Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis)
Common or Eastern Brown Snake
[PHOTO] Juvenile Common Brown Snake. Photographer: Peter Robertson / Source: Wildlife Profiles Pty. Ltd.
Adult Common or Eastern Brown Snakes, Pseudonaja textiles, are uniformly brown. Juveniles have a black head, with a lighter bar behind, a black nape, and numerous red-brown spots on the belly. Occasionally they have dark cross-bands. The Common Brown has 17 rows of mid-body scales, a divided anal scale and 45???75 divided subcaudal scales. In some specimens a few anterior subcaudal scales are single. It is a relatively slender species and can grow to just over 2 m long.
Distribution and habitat
This species is widespread over most of Victoria except for the Otways and most of Gippsland. In the Melbourne region it is restricted mostly to the western and northern suburbs. It prefers dry, open habitats.
Biology and bite
The Common Brown Snake is active both day and night. It will eat a wide variety of vertebrates but prefers lizards up to the size of the Stumpy-tailed Lizard. Females lay up to 35 eggs in cracks in the soil.
This is a fast-moving snake and is extremely dangerous. Even subadults have caused fatalities.
If bitten on a limb, apply a pressure bandage, immobilise the limb and seek medical advice immediately. If bitten elsewhere, apply continuous direct pressure to the bite site. Do not wash the wound, as the venom on the skin can be used to identify the appropriate antivenom.
Coventry, A. J. and Robertson, P. 1991. The Snakes of Victoria ??? A Guide to their Identification. Department of Conservation & Environment/Museum of Victoria.
Cogger, H. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia. Reed Books.
Museum Victoria Information Sheets: Snakes found in Victoria series.
Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2003. Reptiles of Australia. Princeton University Press.
Bioinformatics website of Museum Victoria:
?? Museum Victoria 2000