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Home > Snakes > Coastal Taipan

Coastal Taipan

Coastal taipan is a type of large, extremely poisonous snake native to Australia and New Guinea. It is the largest venomous snake found in Australia. It is the world’s sixth-most venomous land snake. The species is diurnal, but may exhibit nocturnal behavior during hot weather. There are two recognized subspecies of this species.

    Kingdom Animalia
    Phylum Chordata
    Subphylum Vertebrata
    Class Reptilia
    Order Squamata
    Suborder Serpentes
    Family Elapidae
    Genus Oxyuranus
    Scientific Name Oxyuranus scutellatus

    Other Names Common Taipan
    Length 1.5 to 2m; largest recorded specimen measures 2.9 m
    Weight Around 3 kg; largest recorded specimen weighs 6.5 kg
    Color Uniform light olive or reddish-brown to dark gray or black; creamy-white to pale light-yellow underside often speckled with pink or orange; color changes with season change – tend to become lighter in summer and darker during winter
    Distribution North-western Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Cape York Peninsula, eastern Queensland, northern New South Wales, New Guinea, Papua New Guinea
    Habitat Monsoon forests, wet and dry sclerophyll forests, woodlands, natural and artificial grassy areas, sugarcane plantations
    Diet Mammals like rats, mice, bandicoots and birds
    Predators Newborns and juveniles are preyed upon by birds of prey and goannas
    Venom Fact Highly toxic – consists mainly of neurotoxin
    Breeding Season July – October
    Mode of Reproduction Oviparous (egg laying)
    Clutch Size 3 to 21 eggs
    Incubation Period 2 to 3 months
    Reproductive Age Male: Around 16 months of age
    Female: Around 28 months of age
    Average Lifespan 10 to 15 years in captivity
    IUCN Conservation Status Not Assessed

    Coastal Taipan Pictures Gallery

    Published on December 3rd 2016 by under Snakes. Article was last reviewed on 7th June 2019.

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