The weather is heating up, and as we all know, it’s coming into snake season.
One of the snakes we need to keep an eye out for is the Mulga. The Mulga (Pseudechis australis) is part of the Elapidae family and holds the title of Australia’s largest venomous snake, with the largest specimen recorded at 3.3m in length near Darwin. This species of snake has the widest distribution of any Australian snake. It can be found over most of mainland Australia, but prefers dry, open forests and grasslands. According to the Australian Geographic, the Mulga has the largest recorded venom output of any snake in the world, delivering 150mg in one bite. Although the venom produced by the Mulga is not particularly toxic, the rate at which it is produced surpasses other species like the Tiger snake (producing only 10-20mg in a bite).
The Mulga is commonly known as the King Brown, however it’s a member of the black snake genus (Pseudechis), meaning a black snake anti-venom is needed to treat a bite. Their colour varies from a pale brown to copper, with some being quite dark. Usually, each individual scale will have two tones, giving it a subtle pattern. They’re food source includes reptiles and their eggs, birds and their eggs, mammals, and frogs. The Mulga is known to be active both during the day and night, maximising their hunting efficiency. Cane toads have become part of the Mulga’s diet in more recent years. Without the immunity to the Cane toad’s toxins, Mulga populations have declined in the northern parts of Australia.
Northern Mulgas around the Roma area have been known to become quiet aggressive if disturbed. So the best thing to do is not disturb them, and avoid them whenever possible. Hopefully there won’t be any sightings of the Mulga snake this season on the Boobook tours. And if there is, our tour guides are highly trained when it comes to venomous snakes and first aid, so you will be in very safe hands.
If you see one in the wild, just leave it alone. It will defend itself if it feels threatened. Stay calm and watch where it goes. If it’s heading for the bush or an open paddock you probably won’t see it again. If you see a snake inside your home, get all people and pets out of the room immediately. Shut the door and fill the gap underneath with a towel, then call a professional snake catcher for assistance. We do offer this service here at Boobook. There is a fee, regardless of whether we find the snake or not, due to the training, insurance and risk involved. Just call us on 4622 2646.