AnimalsReptilesSnakesTop 10Venomous snakes

The largest venomous snakes TOP 50

The longest venomous snakes TOP 50

Snake venoms (snake toxins, also ophiotoxins) are the physiologically active components of the venomous snakes’ venomous apparatus. They are mainly used for prey hunting and digestion, as well as for defense against attackers. There is no reliable information on the number of deaths caused by venomous snakes worldwide each year, an estimate from 2008 states 21,000 to 94,000 deaths per year.

Systematic research and analysis of snake venoms have been going on since the 1960s. About a quarter of the approximately 3,900 known species of snakes are venomous snakes.

The subfamily Boiginae comprises by far the largest group, followed by:

  • Elapidae family (commonly known as elapids) – 55 genera with some 360 species and over 170 subspecies
  • Hydrophiinae – sea snakes and many genera of venomous land snakes found in Australasia, such as taipans (Oxyuranus)
  • tiger snakes (Notechis)
  • brown snakes (Pseudonaja) and death adders (Acanthophis)
  • Viperidae (vipers) and Crotalinae (pit vipers)
Inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus)

 

Median lethal dose LD50

The effect of venom is generally assessed using the median lethal dose (LD50 value). The most venomous snakes in the world are mostly native to Australia. The most venomous of all snakes is generally the Inland taipan, also found in Australia, whose “taipoxin” has an LD50 value of 2 μg/kg body weight in mice when administered subcutaneously.

You can find more information about venomous snakes in the articles: The most venomous snakes in the world and The most venomous snakes TOP 10, today we will focus on their dimensions. In the table below, we have collected more than 250 venomous snakes and sorted them by size. As you can see, venomous snakes are not only small, not very menacing-looking creatures, but also one of the largest snakes living today on our planet. Of course, they’re not quite as big and heavy as an anaconda or reticulated python, understandably, but some of them are really impressive in size.

Rattlesnakes (pit vipers)

 

The biggest venomous snakes TOP 50

RankCommon NameScientific NameLength [cm]Length [ft]
1King cobraOphiophagus hannah585 cm19.2 ft
2Black mambaDendroaspis polylepis450 cm14.8 ft
3BushmastersLachesis melanocephala400 cm13.1 ft
4Atlantic bushmasterLachesis muta365 cm12.0 ft
5Coastal taipanOxyuranus scutellatus335 cm11.0 ft
6Mulga snakePseudechis australis330 cm10.8 ft
7King brown snakePseudechis australis330 cm10.8 ft
8Forest cobraNaja melanoleuca320 cm10.5 ft
9Brown tree snakeBoiga irregularis300 cm9.8 ft
10Narrow banded Sea SnakeHydrophis spiralis300 cm9.8 ft
11False Water CobraHydrodynastes gigas300 cm9.8 ft
12Blandings Tree SnakeToxicodryas blandingii280 cm9.2 ft
13Ringed water cobraNaja annulata280 cm9.2 ft
14Eastern green mambaDendroaspis angusticeps280 cm9.2 ft
15Giant spitting cobraNaja ashei270 cm8.9 ft
16Banded kraitBungarus fasciatus270 cm8.9 ft
17Banded kraitBungarus fasciatus270 cm8.9 ft
18Elegant sea snakeHydrophis elegans260 cm8.5 ft
19Collett’s black snakePseudechis colletti260 cm8.5 ft
20Egyptian cobraNaja haje259 cm8.5 ft
21Red bellied black snakePseudechis porphyriacus255 cm8.4 ft
22TerciopeloBothrops asper250 cm8.2 ft
23Eastern Diamondback RattlesnakeCrotalus adamanteus250 cm8.2 ft
24Inland taipanOxyuranus microlepidotus250 cm8.2 ft
25Banded cobraNaja annulifera250 cm8.2 ft
26Okinawa habuProtobothrops flavoviridis240 cm7.9 ft
27Western green mambaDendroaspis viridis240 cm7.9 ft
28Eastern brown snakePseudonaja textilis240 cm7.9 ft
29Mangrove snakeBoiga dendrophila230 cm7.5 ft
30Monocled cobraNaja kaouthia230 cm7.5 ft
31Brazilian lanceheadBothrops moojeni230 cm7.5 ft
32Black necked spitting cobraNaja nigricollis220 cm7.2 ft
33Jameson’s mambaDendroaspis jamesoni220 cm7.2 ft
34Papuan black snakePseudechis papuanus220 cm7.2 ft
35Spectacled cobraNaja naja220 cm7.2 ft
36JararacussuBothrops jararacussu220 cm7.2 ft
37Western diamondback rattlesnakeCrotalus atrox213 cm7.0 ft
38Martinique lanceheadBothrops lanceolatus210 cm6.9 ft
39Mainland tiger snakeNotechis scutatus210 cm6.9 ft
40Red headed kraitBungarus flaviceps210 cm6.9 ft
41Mexican west coast rattlesnakeCrotalus basiliscus205 cm6.7 ft
42Central African gaboon viperBitis gabonica205 cm6.7 ft
43Mangshan pit viperProtobothrops mangshanensis203 cm6.7 ft
44Olive brown sea snakeAipysurus laevis200 cm6.6 ft
45DugitePseudonaja affinis200 cm6.6 ft
46Levantine viperMacrovipera lebetina200 cm6.6 ft
47Montpellier SnakeMalpolon monspessulanus200 cm6.6 ft
48Northern Philippine cobraNaja philippinensis200 cm6.6 ft
49Fer-de-LanceBothrops lanceolatus200 cm6.6 ft
50Annulated sea snakeHydrophis cyanocinctus190 cm6.2 ft

