Australia’s mega diversity and isolation account for its vast and unique habitat, and there are several species present in Australia that are not found anywhere else in the world. The same is true for snakes, and so today, we have come up with this new article to tell you about the list of the Top 10 largest snakes in Australia.
Australia hosts more than 200 species of snakes, including land snakes and sea snakes. These are combined species of venomous and nonvenomous snakes. Australia contains over 85% of all the venomous snakes around the globe, including the top three most venomous snakes in the world.
Unlike other continents, there are very few cases of snake bites, and since the introduction of anti-venoms, there have been very few fatalities; only a handful of deaths from snake bites are documented each year.
Australia has very strict laws and policies against snake killings and snake abductions, and if anyone tries to remove a snake from its natural environment, he or she might have to pay a fine of up to $10,000.
Largest Venomous Snakes in Australia
- Coastal Taipan
- Olive Sea Snake
- King Brown Snake
- Inland Taipan
- Elegant Sea Snake
Largest Non-Venomous Snakes in Australia
- Australian Scrub Python
- Olive Python
- Carpet Python
- Woma Python
- Oenpelli Python
Top 10 Largest Snakes in Australia
1) Australian Scrub Python
First on the list of largest snakes in Australia is the biggest non-venomous Australian scrub python, which can exceed up to 8 meters in length and shows weird sexual dimorphism, with males being thrice the length of females and twice as heavy as them.
These are the biggest species of arboreal or tree-dwelling snakes found in the world, and some of the largest specimens are found to be as heavy as 27 kg.
With respect to its size, it is also one of the biggest land predators, and a case of a female scrub python swallowing a 10 kg adult wallaby is documented to date, although their diet may vary according to their size, age, and habitat. Due to their large size and deadly nature, we can rarely find them as pets.
- Scientific Name: Simalia kinghorni
- Size: up to 8 meters
- Location: Northern Australia, in Queensland, and on the Cape York Peninsula.
2) Oenpelli Python
Second on the list is the Oenpelli python, the second-biggest python species found in Australia. These snakes are more than 4 meters in length, and one specimen of these species in captivity is reported to be 5 meters long.
These are extremely thin in proportion to their length when compared to other pythons. They can strangely change their skin coloration from being darker during the day to being lighter at night.
Their dorsal skin is olive-black with darker blotches. They lay enormously huge eggs that are twice as large as the eggs of other pythons. Just like other pythons, these, too, are non-venomous snakes.
- Scientific Name: Simalia oenpelliensis or Nyctophilopython oenpelliensis
- Size: up to 4 meters
- Location: western Arnhem Land region in the Northern Territory of Australia.
3) Olive Python
Next on this list is the third largest non-venomous snake species found in Australia, the olive python. These snakes reach up to 4 meters in length, and the adults weigh over 15-20 kg.
They have really smooth skin compared to other pythons, as a large number of scales overlap to form beautiful, colorful patterns ranging from olive green to chocolaty brown.
They are common as pet snakes and are often bred in captivity.
- Scientific Name: Liasis olivaceus
- Size: up to 3.5 meters
- Location: in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and Queensland.
4) Carpet Python
These are massive, non-venomous snakes with a powerful “feeding response” that is commonly misinterpreted as aggression and can scare people. They weigh up to 15 kg, and in some areas, females are reported to be almost as heavy as males.
Carpet snakes are named so because they resemble patterns seen on oriental carpets.
- Scientific Name: Morelia spilota
- Size: 2-4 metres
- Location: Mainland Australia
5) Olive Sea Snake
The first venomous sea snake on this list is commonly known as the olive sea snake, the golden sea snake, or the olive-brown sea snake based on its different color morphs.
They inhabit coral reefs, including the Great Barrier Reef. These snakes’ venoms consist of enzymes that break their prey from within and make them an easier meal to be digested.
These snakes can grow up to 2 meters long, weigh up to 3 kg, and have the longest fangs of any sea snake. Their diet consists of fish, crabs, and prawns.
- Scientific Name: Aipysurus laevis
- Size: 2 meters
- Location: Northern and Western Australia
6) King Brown Snake
It is the second-largest venomous snake found in Australia. The king brown snake’s size ranges from 2-2.5 meters, but the longest recorded specimen was 3.3 meters, and its average weight varies between 3-6 kg.
In spite of being commonly named “Mulga” snakes, they are found in a variety of habitats other than mulga.
Though venomous, this species’ venom is not as toxic as that of other venomous snakes found in Australia, and victims are treated with black snake venom.
- Scientific Name: Pseudechis australis
- Size: 2–2.5 meters
- Location: all states of Australia
7) Inland Taipan
Next on the list is the most venomous snake in the world, which is even more toxic than any sea snake or any other reptile: the Inland Taipan. It was found that one bite of these snakes has enough mortality to kill up to 100 adult humans.
They can reach up to 2.7 meters in length and have long fangs.
- Scientific Name: Oxyuranus microlepidotus
- Size: 1.8-2.5 meters
- Location: Queensland and South Australia borders
8) Coastal Taipan
The coastal taipan is the second-largest, highly venomous snake found in Australia.The longest specimens of these species can range from 2.9–3.3 meters, or up to 11 feet, and weigh up to 3 kg.
They inhabit a wide range of habitats, from open woodlands to monsoon forests, and can also be found in artificial habitats such as sugarcane fields.
These snakes hunt and feed on small mammals and reptiles, and they also opportunistically attack birds. Due to their brownish scales and large size, it resembles brown snakes but can be identified by their lighter face and snout color, tapered neck, and big head.
The coastal taipan employs a “snap and release” strategy on its prey, and its lethal poison immobilizes large prey before doing any damage.
- Scientific Name: Oxyuranus scutellatus
- Size: 2-3 meters
- Location: north-western Western Australia
9) Woma Python
The next species on this list of the biggest snakes in Australia are non-venomous, the sand python or Ramsay’s python, both critically endangered species on the IUCN Red List.
An average Woma Python is 1.5 meters long but can reach up to 4 meters in length. They have wide bodies and are somewhat flattish with a narrow tails.
They have symmetrically shaped, muddy, or brown color scales all over them and a distinctive yellow color head. These feed mainly on reptiles; warm-blooded animals are absent from their diet, so they lack heat-sensing pits.
- Scientific Name: Aspidites ramsayi
- Size: 2.3-2.7 meters
- Location: Western and Central Australia
10) Elegant Sea Snake
The next venomous sea snake on this list is the Elegant Sea Snake, which is a large sea snake and the longest of all the sea snakes, with a total length of 2–2.6 meters.
They are found over mud and sand bottoms, off the coasts, in lagoons, corals, and rocky reefs. These are medium-sized snakes with flattened or compressed lateral tails to aid in swimming.
They are also known as bar-bellied snakes and feed on water-dwelling fish, fish eggs, and crustaceans.
- Scientific Name: Hydrophis elegans
- Size: up to 2.6 meters
- Location: tropical Australia
Here, we conclude our article on, “Top 10 Largest Snakes in Australia.” We hope you like this post. We will be back with another exciting article. Till then stay healthy and tuned with us.
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