • Stephens' banded snake is one of the few arboreal (tree-dwelling) venomous Australian snakes.
  • They can grow up to about 1 metre in length.
  • The Stephens' Banded Snake gives birth to around six live young.
  • While there are no recorded deaths from bites from this species, the Stephens' Banded Snake is considered dangerous.

  • They are found along the mid-east coast, usually in mountain rainforests.
  • Their diet consists mainly of frogs.

Where the Stephens' banded snake can be found in Australia:

Stephens' Banded Snake

Pale-headed Snake


Hoplocephalus bitorquatus or the Pale-headed Snake

Did you know...

  • The Pale-headed Snake is arboreal, which means it lives in trees. They shelter in hollows and under loose bark on standing trees.
  • The Pale-headed Snake is highly venomous.

  • They eat mainly frogs, but will also eat reptiles and mammals.
  • When threatened, the Pale-headed Snake flattens their head and rear up.
  • Pale-headed snakes don't lay eggs, instead giving birth to around five live young.

Where the Pale-headed snake can be found in Australia:

Pale-headed Snake

Slithering and Biting: The Tiger Snake Files


Australia's tiger snake has a broad head and heavy built.

This snake is a venomous specie that had its fair share of mortality incidents in Australia, primarily in the southern areas. Tiger snakes  have a variety of colours, and there is a wide difference of characteristics of tiger snakes depending on where they dwell. They are also classified according to the island or region where they live.

When annoyed or under the sun, tiger snakes flatten their whole body. Tiger snake are a venomous snake specie. One of the many distinctions of Tiger snakes from its snake relatives is that they give live birth, usually between 12 - 40. Tiger snakes also dwell in suburban areas. Treating snakebites

Tiger snake's potent neurotoxin (notexin) makes it on the world's list of most deadly snakes. Symptoms of a bite include pain in the foot and neck region, tingling, numbness, and sweating, proceeded by rapid onset of breathing difficulties and paralysis. Death rate for this species is over 60% if not treated.

The Pressure Immobilization Method is used to stop the flow of venom through the lymphatic system. Medics employ broad thick bandages applied over the bite site, and down and back along the limb to the armpit or groin. The victim's affected limb is immobilized with a splint. In the event that traces are left near the wound, the medics can identify the type of venom. If you're bitten in Tasmania, you do not need to name the specific type of snake, for the same anti-venom is used to treat all Tasmanian snakes' bites. The availability of anti-venom in most centers has resulted to the great reduction of fatal tiger snake bite incidents.

Identifying tiger snakes

Identifying a Tiger snake means you should keep in mind that color will not likely to take you further because it's not a very reliable method of identifying such snake. The reason for this lies in the large number of acceptable colors for tiger snake species. The best way to identify the Tiger snake is with a scale count or venom test kit, which is, unfortunately, One need to have contact first with the cold slithering and rubbery creature (and biting, if I may add). This is why, for most people, colour-identifying is much preferable.

Tiger Snake

Australian Venomous Snake


Snake Identification

Did you know that 20 of the 25 most venomous snakes in the world are found in Australia?

Australia is the only continent where venomous snakes (70%) outnumber non-venomous ones. Australia's deadliest snakes are the brown snakes (responsible for around 60% of deaths caused by snakebite) and the venomous land snake on Earth (tested on mice) is the Inland Taipan found in arid regions of central Australia.

Snake Identification 101

According to Tropical Topics newsletter produced by Stella Martin at the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency, there are six main snake families in Australia--elapids (venomous snakes, the largest group), colubrids ( mostly 'harmless' snakes) pythons, blindsnakes, file snakes and sea snakes.

Snake Identification: Serpent Classification

A major classification of Australian venomous snakes taken from the University of Sydney Discipline of Anaesthesia community articles include Brown Snake, (Eastern, Gwardir, Dugite), Taipan, Tiger Snake, Death Adder, Copperhead, King Brown Snake (Mulga snake), Redbellied Black Snake, Rough Scaled Snake, and Inland Taipan (Small Scaled snake).

Snake Identification: Snakes and Venoms

Snake identification or description is very crucial because not all snakes are venomous, and because different kinds of anti-venom exist for every specie of snake. For snake identification, doctors may use a Snake Venom Detection Kit (SVDK) to examine the traces of venom left in the bitten area.

It is estimated that between 50,000 and 60,000 people die of snake bite each year around the world. By comparison, in Australia, it is estimated snakebites incidence are between 3 and 18 per 100,000 with an average mortality rate of 4 per 100,000 every year.

Snake Identification: Death and Causes

Some deaths are sudden, however it is uncommon to die within four hours of a snake bite. If untreated, high levels of venom could cause death in a short time. Despite of this, very few deaths result from snake bites because of the availability and wide access to anti-venom in recent years.

Snake venoms are a complex mixture of polypeptide and other molecules that adversely affect multiple homeostatic systems within their prey in a highly specific and targeted manner. Amongst the most potently toxic venoms in the world are these major Australian venomous snakes, and so snake identification has become a crucial part of survival among the snake-bite victims.

Snake Identification: Impact on Culture

These hypercarnivore reptiles are celebrated for centuries in history and religion as a highly-symbolic animal. Modern studies have been made to understand there biology and behavior. Snakes are shy by nature and will only bite animals or humans if they feel threatened or looking for food. Subsequently, most snakebites occur when people try to catch or kill them.

Snake Identification