King Brown Snake

King brown snake is definitely to be considered dangerous.

It is one of the better known Australian venomous snakes, found in almost all of Australia, except the far south.

It is also known for its fair size, often reticulated appearance, the fact that it often lives near humans, that it delivers large quantities of venom, and is specialised in eating reptiles, including other snakes, even of its own species.

Once upon a time when I lived in Charters Towers, I had one in my back yard shed, but more of that below...

Distribution and Habitat



King Brown snake
has a very wide distribution - some say the widest amongst all Australian snakes.

It is also called mulga snake, and it's true that it lives in mulga country, however it is not restricted to it.

One particular habitat where it does not live is rainforests, but it is found in all drier vegetation zones.

It is not found in Victoria or Tasmania, coastal New South Wales, southern South and Western Australia, or the very south eastern corner of Queensland.

It is found in all of Northern Territory and most of Queensland, including Cape York and our northern neighbour Papua New Guinea.

king brown snake

Appearance of King Brown Snake

While Australia's largest snakes are pythons, these are not venomous snakes.

King brown snake is one of the very largest of the venomous ones - in fact it takes the first place in weight, and the second, after taipan, in length, in Australia.

It can grow up to three metres in length, although 1.5m is more usual.

They are known to grow larger in northern Australia than in the south of the country.

King brown snake is also a heavily built, robust snake with a broad head.

Like with most other snakes, its colour can vary - colour is never a good indicator in snake identification.

As with all snake identification, you would have to be very experienced to identify a snake 100% just by seeing it.

Often more complicated methods such as scale counts need to be involved.
But it so happens that king brown snake does have a characteristic that gives you a good hint:

Often, each of its scales has a darker and a lighter part, giving the snake a subtle pattern.

That in combination with its large size and bulky head is often enough for recognising it fairly surely. 

Behaviour

Mulga snakes have widely adapted to eat other reptiles.

Other reptiles are their favourites, however they do eat frogs, birds and mammals too.

They happily eat other snakes, including all the poisonous ones, and even cannibalise on their own species.

How aggressive they get can depend on the time of the year and other factors (such as location - the northern ones are known to be more aggressive than the southern individuals).

But they are not generally known as especially aggressive unless provoked.


king brown
The snake in our shed. ©cape-york-australia.com

That was what happened to the snake in my shed.

It was not particularly aggressive when first disturbed, but because I went to take photos, and at the same time being inside the shed the snake would have felt cornered, it did start moving aggressively towards me.

What saved me from trouble was that the snake was eating another snake so it was not into chasing or biting, but I did take the whole thing as a good lesson.

king brown snakes
Eating another snake. ©cape-york-australia.com


On top of that we don't outrun snakes if they want to chase us!


Venom and Treatment

The poison of mulgas is not the world's strongest, but what makes them so dangeous is that they deliver a lot of it.

They are known for the largest snake venom output in the world - up to ten times of the amount of a tiger snake for example.

They can give multiple bites and are
even known to chew while hanging onto the prey in the process of the lengthy delivery.

The name of king brown snake is misleading - they do not belong to the Australian brown snake family.

They belong to the family of black snakes, and it's the black snake antivenom that needs to be used as treatment of the bite of this snake.







Plan Your Trip... the FREE Cape York Travel Pocket Guide

cape york travel

Get this 50 pages guide totally for FREE. It contains information that helps you getting started with planning of your trip. You get to make early-stages desicions such as when to go, how long time you should take, how to get there and get around, where to stay (general info), what will it cost.. and a short insight to what is there to see and do in Cape York.


Bring to the Trip... the full Destination Cape York Travel Guide

visit cape york

This comprehensive 300 pages travel guide is all you need before and during your trip. It has information on the peninsula's history and wildlife, climate, dangerous things and other things you should know (fuel availability, banking facilities, quarantine requirements, Aboriginal land entry permits and alcohol restrictions..); detailed information on places to see and things to do as well as accommodation and FREE camping spots that will save you the money you paid for this book at least tenfold ;-).


NEW - Destination Kimberley and Destination Top End Travel Guide

destination top end
destination kimberley

Also planning to go to the Kimberley and the Top End of Northern Territory? 

Get the Destination Kimberley and the Destination Top End written by Birgit Bradtke. 

They are written and work exactly in the same way as my guide books.


If you liked the books or this website, let others know about it!

Link to it from your website, your blog, your forum post...
Share it on Facebook, Tweet about it...



Every link helps other travellers!

Thank you for doing the right thing and letting others know :-)



Return to Top

Return to Poisonous Snakes

Return Home to Cape York Australia from King Brown Snake

Bookmark and Share

[?] Subscribe To This Site

XML RSS
follow us in feedly
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My MSN
Subscribe with Bloglines


What's New?

Ask a Question

YOUR Cape York Adventure

YOUR Cape York Memories

Keep yourself updated
on the latest -
weather, roads,
free travel tips,
and get the
FREE Cape York
Pocket Guide!


Email


Name

Then


Don't worry - your email address is totally secure.
I use it only to send you the Cape York News.


Current Time in Cairns




Cairns Weather Right Now


Click for Cairns, Queensland Forecast


A little off the most beaten track, but you can still get some of these into your annual leave length of a trip (you can get most if you have all the details to plan right):

You find them all in the Site Map, along with all the other pages on the site and many more great gems :-)

Old Coach Road

old coach road

Frenchmans Track

frenchmans track

CREB Track

creb track

Falls Track

falls track

Starcke Wakooka Track

starcke wakooka track

Bathurst Head

bathurst head

Running Creek Track

running creek track

Silver Plains

silver plains

Old Coen Track

old coen road

Pennefather

pennefather

Stones Crossing

stones crossing


Skardon River

skardon river

Jardine River Ford

jardine river ford

Ussher Point

ussher point

Sadd Point

sadd point

Mutee Head and Jardine Mouth

mutee head

Escape River and Newcastle Bay 

escape river

Beaches Loop Track

beaches loop road

Roko Island Pearl Farm

roko island

Friday Island Pearl Farm

friday island