Can You Identify These Australian Snakes?

By: Khadija Leon
Image: Kristian Bell / Moment Open / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Australia is notorious for being the home of some of the most deadly snakes on earth, and while it may be true, fatalities are not as common as you think because antivenom for these bites is widely available around the country. 

Although many would like to believe that they are confined to the desert and jungle regions of the country, snake sightings are quite common even near large cities and homes in the suburbs, usually around where their main source of food can be found. Snakes like the eastern brown snake, the inland taipan, the common death adder, the red-bellied black snake, the mulga snake, the lowland copperhead, and the small-eyed snake are all well-known because of their deadliness, but what about the others? 

There are approximately 160 snake species found on the continent and its neighboring islands, but how well do you know them? If you were given images of some of these creatures, would you be able to correctly identify them? There is only one way to find out if you are an Australian snake expert and that is by taking this quiz.

The inland taipan, also called the western taipan and small-scaled snake, is a venomous snake which is endemic to the arid regions of Australia. First described back in 1879, it is the most venomous snake in the world and one bite can kill at least 100 adult men.

The common tree snake is a non-venomous snake which can be found in the coastal regions of north and east Australia, as well as Papua New Guinea. The common snake can be found in varying shades of green with pale yellow on its throat and body.

The tiger snake is a species of highly venomous snake which can be found in the southern regions of Australia as well as a few of the coastal islands. Although they vary in color, they are all banded, much like that of a tiger.

The rough-scaled snake is a species of venomous snake which is named because some of its scales are raised, giving it a rough texture. The snakes are brown to olive in color with narrow crossbands or blotches of a darker shade of brown. They can be found from far north Queensland to mid-eastern New South Wales.

The eastern brown snake, also called the common brown snake, is a snake which can be found in the dense forests of central Australia and southern New Guinea. The snake, which is considered to be the 2nd most venomous land snakes in the world, can grow to a length exceeding 7 feet.

Collett’s snake, also called Down’s tiger snake, is a species of venomous snakes which is native to Australia. Despite not being one of the most venomous snakes there, bites can cause acute renal failure, which can later lead to death.

The mulga snake, also called the king brown snake, is a species of venomous snake which was first described back in 1842 in Australia. The color of the snake differs from place to place, but they can all grow to lengths exceeding 9 feet, with an average of 5 feet.

The yellow-bellied sea snake, which is sometimes called the pelagic sea snake, is a species of snake which are found in tropical waters around the world, but many have been reported around Australia. While diving, this species can take up to 33% of its oxygen through its skin.

The woma python, also known as Ramsay’s python, is a species of snakes which are endemic to Australia, where it is most commonly found in the western states of the country. The snakes are highly sought after in the exotic pet trade despite not adapting well to being held in captivity.

The coastal taipan, also known as the common taipan, is a species of large venomous snakes which are native to northern and eastern Australia, as well as the island of New Guinea. The snake has been listed as the third most venomous land snake in the world.

The black-bellied swamp snake, also known as marsh snake, is a species of venomous snake endemic to the east coast of Australia. The snake’s color ranges from pale olive to black, and they have two distinctive narrow white lines on its face.

The western brown snake, also called gwardar, is a species of fast-moving venomous snakes which is native to Australia. The word ‘gwardar’ means “go the long way around” and has been said to be advice for people who come across the snake while in the wild.

Suta suta, also called the curled snake, is a species of venomous snakes which is native to Australia. They grow to a maximum length of 24 inches, and it is known for its dark brown to reddish brown color.

The beaked sea snake, also called the hook-nosed sea snake, is a species of sea snakes which are found in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific Ocean around Australia and New Guinea. The species is highly venomous and can cause death if antivenom is not administered.

The Children’s python is a species of nonvenomous snakes which is named after John George Children, a zoologist who described many species. The snake feeds on many small mammals and birds by first constricting it then swallowing it whole.

The broad-headed snake is a venomous snake which can only be found in New South Wales, Australia. Now listed as vulnerable, the species faces habitat loss from urbanization, illegal rock removal, and it is also kept in reptile collections.

The white-lipped snake is a small species of snakes which are endemic to the south-eastern mainland of Australia and the island of Tasmania. They grow to an average length of 16 inches and can be found in regions as cold as above the snow line of Mount Kosciuszko.

The common death adder is a species of death adder found in Australia where it is one of the most venomous snakes in the country. The snake is facing an increased threat from the invasion of the cane toad as it eats young snakes, and the adults who eat it are poisoned from the toxic glands in their skin.

