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Pseudonaja textilis (DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL, 1854)

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Higher TaxaElapidae (Hydrophiinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Eastern brown snake
G: Gewöhnliche Braunschlange 
SynonymFurina textilis DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 1242
Pseudoelaps superciliosus FISCHER 1856: 107
Demansia annulata GÜNTHER 1858: 213
Pseudoelaps kubingii JAN 1859: 127
Pseudoelaps sordellii JAN 1859: 127
Furina textilis — KREFFT 1862: 149
Pseudonaia textilis — KREFFT 1862: 394
Pseudoelaps kubinyi JAN 1863: 116 (emend. or lapsus pro kubingii)
Pseudoelaps supercilliosus var. beckeri JAN 1863
Diemennia superciliosa — GÜNTHER 1863: 239
Diemenia superciliaris MCCOY 1867: 182 (lapsus pro superciliosus)
Pseudoelaps beckeri JAN & SORDELLI 1873
Diemenia superciliosa — MCCOY 1878
Furina bicucullata MCCOY 1879
Cacophis guntheri STEINDACHNER 1867: 91
Furina cucullata BOULENGER 1896: 325 (lapsus pro Furina bicucullata)
Pseudechis cupreus BOULENGER 1896: 329 (part.)
Demansia textilis — FRY 1914: 193
Demansia textilis (inframaculata) WAITE 1929
Pseudonaja textilis — MCDOWELL 1967
Pseudonaja textilis — COGGER 1983: 233
Pseudonaja ohnoi WELLS & WELLINGTON 1985
Pseudonaja textilis — COGGER 2000: 675
Euprepiosoma textilis — WELLS 2002
Pseudonaja elliotti HOSER 2003
Pseudonaja textilis pughi HOSER 2003
Pseudonaja textilis cliveevattii — HOSER 2012 (preliminary)
Pseudonaja textilis leswilliamsi — HOSER 2012 (preliminary)
Pseudonaja textilis rollinsoni — HOSER 2012 (preliminary)
Pseudonaja textilis jackyhoserae — HOSER 2012 (preliminary)
Pseudonaja textilis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 605
Pseudonaja textilis — MIRTSCHIN et al. 2017 
DistributionAustralia (New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia), Papua New Guinea

Type locality: Australia

Pseudonaja ellioti: Australia (W New South Wales); Type locality: about 30 km N Wilcannia on White Cliffs rd, New South Wales (31°23’S 143°10’E)  
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA 3944 from Nouvelle-Hollande (= Australia)
Holotype: ZMH 362, from "New Holland (Sydney)" in original description; type labelled Sydney, N. S. W. [Pseudoelaps superciliosus]
Holotype: BMNH 1946.1.17.54, from Australia [Demansia annulata]
Holotype: Pesth (Budapest), presumed lost or destroyed, from N. S. W. [Pseudoelaps kubingii]
Holotype: MSNM not found, from Australia [Pseudoelaps sordellii]
Holotype: ZMH not found, from Sydney, N. S. W. [Pseudoelaps beckeri]
Lectotype: NMV D1832, from Longwood, Vic. ; original description cites Longwood, Vic. and Benalla, Vic., designated by Coventry (1970) [Furina bicucullata]
Holotype: none; description based on literature records; see also under Pseudechis australis (Gray, 1842), from Murray River (N. S. W. /Vic. ) [Pseudechis cupreus]
Holotype: AM R132991, (collector not stated, 10.ii.1991) [ellioti] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis in SKINNER 2009. 
CommentSubspecies: Pseudonaja textilis inframacula is now considered as a valid species. Hoser (2003) based his description of Pseudonaja textilis pughi primarily on McDowell’s brief description, designating the specimens described by McDowell as his types, and used the maxillary tooth counts as his main diagnostic character. In addition, he briefly described the coloration of living specimens examined by him personally (without indicating sample size or origin), and explicitly stated that all New Guinea Pseudonaja are assignable to his new subspecies. The status of Pseudonaja elliotti is questionable but it is likely to be synonymous with P. textilis (A. Skinner, W. Wüster, pers. comm.; Wilson & Swan 2008, Williams et al. 2008).


This species is considered to be the second-most venomous species in the world (after Oxyuranus microlepidotus; fide DOUGHTY et al. 2007). The Eastern brown snake causes most snakebite deaths in Australia (although there are only 1 or 2 fatalities per year). 
EtymologyNamed after Latin textilis (= woven), from the woven or plaited appearance and the unusual colouration. 
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H. G. 2014. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 7th ed. CSIRO Publishing, xxx + 1033 pp. - get paper here
  • Cogger, H.G. 2000. Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia, 6th ed. Ralph Curtis Publishing, Sanibel Island, 808 pp.
