Discover the Largest Brown Snake Ever Recorded

Written by Jeremiah Wright
Updated: September 13, 2023
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Key Points

  • Brown snakes are some of the most dangerous species of snakes worldwide.
  • The longest brown snake ever recorded is an eastern brown snake specimen of 7.9 ft (2.4m).
  • Any specimen over 6.5 ft (2 m) is considered abnormal and rare.

Brown snakes are part of the Pseudonaja genus and are some of the most dangerous species of snakes worldwide. The genus is divided into nine species and three subspecies of the Pseudonaja affinis species. All of them are native to certain parts of Australia.

It is also worth mentioning that the genus features one of the most venomous snakes in the world, the eastern brown snake. Also known as the common brown snake, it is responsible for about 60% of all deaths caused by snake bites in Australia.

This species is also known for its length. The average male eastern brown snake can grow as long as 7 ft (2 m), making it a frightening predator.

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Today, we’ll be talking about the largest brown snake ever recorded. But what does “large” mean? Will we talk about the length or weight?

Well, the simple answer is both. Even if you wanted to find out more about the longest brown snake, we will take things one step further and tell you some things about the largest one as well!

What is the Difference Between a King Brown Snake and a Brown Snake?

mulga snake

The

king brown snake

is part of the

Pseudechis

genus, while the brown snake is part of the

Pseudonaja

genus.

©Ken Griffiths/Shutterstock.com

You will be introduced to a king brown snake of 11 ft (3.3 m) almost every time you try to find out more about the longest or largest brown snake. This is why showcasing the main difference between a king brown snake and a brown snake is essential.

While it is indeed a very long snake, it is not a brown snake. The king brown snake is part of the Pseudechis genus. Species in this genus are commonly referred to as black snakes, not brown. Brown snakes, as mentioned, are part of the Pseudonaja genus. Therefore, the longest-recorded king brown snake is not the largest brown snake ever recorded.

You might also find more about the largest brown water snake ever recorded. Again, this species is not part of the brown snake genus but of the Nerodia genus.

To find the longest brown snake ever, it is essential to consider all species that are part of the Pseudonaja genus.

How Big Can a Brown Snake Get?

This table showcases the average and maximal lengths of all different species of brown snakes.

Snake speciesCommon nameAverage lengthMaximum length
Pseudonaja affinisSpotted brown snake/Dugite4.9 ft (1.5m)6.5 ft (2 m)
Pseudonaja aspidorhynchaStrap-snouted brown snake4.9 ft (1.5 m)No maximum length recorded
Pseudonaja guttataSpeckled/spotted brown snake4.6 ft (1.4 m)
Pseudonaja inframaculaPeninsula brown snake
Pseudonaja ingramiIngram’s brown snake5.9 ft (1.76m)
Pseudonaja mengdeniWestern brown snake3.9 ft (1.2 m)6.5 ft (2 m)
Pseudonaja modestaRinged brown snake20 in (50 cm)No maximum length recorded
Pseudonaja nuchalisNorthern brown snake1.2 m5.9 ft (1.8 m)
Pseudonaja textilisEastern brown snake4.9 ft (1.5 m)7.9 ft (2.4 m)

The longest brown snake ever recorded is an eastern brown snake specimen of 7.9 ft (2.4m). This length is not common, mainly because it is attributed to a specimen from the northern populations. According to research, the northern population tends to be crowded with larger snakes in comparison to the southern population.

The second-longest species of brown snake are the western brown snake and the Dugite (spotted brown snake). These can grow up to 6.5 ft (2 m) long.

Discover the Largest Brown Snake Ever Recorded – Gigantor!

Eastern brown snake
Gigantor was the largest brown snake ever recorded, tipping the scales at 4.4 lbs heavy.

In Australia, Gigantor is known as the largest brown snake ever recorded, considering both length and weight. It is only 6.5 ft (2 m) long, so it is not the longest brown snake ever recorded. It is three times heavier than the usual specimen of an eastern brown snake, however. Gigantor weighs about 4.4 pounds (2 kg). The average weight of the eastern brown snake is 1.3 pounds (650 g).

The specimen is also regarded as the largest in terms of venom production. According to its handlers, the eastern brown snake specimen can provide up to 30 mg of venom in a single milking (three times the average brown snake output). The average specimen can provide only up to 12 mg per milking. What’s the takeaway?

Are Brown Snakes Aggressive?

An Eastern Brown Snake, Coiled For A strike

Eastern Brown snakes will attack if provoked

©Ken Griffiths/Shutterstock.com

Brown snakes are known to be highly aggressive when provoked. The most dangerous species, the eastern brown snake, is incredibly shy. It spends most of its time in hiding, in an inactive state. However, they will turn extremely aggressive if provoked. According to research, they often hide when people pass by.

Any specimen over 6.5 ft (2 m) is considered abnormal and rare. For example, this article calls a 5.9 ft (1.8 m) eastern brown snake “massive.” Naturally, this doesn’t mean that you should take an encounter with a brown snake lightly, especially if it’s an abnormally large specimen. It is better and recommended to tread carefully in areas that host snake populations.

How Many Brown Snakes Are There in Australia?

Eastern Brown Snake

The eastern brown snake inhabits most of the eastern half of Australia.

©Ken Griffiths/Shutterstock.com

The eastern brown snake inhabits most of the eastern half of Australia. It is difficult to estimate the number of snakes there, given that nine species of brown snake live throughout the country. The Pseudonaja genus (brown snake) can be found in every part of the country—coastal mainland, western, northern, eastern, mainland, inland, and so on. 

The eastern and western brown snakes are common species in Australia. The two species are the most widespread throughout the country. Encounters with eastern and western brown snakes are not rare.

Even though brown snakes are one of the most venomous species worldwide (mainly due to the eastern brown snake), this is a plus for Australia. Why?

Brown snakes have short fangs, and bite complications rarely require amputations. In contrast, snake bites in Nigeria result in 2400 amputations yearly. On top of that, Australia boasts excellent antivenom and snake bite treatments.

Lifespan: How long do brown snakes live?

As with many different types of snake species, lifespan in the wild is pretty much unknown. However, in captivity brown snakes have been known to live for about seven years according to the ADW. Brown snakes are found in many different places and habitats and usually prefer dry, open areas.

Because there are not many studies about the life of a wild brown snake, we may not even know how long a wild brown snake could live in the right conditions.

Other Record-Breaking Snakes

Reticulated python on white background

This reticulated python shows the dorsal line beginning right behind its nose and the net-like appearance of its markings.

©fivespots/Shutterstock.com

Snakes are truly remarkable animals, and a few of them have managed to make their mark in the record books. The longest snake ever documented is Medusa, a reticulated python that measured 25 feet 2 inches long! She was so impressive that she earned herself a Guinness World Record for being the world’s longest snake. Not far behind is Colossus, an African rock python thought to be one of the largest living snakes in captivity at around 20 feet long! Another jaw-dropping feat comes from Baby Buttercup – who weighed 84 pounds when first caught in 2020 – making her possibly one of the heaviest snakes on record. Finally, we can’t forget about George – quite possibly one of the oldest snakes ever documented; he lived to be 54 years old before passing away peacefully at his home in England! These amazing creatures continue to astound us with what they can do, and it shows why there is still much more research needed into these fascinating creatures.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Ken Griffiths/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

I hold seven years of professional experience in the content world, focusing on nature, and wildlife. Asides from writing, I enjoy surfing the internet and listening to music.

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