Significance to Humans

The eastern brown snake is considered to be the second most venomous terrestrial snake.

Clinically, the venom of the eastern brown snake is known to cause diarrhea, dizziness, collapse or convulsions, renal failure, paralysis and cardiac arrest. Without medical treatment, bites can be fatal. As this species tends to initiate their defence with non-fatal bites, the untreated mortality rate in most snakebite cases reported is 10–20%, which is not very high.

General Description

Adult eastern brown snakes are highly variable in colour. Whilst usually a uniform shade of brown, they can have various patterns including speckles and bands, and range from a very pale fawn colour through to black, including orange, silver, yellow and grey. Juveniles can be banded and have a black head, with a lighter band behind, a black nape, and numerous red-brown spots on the belly.




Average Length

Regularly found in the Sydney region up to 2m in length, but specimens from juvenile size up to around 1.3m are most common. 

Habitat in Sydney Region

Wide range of habitats but generally prefers drier habitat. Dry open forest, wood and shrubland, grassland, farmland. Brown Snakes are also common in agricultural regions where livestock feed and cleared land has created an environment with an abundance of rodents as a food source.

General Habits

Diurnal (Day Time) active hunter but has also been seen active on hot nights. Not usually a climbing species but may occasionally climb in search of potential prey. Quick to retreat most specimens are usually seen disappearing into available cover at the first opportunity.


Primarily small mammals (rats, mice etc) but also lizards and occasionally frogs.

Local distribution

Most common large venomous snake. Readily occurs almost everyhere in the Sydney area but especially to the west. 


Around the Home

Often encountered around homes in the Western Sydney region where drier grassland and farmland is their preffered habitat 

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