Brown snake

Pseudonaja textilis

SUBFAMILY

Hydrophiinae

TAXONOMY

Furina textilis Duméril Bibron, and Duméril, 1854, New South Wales.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: DeKay's brown snake; French: Couleuvre brune, serpents jaunes; German: Braunschlangen; Spanish: Culebra-parda de Kay.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

This snake reaches an average length of approximately 59 in (1.5 m). It is variable in color and pattern. The young often are heavily banded in alternating black and brown, but the bands fade as the snakes mature. Adults usually are a uniform light brown color but can be almost black.

DISTRIBUTION

Much of the eastern half of Australia. HABITAT

This species is found from desert to savanna to thick forest. It can be found in urban areas.

BEHAVIOR

The brown snake is very fast moving and is active during the day.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

This species' diet is variable, but it feeds mostly on small mammals and reptiles. It is an active hunter.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

The female lays 10-35 eggs.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

The brown snake is considered highly dangerous because of its abundance and highly toxic venom. Fatal bites used to be common, but the death rate has decreased because of the availability of antivenin and widespread knowledge of the Sutherland pressure-immobilization technique. ♦

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