Characteristics of the largest venomous snakes

 

The king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah

King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah)

The king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is a venomous snake species that is native to the rainforests of South and Southeast Asia. It is the longest venomous snake in the world, with some individuals reaching lengths of up to 18 feet (5.5 meters). The king cobra is also known as the hamadryad, a name that refers to the mythical Greek forest nymphs that were said to live in trees.

The king cobra has a slender, cylindrical body with a triangular-shaped head and a pair of long, hinged fangs. Its scales are smooth and shiny, and its coloration is typically olive-green or brown, with lighter crossbands or spots on its body. The king cobra is a diurnal snake, meaning it is active during the day. It is found in a variety of habitats, including rainforests, deciduous forests, and agricultural areas.

The king cobra is a highly venomous snake and is known for its potent neurotoxic venom, which it injects through its long, hinged fangs. Its venom attacks the nervous system and can cause symptoms such as paralysis, difficulty breathing, and death. The king cobra is an aggressive snake and is known to be territorial, attacking intruders that enter its territory. It is considered to be one of the most dangerous snake species in the world. Despite its reputation, the king cobra is not typically aggressive towards humans and only bites when it feels threatened or provoked.

 

Black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis)

Black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis)

The black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) is a venomous snake species that is native to the savannas and woodlands of Sub-Saharan Africa. It is a large, fast-moving snake that is known for its aggressive behavior and highly toxic venom. The black mamba is the longest venomous snake in Africa, with some individuals reaching lengths of up to 14 feet (4.3 meters).

The black mamba has a slender, cylindrical body with a triangular-shaped head and a pair of long, hinged fangs. Its scales are smooth and shiny, and its coloration is typically olive-green, brown, or gray in color, with a distinctive black coloration on the inside of its mouth. The black mamba is a diurnal snake, meaning it is active during the day.

The black mamba is an aggressive snake and is known to attack humans when provoked or threatened. Its venom is a potent neurotoxin that attacks the nervous system and can cause symptoms such as paralysis, difficulty breathing, and death. The black mamba is considered to be one of the most dangerous snake species in Africa, and it is responsible for a significant number of snakebite incidents and deaths in its native range.

 

Bushmasters / black-headed bushmaster (Lachesis melanocephala)

Bushmasters / black-headed bushmaster (Lachesis melanocephala)

The black-headed bushmaster (Lachesis melanocephala) is a venomous snake species found in the rainforests of South and Central America. It is a member of the pit viper family and is known for its large size and highly venomous bite.

