Strike up a conversation about snakes with any bloke at a rural Queensland pub and more than likely you will be regaled with horror stories of 6mtr Taipans and 8mtr King Browns! Claims like these fall squarely in the category of ‘never let the truth get in the way of a good yarn’, but the question remains – how big do these snakes get?
To try and answer this I have listed approximate maximum achievable lengths of the infamous ‘deadly dozen’ below. Please note, these figures have been sourced from a selection of field guides combined with evidence from captive individuals so while providing a good general guide should not be viewed as gospel!
Also, Queensland contains a number of dangerously venomous species within the Pseudonaja, Pseudechis and Acanthophis genus’s (and to a lesser extent Hoplocephalus and Demansia) not included in the deadly dozen list.
Common Death Adder (Acanthophis antarcticus) – Max 1mtr
Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis) – Max 2.5mtrs
Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus) – Max 2mtrs
Coastal Taipan (Oxyuranus scuttelatus) – Max 3mtr
Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) – Max 2.5mtr
King Brown Snake (Mulga) (Pseudechis australis) – Max 2.8mtr
Rough-scaled Snake (Tropidechis carinatus) – Max 1mtr
Red-bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphoryiacus) – Max 2mtr
Small-eyed Snake (Cryptophis negrescens) – Max 1.3mtr
Spotted Black Snake (Pseudechis guttatus) – Max 1.8mtr
Colletts Snake (Pseudechis colletti) – Max 1.8mtr
Western Brown Snake (Pseudonaja mengdeni) – Max 1.5mtrs
So, next time the bloke at the pub tells you to beware of the local 8mtr king brown you can be safe in the knowledge that he has maybe had one too many and sit back and enjoy the tale 🙂
Thanks for reading!