  • Coventry, A. J. 1970. Reptile and amphibian type specimens housed in the National Museum of Victoria. Mem. Natl. Mus. Vic. 31: 115-124. - get paper here
  • Crowe-Riddell JM, Snelling EP, Watson AP, Suh AK, Partridge JC, Sanders KL. 2016. The evolution of scale sensilla in the transition from land to sea in elapid snakes. Open Biol. 6: 160054 - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C., Bibron, G. & DUMÉRIL, A. H. A., 1854. Erpétologie générale ou histoire naturelle complète des reptiles. Tome septième. Deuxième partie, comprenant l'histoire des serpents venimeux. Paris, Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret: i-xii + 781-1536 - get paper here
  • Eldridge, M. D. B., S. Ingleby, A. G. King, S. V. Mahony, H. E. Parnaby, C. A. Beatson, A. Divljan, G. J. Frankham, A. C. Hay, R. E. Major, S. E. Reader, R. A. Sadlier, and L. R. Tsang. 2020. Australian Museum surveys of the vertebrate fauna of Coolah Tops National Park, NSW. Technical Reports of the Australian Museum Online 30: 1–26 - get paper here
  • Fischer, J.G. 1856. Neue Schlangen des Hamburgischen Naturhistorischen Museums. Abhandl. Nat. Ver. Hamburg 3 (4): 79-116 - get paper here
  • Fry, D. B. 1914. On a collection of reptiles and batrachians from Western Australia. Rec. West. Austral. Mus. 1:174-210 - get paper here
  • Gillam, M. W. 1979. The genus Pseudonaja (Serpentes : Elapidae) in the Northern Territory. Territory Parks Wildl. Commn. Res. Bull. 1: 1-28
  • Greenbaum, E. 2000. Herpetofaunal observations in disparate habitats in south Sustralia, New South Wales, and queensland, Australia. Herpetological Bulletin (72): 6-16 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1858. Catalogue of Colubrine snakes of the British Museum. London, I - XVI, 1 - 281 - get paper here
  • Günther,A. 1863. Note on Diemennia superciliosa. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 12: 239 - get paper here
  • Hansen, N. A., & Oliver, D. L. 2020. Observations of an aggregation between two species of Australian elapid snakes: the threatened Little Whip Snake Parasuta flagellum and Common Eastern Brown Snake Pseudonaja textilis. Australian Zoologist 41(2): 179–185. - get paper here
  • Hoser, R. 2003. A new species of elapid (Serpentes: Elapidae), from western New South Wales. Crocodilian, 4 (2): 19-22 - get paper here
  • Hoser, R. 2009. Eight new taxa in the genera Pseudonaja Gunther 1858, Oxyuranus Kinghorn 1923, and Panacedechis Wells and Wellington 1985 (Serpentes:Elapidae). Australasian J. Herpetol. 4: 1-27 - get paper here
  • Hoser, R. 2012. The description of a new genus of west Australian snake and eight new taxa in the genera Pseudonaja Gunther, 1858, Oxyuranus Kinghorn, 1923 and Panacedechis Wells and Wellington, 1985 (Serpentes: Elapidae). Australasian J. Herpetol. 11: 32-50 - get paper here
  • Hoser, R.T. 2003. A new subspecies of elapid (Serpentes, Elapidae), from New Guinea. Boydii. J. Herpetol. Assoc. Queensland.Autumn 2003:2–4
  • Hoser, Raymond T. 1991. An aggregation of eastern brown snakes (Pseudonaja textilis). Herpetofauna (Sydney) 21 (2): 38 - get paper here
  • Jan, G. 1863. Elenco Sistematico degli Ofidi descriti e disegnati per l'Iconografia Generale. Milano, A. Lombardi. vii + 143 pp. - get paper here
  • Jan, G. & Sordelli, F. 1873. Iconographie Générale des Ophidiens. Atlas 1860-1881. Milan: Jan & Sordelli, 50 livr. - get paper here
  • Kay, G.M.; D. Michael; M. Crane; S. Okada; C. MacGregor; D. Florance; D. Trengove; L. McBurney; D. Blair; D.B. Lindenmayer. 2013. A list of reptiles and amphibians from Box Gum Grassy Woodlands in south-eastern Australia. Check List 9 (3):476-481 - get paper here
  • Krefft, G. 1862. Note on Furina textilis. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 10: 393 - get paper here
  • Krefft, G. 1862. Note on Furina textilis. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1862: 149-150 - get paper here
  • Kuch, Ulrich and Frank Bambang Yuwono 2002. First record of brown snakes Pseudonaja cf. textilis (Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854) from Papua, Indonesia (Squamata: Serpentes: Elapidae). Herpetozoa 15 (1/2):75-78 - get paper here
  • Laita, Mark 2013. Serpentine. Abrams and PQ Blackwell, Auckland, New Zealand, 200 unnumbered pages
  • Massimo Capalbo 2024. The World's Most Dangerous Snakes - Volume I: From the fast-lightning Black Mamba to the insidious Hook-nosed Sea Snake, through the formidable Coastal Taipan. Privately published, 252 pp. - get paper here
  • McCoy, F. 1867. On the recent zoology and palaeontology of Victoria. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 20: 175-202 - get paper here
