Taipan

Oxyuranus scutellatus TL 2.5m

(Coastal Taipan; Eastern Taipan)

What does it look like?  DANGEROUSLY VENOMOUS. Large, robust snake with rectangular-shaped head. Generally yellowish-olive to dark russet-brown above, occasionally dark grey to black, with paler head and reddish-orange eye. Underparts cream with irregular orange flecks. Colour changes seasonally, becoming darker in winter and fading in summer.

Where is it found?  Northern and eastern Australia, from Kimberley region WA, through northern NT, eastern Qld and north-eastern NSW.

What are its habitats & habits? Occurs in wet and dry forests and woodland, coastal heaths, grassland and cultivated pastures. Primarily diurnal, becoming crepuscular and nocturnal in hot weather. Hunts terrestrially for small mammals, including rodents and bandicoots, and some birds. Oviparous, laying up to 20 eggs in a clutch. Possesses large quantities of highly toxic venom, and has the longest fangs of any Australian land snake.