Eastern Brown Snake

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Eastern brown snakeGenus: Pseudonaja
Species: Pseudonaja textilis
Common names: Eastern Brown Snake
ALA reference

My illusion that the Fort Bushland Reserve was free of venomous snakes was shattered recently when I nearly walked on a pair of very active Eastern Brown snakes that appeared to be in an amorous mood and preparing to mate. They were about 1.5 metres long and just inside the reserve beside the eastern firebreak. These snakes prefer dry rather than swampy ground and because they feed on rats, mice, birds and lizards can often be found around barns and farms. They lay between about 10 and 35 eggs and the young brown snakes are banded in dark grey or black with a broad band on the back of the head – quite unlike the adults.

The Eastern Brown snake is one of the world’s deadliest snakes and is in the top three or four most venomous snakes in the world. So a little care should be exercised while we are doing our bushcare. However they are generally reluctant to bite and I suspect would only do so when threatened. I’m hoping that the noise we make doing our bushcare will ensure that they slither away unseen before we get too close and threatening. The only snakes that I have seen previously in the Reserve were a Yellow-faced Whip snake and a large Carpet Python.

(October 2010)