  • McCoy, F. 1879. Diemenia superciliosa (Fischer) The common brown snake; Diemenia microlepidota (McCoy) Small-scaled brown snake, Diemenia aspidorhyncha (McCoy) The shield-fronted brown snake. [...] Prod. Zool. Vict. 3: 11-13. - get paper here
  • McCoy, F. 1879. The two-hooded furina snake. Prod. Zool. Vict. 4: 13-15 - get paper here
  • McDowell, Samuel B.;Cogger, Harold G. 1967. Aspidomorphus, a genus of New Guinea snakes of the family Elapidae, with notes on related genera. Journal of Zoology, London 151: 497-543 - get paper here
  • Michael, D.R.; D.B. Lindenmayer; M. Crane; C. MacGregor; R. Montague-Drake; L. McBurney. 2011. Reptilia, Murray catchment, New South Wales, southeastern Australia. Check List 7 (1):25-29 - get paper here
  • Mirtschin, P., Rasmussen, A.R. & Weinstein, S.A. 2017. Australia’s Dangerous snakes. CSIRO Publishing, 424 pp. - get paper here
  • Mo, Matthew 2015. Herpetofaunal community of the constructed Lime Kiln Bay Wetland, south Sydney, New South Wales. Victorian Naturalist 132 (3): 64-72 - get paper here
  • Murphy, Michael J. 1994. Reptiles and amphibians of Seven Mile Beach National park, NSW. Herpetofauna (Sydney) 24 (2): 24-30
  • Norval, Gerrut; Jessica Clayton, Robert D. Sharrad, and Michael G. Gardner 2018. Notes on the stomach contents of a juvenile Sleepy Lizard, Tiliqua rugosa (Gray 1825), killed by an Eastern Brown Snake, Pseudonaja textilis (Duméril, Bibron, and Duméril 1854) in South Australia. IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 25 (3): 200–203 - get paper here
  • O'Shea,M. 1996. A Guide to the Snakes of Papua New Guinea. Independent Publishing, Port Moresby, xii + 239 pp. - get paper here
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Reza, M.A.; Minh Le, T.N.; Swarup, S.; Manjunatha Kini, R. 2006. Molecular evolution caught in action: gene duplication and evolution of molecular isoforms of prothrombin activators in Pseudonaja textilis (brown snake). Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 4(6):1346-1353. - get paper here
  • Simpson, KNG 1973. AMPHIBIANS, REPTILES AND MAMMALS OF THE MURRAY RIVER region between Mildura and Renmark, Australia. Mem. Nat. Mus. Vict. 34: 275-279 - get paper here
  • Skinner, Adam 2009. A multivariate morphometric analysis and systematic review of Pseudonaja (Serpentes, Elapidae, Hydrophiinae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 155 (1): 171-197 - get paper here
  • Skinner, Adam; Stephen C. Donnellan; Mark N. Hutchinson and Rhonda G. Hutchinson 2005. A phylogenetic analysis of Pseudonaja (Hydrophiinae, Elapidae, Serpentes) based on mitochondrial DNA sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Volume 37 (2): 558-571 - get paper here
  • Swan, G.; Sadlier, R.; Shea, G. 2017. A field guide to reptiles of New South Wales. Reed New Holland, 328 pp.
  • Turner, Grant S 2017. Some observations and a review of the variation in banding patterns of juvenile Eastern brown snakes 'Pseudonaja textilis textilis' (Elapidae). Victorian Naturalist 134 (1): 4-11 - get paper here
  • Wachtel, Eric 2018. Ein Traum wird wahr: 6 Monate unterwegs durch Australien. Ophidia 12 (2): 12-23
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Wells, Richard 1984. Literature: Eggs and young of Pseudonaja textilis textilis. Litteratura Serpentium 4 (2): 83-84 - get paper here
  • Wells, Richard W. 2002. Taxonomy of the Genus Pseudonaja (Reptilia: Elapidae) in Australia. Australian Biodiversity Record (7): 1-41
  • Whitaker, P.B. & R. Shine 2002. Thermal Biology and Activity Patterns of the Eastern Brownsnake (Pseudonaja textilis): A Radiotelemetric Study Herpetologica 58 (4): 436-452. - get paper here
  • Whitaker, P.B. & Shine, R. 2003. A radiotelemetric study of movements and shelter-site selection by free-ranging Brownsnakes (Pseudonaja textilis, Elapidae). Herpetological Monographs 17: 130-144 - get paper here
  • WILLIAMS DAVID J.; MARK O'SHEA, ROLAND L. DAGUERRE CATHARINE E. POOK, WOLFGANG WÜSTER, CHRISTOPHER J. HAYDEN, JOHN D. MCVAY, OWEN PAIVA, TEATU-LOHI MATAINAHO, KENNETH D. WINKEL & CHRISTOPHER C. AUSTIN 2008. Origin of the eastern brownsnake, Pseudonaja textilis (Dumeril, Bibron and Dumeril) (Serpentes: Elapidae: Hydrophiinae) in New Guinea: evidence of multiple dispersals from Australia, and comments on the status of Pseudonaja textilis pughi Hoser 2003. Zootaxa 1703: 47-61 - get paper here
  • Wilson, S. & Swan, G. 2010. A complete guide to reptiles of Australia, 3rd ed. Chatswood: New Holland, 558 pp.
  • Wilson,S. & Swan, G. 2008. A complete guide to the Reptiles of Australia, 2nd ed. Princeton University Press
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