Brown Snake (Pseudonaja)

Eastern Brown Snake
Pseudonaja textilis. Image credit: Justin Otto cc2.0

Brown Snake (Pseudonaja)…

Pseudonaja nuchalis western brown snake
Pseudonaja nuchalis. Image credit: Andy Mitchell cc2.0

The common name “brown snake” can refer to several different kinds of snakes, usually either the genus Storeria (in North and Central America) or the genus Pseudonaja (native to Australia). Here we’ll take a look at Pseudonaja. These snakes grow 9 to 20.7 inches (23 to 52.7 centimeters) long and range from brown to tan in color, with two rows of dark spots along the back. They are very common but also very shy and enigmatic creatures, usually hiding among loose stones or other cover. They favor moist areas but they are also found in drier lands.

Pseudonaja textilis
Pseudonaja textilis. Image credit; Donald Hobern cc2.0

Sharing their hibernation spots with other snake species is common with these snakes. They usually hibernate in the same spot every year. These hibernation spots include ant hills or burrows dug by rodents or other animals. Brown snakes communicate via touch and smell. Their eyesight is fairly good and they respond well to vibrations.

The diet of Pseudonaja snakes is mostly made up of worms, snails, slugs and beetles, and they have teeth and jaws modified to help them pull snails out of their shells to eat them.

Eastern Brown Snake
Pseudonaja textilis. Image credit: Justin Otto cc2.0

When threatened, they make themselves appear larger by flattening their bodies and taking an aggressive stance. Furthermore, their cloacae (the cavity into which their intestines, genitals and urinary tracts open) can release a stinking secretion to smear the attacker with. They are also extremely venomous snakes. Sometimes people don’t even realize that they’ve been bitten, because the bite is very small and not often painful, but it is very lethal. They produce small amounts of venom with huge effects — the venom starts affecting its victim within 30 minutes if not treated properly, and a bite by the larger species can be fatal.

Brown snake (also known as pseudonaja)are featured in the following book:
25 Australian Animals

The YouTube video playlist below contains videos about brown snakes. Details of the videos featured are underneath.

The Playlist:

  1. Deadly Australians: The Eastern Brown Snake by wildvisuals
  2. Up close with the deadly King Brown Snake by Andrew Ucles
  3. Juvenile Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis) : Part 1 by pseudechis
  4. Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis) by pseudechis
  5. Don’t chase Brown Snakes (Pseudonaja nuchalis) by pseudechis


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