Critter Science

The Science of Animals

mulga snake

Have a Bite with a Mulga Snake

The mulga snake is the heaviest venomous snake in Australia and also has the largest venom yield of any snake in the world! You’ll find these deadly serpents throughout Australia, except in Victoria, Tasmania and the most southern parts of Western Australia. So not only are they deadly, but they’re common. You can find them in closed tropical mosoon forests to Triodia hummock grasslands, chenopod shrublands and almost bare terrain, or sandy deserts. So they are quite tolerant of a variety of habitats.

First the Stats…

Scientific name: Pseudechis australis
Weight: Up to 13 lbs
Length: Nearly 10 feet
Lifespan: Up to 30 years

Now on to the Facts!

1.) They deliver up to 150mg of venom in a single bite! In comparison, the tiger snake only produces 10 – 40mg.

2.) One of the reasons for the massive amount of venom being delivered is that they will latch on and continue chewing to pump more venom into their victim.

3.) These elapids eat reptiles, amphibians, reptile eggs, bird eggs, birds, and mammals. They have also been observed eating invertebrates and carrion.

4.) Mulga Snakes are immune to the venom of at least one of their snake prey, the Western Brown Snake (Pseudonaja nuchalis), and show don’t seem affected when bitten by their own kind.

5.) Their has been a decline in their species due to the cane toad. Seeing as they are not immune to their poison.

But wait, there’s more on the mulga snake!

6.) Mulgas are crepuscular (active during twilight), diurnal (active during the day – In winter months), nocturnal (active at night – during summer months), and are typically a terrestrial snake but they can climb; if necessary.

7.) Males fight for female breeding rights by entwining with each other and swaying their heads in an effort to push over the opposing male.

Did you know…?
Their venom is a combination of haemolytic (breaks down blood cells), cytotoxic (disrupts cellular activity), myotoxic (affects muscle), and also neurotoxic (affects the nervous system).

8.) When threatened, the Mulga snake will inflate its body and hold its head and flattened neck up in a wide curve parallel to the ground. It will throw its head and neck from side to side, hissing loudly as it does. If harassed further it will strike out in an attempt to bite.

Now a Short Mulga Snake Video!

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Critter Man

With over 40 years of critter experience to my credit and hundreds of zoology teaching hours to people around the world, I have amassed not only a continuing thirst for critter knowledge but a desire to teach others all I can about the majesty and wonder of our natural world. Critter Science is a culmination of such knowledge.I have hands on as well as book acquired intel on all kinds of critters. Whether they're on land, sea, or air.I will never say that I know everything about all animals. That's impossible, even for a savant. But, that being said, ask me any animal question and I'll answer it. If I don't know the answer, I'll get an answer for you!Let it be said that I have been oft times accused of loving animals more than I love people. I can neither confirm nor deny this.

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