THE REPTILES OF AUSTRALIA - ELAPIDS

AUSTRALIAN REPTILE PHOTOS AND INFORMATION
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INLAND TAIPAN (Fierce Snake)
Oxyuranus microlepidotus

Highly Venomous - Extremely Dangerous


Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) photographed at Australia Zoo
 
 
Approximate distribution of the Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) is marked in orange


Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) photographed at Featherdale Wildlife Park NSW


This light coloured Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) was photographed at Featherdale Wildlife Park NSW


This dark coloured Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) was photographed at Taronga Park Zoo, Sydney, NSW


Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) was photographed at Taronga Park Zoo, Sydney, NSW


INLAND TAIPAN (Fierce Snake) - Oxyuranus microlepidotus
Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) showing head scalation


INLAND TAIPAN (Fierce Snake) - Oxyuranus microlepidotus
Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus)

INLAND TAIPAN (Fierce Snake) - Oxyuranus microlepidotus
Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus)

INLAND TAIPAN (Fierce Snake) - Oxyuranus microlepidotus
Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus)


INLAND TAIPAN (Fierce Snake) - Oxyuranus microlepidotus
Inland Taipans (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) mating.

Note that the darkness of the patterning on this species (and some other reptile species) appears to vary depending on the time of year, and it is darker in the cooler weather.

This species is often listed as having the most potent venom of any species of snake in the world. However people rarely get bitten by this species and as far as I know, there have been no deaths from this species.
Note that the species that is often listed as having the second most potent venom in the world is the Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis) and the species often listed as having the 3rd most potent venom in the world is the Coastal Taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus) - note that the toxicity of the venom does not usually correlate with the number of people that die from bites from that species, or to the chance of surviving a bite from that species as there are several other factors involved

Venomous snakes do not always inject venom when biting, however due to the extremely high toxicity of the venom of this species (possibly the most toxic snake venom in the world), it is vital that first aid is performed immediately (Constrictive bandage etc) and the patient is taken immediately to hospital. Lack of symptoms may not mean that the victim has not been envenomated.

Correct and immediate first aid and treatment for this species and other dangerous snakes increases the chance of survival.

Although people are commonly bitten by dangerous snakes in Australia, the actual number of deaths is actually very low, due to antivenines and medical procedures.


THERE ARE 3 SPECIES OF TAIPAN FOUND IN AUSTRALIA

COMMON NAME

SCIENTIFIC NAME

DISTRIBUTION

Inland Taipan or Fierce Snake

Oxyuranus microlepidotus

NSW, Qld, SA, Vic(?) NT?

Coastal Taipan

Oxyuranus scutellatus scutellatus

NSW, NT, Qld, WA

Western Desert or Central Ranges Taipan

Oxyuranus temporalis

WA, NT (no records From SA but likely to occur)



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Contact John Fowler Author of the Australian Herpetology Website, Pythons of the World, BoaSnakes.info, PetGecko.info and Holiday in Kos - Owner of the Adelaide Reptile Forum

Contact John Hollister Author of John Hollister Reptile Collection - Herping the Trans-Pecos & Sweetwater, Texas Rattlesnake Roundup

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Updated December 14, 2020

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