The black-headed python, so named because of the color of its head, is a species of snake which is native to Australia. The adults usually grow to lengths between 5 and 6.5 feet, but can also grow to 11 feet. They are powerful swimmers, but they are rarely found in water.

The olive python, so named because of its color, is a species of python which are found in Australia. The snake, whose diet consists of mammals, reptiles and small birds, like to wait near animal trails where it can easily ambush its prey.

The lowland copperhead is a venomous snake species which can be found in southeastern Australia and Tasmania. Its venom contains a potent neurotoxin which is capable of killing an adult human if the correct first aid is not administered in due time.

The yellow-faced whip snake is a species of venomous snakes from one of the most venomous snake families in the country. The snake is green to grey in color with black and yellow markings on its head and face.

The red-bellied black snake is a species of snakes which were first described by George Shaw in 1794. The snake is one of the most commonly encountered snakes in Australia and although it is not aggressive, it will attack if it feels threatened.

The carpet python, also known as the diamond python, is a large species of snakes which can be found in Australia, New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands. Growing to lengths exceeding 13 feet, there are currently 6 subspecies, all of which can be found there.

The brown tree snake is a tree-dwelling, rear-fanged snake which is native to the coastal regions of Australia, eastern Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea. The snake has been called an invasive species in Guam where it is a danger to the native bird population.

The bandy-bandy, also called the hoop snake, is a species of weakly venomous snake which is endemic to Australia. The snake is so-named because it is marked with alternating black and white or yellow rings with smooth and glossy scales.

The dugite is a species of venomous snakes which are native to Western Australia. The snake is grey, green, or brown in color with black scales scattered all over its body, and it can grow to up to 6.5 feet in length. Its venom is one of the most lethal in the world, with death occurring soon after.

The spotted mulga snake is a species of venomous snake which is endemic to Western Australia. It belongs to a genus of snakes (Pseudechis) known for raising its head and presenting its hood in order to intimidate opponents.

The coastal carpet python, also called McDowell’s carpet python is species of snakes which can be found along the northeastern coast of Australia and New Guinea. The snakes, which can be found residing in the roofs of houses, can grow to lengths between 9 to 10 feet.

The dwarf crowned snake, sometimes called the Krefft’s dwarf snake after the naturalist Gerald Krefft, is a species of venomous snake endemic to Australia. They are weakly venomous and are not considered to be a danger to humans, but medical attention should still be sought after.

The blue-bellied black snake, sometimes called the spotted black snake, is a species of snakes found in southeastern Queensland and northern New South Wales. Bites from this snake can cause nausea, vomiting and local swelling.

The red-naped snake is a species of venomous snakes found in four Australian states, with it being listed as threatened in one of them. They are nocturnal creatures which feed mainly on a small reptile known as a skink.

The Oenpelli python is a large species of python which are endemic to the Arnhem land region in North Australia. The adults can grow to 13 feet in length and this snake is also able to change their skin coloration, depending on the time of day.

The bardick is a species of mildly venomous snake which is endemic to the semiarid grasslands and shrublands of Australia. These nocturnal animals have a solid tan, brown, or grey body, with its head being a darker shade of the body.

The golden-crowned snake is small species of venomous snakes which are endemic to and can be found in the deep forest and mountain slopes of Australia. When threatened, the snake rears into an S shape and displays a bright orange pigmentation.

Stimson’s python is a species of python which is endemic to Australia where many people keep them as pets. Named after Lawrence Alec Smith who first described it, these nonvenomous snakes kill their prey by constricting them.

The narrow-banded snake, also called the narrow banded shovel-nosed snake, is a small snake which can be found near coastal dunes and woodlands in Australia. Their stout bodies enable them to burrow in the ground/sand either to find food or hide from predators.

The grey snake is a species of snakes which can be found in New South Wales and Queensland, Australia. Mostly active at night, they have been listed as endangered in some parts of the country because of predation and land cultivation.

The little whipsnake is a venomous snake which can be found in the stony hills of Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia. They grow up to 20 inches in length and are cream in color with a black hourglass-shaped patch on their head.

The speckled brown snake is a species of venomous snake which is native to northeastern Australia. First described in 1926, these snakes have a small head, yellow to orange upper parts, white throat and lips, yellow to white under parts, and its scales have black edges visible only when its moves.

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