Alice Springs Reptile Centre

The Western Brown Snake (Pseudonaja nuchalis), also known as the Northern Brown Snake is found over most of mainland Australia, although it prefers the drier habitats.

This species is highly variable in both colour and pattern. Seven distinctive forms occur within the Alice Springs town area alone. The reasons for such diversity with the Western Brown Snake are unknown, but this may be an example of experimentation or natural selection at work. The vividly coloured black and orange snakes use colour to advertise their highly venomous potential and ‘warn off’ aggressors. Alternatively, drab coloured snakes have ‘elected’ to remain inconspicuous.

Western brown snakes are frequently encountered in the Alice Springs area. This species is highly venomous and feeds principally on small mammals and lizards.

The Western Brown Snake is known to be very aggressive when disturbed or threatened, although like most snakes, they usually prefers to retreat from danger. Due to the quantity of venom the Western Brown Snake can deliver in one bite, means it has the potential for a deadly bite.


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  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Suborder: Serpentes
  • Family: Elapidae
  • Genus: Pseudonaja
  • Species: P. nuchalis
  • Binomial name: Pseudonaja nuchalis