Eastern Brown Snake
Danger: Dangerously venomous
Other Names: Common Brown Snake
Family: Elapidae (Elapid snakes, about 60 species in Australia, about 300 species in the world)
Size: To 2.2 m long
Distribution: Most of the eastern half of Australia, including much of SA and except the far north of QLD
Status: Presently secure
Habitat: All non-arid habitats except rainforests and alpine areas
References: Cronin, Wikipedia
The Eastern Brown Snake (sometimes called the Common Brown Snake, or just the Brown Snake) is one of the most dangerous snakes in the Sydney and Blue Mountains regions of Australia. Though, like all snakes, it will only attack when it thinks this is its only option to defend itself. My field guide (Cronin) says that it will usually tolerate being accidentally trodden on when it is concealed. (I would not recommend trying this though.) It also says that it is probably the most frequently encountered dangerous snake in Australia.
Like many snakes, the colours on its head and body can vary a great deal. It has a small, narrow head indistinct from its neck, unlike the Death Adder, which has a large head. It is a completely different type of snake to the King Brown Snake (which is not found in the Sydney or Blue Mountains areas).
I always used to be particulary scared of Brown Snakes after seeing the "snake man" come to visit us in primary school. All of the other snakes were quietly curled up in their boxes, or slowly slithering around, except for the brown snake. The brown snake was going crazy, thrashing about as if someone was cracking it like a whip, and hitting its head against the glass of the box. You could see the venom dripping down the glass.
They have a large range and if you see one, it is probably just passing by and there is no reason to expect it will still be there in a few days time. This is unlike Tiger Snakes which I have been told stay in the one place. There was one living close to where I used to live in Wentworth Falls (in the Blue Mountains) that my flatmate and neigbour had seen a few times.
Photo: Penrith Show, NSW. High Resolution (1936 x 1248)
Photo: Penrith Show, NSW. High Resolution (2122 x 1108)
I made the drawing below as part of the Kamana Naturalist Training Program. It is not meant to be artistic or even particuluarly technically correct. The main purpose of drawing in the course is that it is a great aid to learning the identifying details of what you are drawing.
Photo: Kamana Naturalist Training Program. High Resolution (2092 x 1684)
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