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Most venomous snakes – TOP 10 & TOP 100

The most venomous snakes in the world – TOP 10 and TOP 100

Which snake is the most venomous?

Such a question may not have an unambiguous answer. There are numerous criteria to be followed while creating a comparison like this one.

Most frequently mentioned venomous snakes include the black mamba (Dendroaspis polyepis) and her ‘kiss of death‘ – it has a toxin with the most immediate effect, several subspecies of cobra (Naja, Ophiopahagus, Hemchatus, Boulengerina), one of the greatest venomous snakes – king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) or the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus).

King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah)
Cobra

Are those snakes truly most venomous?

Certainly every one of those snakes is extremely dangerous. King cobra (the world`s largest venomous snake – 5.7 m (18ft 8in)), Black mamba (Africa`s longest venomous snake – 4.5 m (14ft 9in) of length), or a Pit viper are sizeable snakes, injecting large portions of venom in one bite. Every one of them can easily kill a man, a single bite injection could in fact provide a lethal dose of toxin for several people.

Lethal dose

While preparing this comparison, we decided to focus on the so called Lethal Dose, LD (lat. dosis lethalis, DL). In case of snake venom it determines its toxicity.

The LD value indicates the dose necessary for causing death of a certain percentage of tested animals of a given species -LDx. The X marks the percentage of venomous bites resulting in animals` deaths.

Speckled brown snake (Pseudonaja guttata)
Speckled brown snake (Pseudonaja guttata)

LD50

In the analysis of toxic substances, the most commonly used value is LD50 (median lethal dose). It is a dose which resulted in deaths of 50% of tested specimen. The studies are conducted on mice.

To sum up – the recognized LD50 value stands for 50% mortality rate among mice with ca. 20 g body weight. In short – it is the minimum portion of venom necessary to kill a mouse.

One must remember that LD50 indicates the amount of venom needed to kill, which is not equal to the total amount of venom injected by the snake. In fact, snakes inject much more venom. Consequently, the total portion of the most dangerous snakes’ venom could kill more than one person. In case of the world’s most venomous snake – even 289 people!

There are four most popular methods in which the median lethal dose (LD50) test is measured:

  • LDSC Subcutaneous: Venom is injected into the fatty layer beneath the skin
  • LDIVIntravenous: Venom is injected directly into a vein
  • LDIMIntramuscular: Venom is injected into a muscle
  • LDIPIntraperitoneal: Venom is injected into the abdominal cavity

The most commonly tested methods are subcutaneous and intravenous injections of mice.

Inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus)
Inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus)

Which snake is the most venomous snake in the world?

Inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) – the world’s most venomous snake

The title of the world’s most venomous snake belongs to the inland taipan, which inhabits the deserts of Australia.

Mean lethal dose LD50 of the inland taipan’s venom is merely 0.025 mg/kg for mice. This means that a single bite, allowing it to inject up to 100 mg of venom, is enough to kill over 100 adult people. The venom needs 45 minutes to take effect. If we are able to apply a serum by that time, we will live. The problem is that being bit in the middle of an Australian desert one does not always carry the antidote by chance.

The comparison below covers the most venomous snakes in the world. Among others, the table holds the Valakadyn sea snake (Enhydrina schistosa), one of the most venomous sea snakes, plus the most venomous snake of the seas – Dubois` sea snake (Aipysurus duboisii).

Black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis)
Black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis)

_______________________________________

Top 10 & Top 100 most venomous snakes
in the world

No.NameVenom [mg]LD50 SC [mg/kg]kills 50% of mice
1Inland taipan2170.011085000
2Eastern brown snake1550.0365212329
3Dubois' sea snake0.70.044795
4Yellowbelly sea snake40.0672985
5Taiwanese krait18.40.0910222
6Coastal taipan8820.106416038
7Beaked sea snake790.112535111
8Mainland tiger snake3360.12140000
9Saw scaled viper720.15123841
10Northern Philippine cobra2500.262500
11Black banded sea krait140.23500
12Tiger rattlesnake110.212619
13Forest cobra11020.225244889
14Monocled cobra7420.24154583
15Indochinese spitting cobra7380.25147600
16Elegant sea snake240.264615
17Olive brown sea snake330.2646250
18Chinese cobra2000.2934483
19Mohave rattlesnake1500.3124194
20Black mamba4000.32400000
21Speckled Brown Snake60.36833
22Indian krait24.30.3653329
23Caspian cobra5900.473750
24Death adder2360.429500
25Spectacled cobra6100.4567778
26Annulated sea snake800.4648621
27Western brown snake740.4737822
28Lowlands Copperhead1550.515500
29Fea's viper1.750.5175
30Dugite1430.6610833
31Cape cobra1500.710714
32Western green mamba1000.77143
33Russell's viper2500.7516667
34Rinkhals12016000
35Jameson's mamba12016000
36King cobra5001.09122915
37Congo water cobra3001.1513043
38Eastern coralsnake51.3192
39Stephens's banded snake1541.365662
40Clarence River Snake841.363088
41Mulga snake8021.9420670
42Black necked spitting cobra36229050
43Blue bellied black snake2132.135000
44Collett's Snake2262.384748
45Red bellied black snake2982.525913
46Mexican west coast rattlesnake2972.85304
47Horned viper13232200
48Eastern green mamba753.051230
49Timber rattlesnake2293.13694
50Banded krait1143.61583
51Small scaled burrowing asp104125
52Jararaca704.32810
53Puff adder7504.48523
54Central African gaboon viper2400524000
55Sidewinder rattlesnake805.5727
56Wagler's pit viper906.19727
57Common European adder186.45140
58Western diamondback rattlesnake11457.87340
59Sharp nosed viper2149.21163
60Red diamond rattlesnake7079.923564
61Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake84811.43719
62Boomslang812.532
63White lipped pit viper1512.7559
64Jararacussu321131235
65Common Night Adder300151000
66Urutu10015.8316
67Levantine viper15016469
68Mamushi72018
69Common lancehead20022455
70Malayan pit viper6023.4128
71Mottled Rock rattlesnake12923.95269
72Pigmy Rattlesnake3524.372
73Copperhead7525.6146
74Cottonmouth17025.8329
75Eyelash viper2033.230
76Atlantic bushmaster50036.9678

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6 thoughts on “Most venomous snakes – TOP 10 & TOP 100”

  1. Boomslang should be much higher on the list easily top 20 a lot of ppl say black mamba is Africa’s deadliest snake but it’s not boomslang is.. And as someone already stated belchers sea snake isn’t even on the list and its a contender for number 2 overall and eastern diamondback should be the first rattler listed.

    1. Belcher’s sea snake has only 0.24 mg/kg when delivered intramuscularly and it is not such venomous like you claim. The most venomous sea snake is actually Dubois’ seasnake(Aipysurus duboisii ). On what basis do you claim that boomslang should be higher, since the ld50 of this snake is lower.

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