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How to tell if a snake is poisonous

How to Tell if a Snake Is Poisonous

What’s the secret to identifying a poisonous snake? Well, there isn’t one.

The only way to identify a poisonous snake is by identifying the exact species. That’s because many poisonous snakes look similar to non-venomous snakes; they have similar colourings, markings, and other features.

The best course of action is to memorise the most dangerous snakes in Australia and stay on the lookout for them. Have a snake bite first aid kit in case you get bit.

Most Dangerous Snakes in Australia

You’re bound to run into a snake in Australia. Knowing if a snake is venomous or not is key, as well as having a snake bite kit on hand.

While this isn’t a complete list of poisonous snakes, these are the most dangerous ones in Australia.

Western Brown Snake

These snakes are found all over Australia’s mainland, except in the wetter areas of the country (such as the eastern and southwestern parts).

This snake is hard to mistake for a good reason; it has a normal brownish-gold colour and is less aggressive than other poisonous snake species.

However, the Western Brown Snake is extremely dangerous, and they deliver more venom than other snake species.

Western Brown Snakes are long and slender with a very small head. It has a chisel-shaped snout with smooth and semi-glossy scales. If you get bit, you'll experience severe pain, so make sure you have an effective painkiller.

Eastern Brown Snake

This snake is the cousin of Western Brown Snakes. Though they look similar, this snake is more aggressive with a bad temper. They also live in populated areas, especially in farms or other pieces of land with mice.

Since it looks similar to the Western Brown Snake, identifying its behaviour is the best course of action.

When agitated, these snakes will raise their body off the ground and will form an “S” shape. Its mouth will be open, and the fangs will stick out, ready for the attack.

Inland Taipan

These snakes are reclusive, and catching sight of one is rare. However, it has a highly toxic venom.

Identifying an Inland Taipan isn’t easy. Their bodies range in colour from light brown to black.

However, they have a unique scale pattern. The edges of the scales contrast in colour; if the scales are lighter, the edges will be black, but if the scales are black, the edges are white.

No matter what colour scales the Inland Taipan has, its head is always black.

Mainland Tiger Snake

Mainland Tiger Snakes live in highly populated areas, yet you’ll mainly find them on farms and in suburban homes. Their bites are fatal if left untreated.

Out of all of the snakes on the list, Mainland Tiger Snakes are the easiest to identify. These snakes are striped, and the stripes vary in colour from yellow to black.

Not all striped snakes are Mainland Tiger Snakes. You should also look for a muscular body and whether or not the snake flattens its neck (that means it’s ready to strike).

How to Treat a Snake Bite

Seeing a snake will ruin any outdoor activities. Identifying poisonous snakes and knowing how to treat snake bites will help keep you and your family safe.

Now that you know how to tell if a snake is poisonous, you’ll want to know how to treat a snake bite. If you suspect a poisonous snake bit you, get medical attention immediately.

If you suspect the snake is non-poisonous, but you can treat the bite at home, use a snake bite first aid kit.

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