Australia's most deadly snakes.
There are many Top Ten Deadly snake lists bouncing around.
When compromising the list there are a few things to remember. There are a few different views on the order of the list due to a few factors.
1. The snake that comes into contact with the most people and has the biggest distribution range.
2. The snake that has the most recorded deaths per year.
3. The snake with the highest venom toxicity and yeild.
When referring to snake venom toxicity is measured by the effect the substance has on an organism, a tissue or a cell. We know that individuals will respond differently to the same dose of a substance because of a number of factors including their gender, age and body weight. Therefore a population-level measure of toxicity is often used. The probability of an outcome for a population is then related to a given individual in a population.
LD50 - Leathal Dose - 50%
One such population-level measure is the median lethal dose, LD50 (lethal dose, 50%). This is defined as the dose required to kill half the members of a specific animal population when entering the animal’s body by a particular route. LD50 is a general indicator of a substance’s toxicity within a short space of time. It is a measure of acute toxicity.
Most users of a substance will want to know the toxicity of that substance. The information for an LD50 must include the substance, the route of entry and the animal species. For example, table salt has an oral LD50 of 3 gm/kg in rats. Paracetamol has an oral LD50 of 1.944 gm/kg in rats.
The LD50-values in a Deadly Snake list are from laboratory testing with mice. Over millilions of years of evelotion snake venom has evolved to efficiently take down its prey, not human. Snake venom is very specific, you can NOT efficently use the LD50 data from mice to predict the effect the venom can have on human beings. Subcutaneous injection the most common envenomination after a snake bite for humans. (Venom injected directly under the skin). Mice are injected the same way.
LD50 was tested on mice for a number of reasons. Cost. (mice are a lot cheaper to produce/buy than other animals used for testing.) People don't tend to get as upset over mice testing as they do on other animals.
Tiger snake antivenom - horses
Brown snake antivenom -horses
Taipan antivenom -horses
Black snake antivenom - horses
Death adder antivenom- horses
Sea snake antivenom- horses
Polyvalent snake antivenom - horses
Funnel web spider antivenom - rabbits
Redback spider antivenom - horses
Australian paralysis tick antivenom - dogs
Box jellyfish antivenom - sheep
Stonefish antivenom- horses
Below is a list of our most venomous LAND snakes. Please note some of our Sea Snakes are a lot more venomous than some of the snakes below, but the chance of encountering one is extremely low. The list below is in no particular order as the most comprehensive list available was done in the 70's and is being added to as data is learnt. www.snakedatatbase.org is the website used.
We will add a Sea Snake list down the track.
The Coastal Taipan's natural habitat is along the coastal regions of eastern and northern Australia and the island of New Guinea. The Coastal Taipan is the third most venomous land snake in the world. Here in Australia, the Coastal Taipan has the longest fangs (approx 12mm). Taipans are able to strike rapidly and repeatedly, with each bite containing venom. They deliver large quantities of venom in comparison to other Australian snakes.The venom of the coastal taipan is known as the taicatoxin, which is a powerful neurotoxin. The Coastal Taipan's venom is able kill a healthy adult human within 30mins - 2.5hrs after a lethal bite if left untreated. Without medical treatment the mortality rate from a coastal taipan bite is nearly 100%. The venom quickly spreads in the nervous system and also the blood. Side effects can be headaches,nausea and vomiting, convulsions, paralysis, internal bleeding and severe muscle and kidney damage.
Coastal Taipans can reach approximately three meters in length and weigh in at 6.6kg. A large and extremely intelligent snake, it can lash out when surprised,cornered or feeling threatened and injects a decent amount venom deep into the flesh in as little as two or three bites, however, these snakes tend to avoid confrontation and will escape whenever possible. Whilst the Coastal Taipan may be more venomous than the Eastern Brown, A LOT more people will come into contact with an Eastern Brown, some quite regularly depending on where they live.
Also known as the Eastern Taipan, Giant Brown Snake
Also known as Common Brown, Brown Snake
Also known as Fierce Snake, Small Scaled Snake
Also known as Mainland Tiger Snake, Common Tiger Snake
Also known as King Brown