Nature Profiles

Australian Snakes

Along with the lizards, snakes have very successfully adapted to Australia's largely arid climate. Australia is unique among the continents in having more venomous than non-venomous snake species. Many are harmless, but in terms of venom potency, the 10 most venomous snakes are all Australian. Effective anti-venom, and a generally slow-acting venom means that a snake bite near a populated area need not be life-threatening if appropriate first aid is administered. In times of early settlement, the Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus) was statistically the most lethal snake in Australia, but that position is now held by the Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis), which has thrived since human settlement, and often lives near people where it can prey on rodents.