An adult black-headed bushmaster can reach an average length of about 6.5 feet (2 meters), although individuals up to 9 feet (2.7 meters) have been recorded. These snakes are heavy-bodied, with a thick tail and a triangular head. They have a dark, shiny appearance and are typically brown or black in color, with a black head and distinctive markings on the body.

The venom of the black-headed bushmaster is highly toxic and can cause severe pain, swelling, and bleeding at the site of the bite. In severe cases, it can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. There is no specific antivenom available for this species, so treatment is typically supportive in nature and may include medications to control pain and inflammation, as well as fluids to help prevent dehydration.

In general, black-headed bushmasters are not aggressive and will only bite in self-defense when threatened or provoked. These snakes are found in a variety of habitats, including rainforests, savannas, and grasslands, and they are skilled climbers and swimmers. They are also nocturnal, so they are most active at night.

 

Atlantic bushmaster (Lachesis muta)

Atlantic bushmaster (Lachesis muta)

The Atlantic bushmaster (Lachesis muta) is a venomous snake species found in the rainforests of Central and South America. It is a member of the pit viper family and is known for its large size and highly venomous bite.

An adult Atlantic bushmaster can reach an average length of about 9.8 feet (3 meters), although individuals up to 13.1 feet (4 meters) have been recorded. These snakes are heavy-bodied, with a thick tail and a triangular head. They have a dark, shiny appearance and are typically brown or black in color, with distinctive markings on the body.

The venom of the Atlantic bushmaster is highly toxic and can cause severe pain, swelling, and bleeding at the site of the bite. In severe cases, it can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. There is no specific antivenom available for this species, so treatment is typically supportive in nature and may include medications to control pain and inflammation, as well as fluids to help prevent dehydration.

In general, Atlantic bushmasters are not aggressive and will only bite in self-defense when threatened or provoked. These snakes are found in a variety of habitats, including rainforests, savannas, and grasslands, and they are skilled climbers and swimmers. They are also nocturnal, so they are most active at night.

 

Coastal taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus)

Coastal taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus)

The coastal taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus), also known as the “fierce snake” or “small-scaled snake,” is a venomous snake species that is native to parts of Australia and Papua New Guinea. It is a medium to large-sized snake, typically reaching lengths of about 6-9 feet (1.8-2.7 meters), although some individuals can grow up to 11 feet (3.4 meters) in length. The coastal taipan is known for its highly toxic venom and its aggressive behavior when threatened.

The coastal taipan has a slender, cylindrical body with a triangular-shaped head and a pair of long, hinged fangs. Its scales are smooth and shiny, and its coloration is typically olive-green or brown in color, with darker crossbands or spots on its body. The coastal taipan is a diurnal snake, meaning it is active during the day. It is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and agricultural areas.

The coastal taipan is a highly venomous snake and is known for its potent neurotoxic venom, which it injects through its long, hinged fangs. Its venom attacks the nervous system and can cause symptoms such as paralysis, difficulty breathing, and death. The coastal taipan is considered to be one of the most dangerous snake species in the world and is responsible for a significant number of snakebite incidents and deaths in its native range. Despite its reputation, the coastal taipan is not typically aggressive towards humans and only bites when it feels threatened or provoked.

 

King brown snake mulga snake (Pseudechis australis)

King brown snake / mulga snake (Pseudechis australis)

The mulga snake (Pseudechis australis) is a venomous snake species found in the arid and semi-arid regions of Australia. It is a member of the Elapidae family, which includes other venomous snakes such as cobras, kraits, and sea snakes.

An adult mulga snake can reach an average length of about 6.5 feet (2 meters), although individuals up to 9 feet (2.7 meters) have been recorded. These snakes are slender and have a narrow head and neck, with a long, tapering tail. They have a shiny, smooth appearance and are typically olive, brown, or black in color, with distinctive markings on the body.

The venom of the mulga snake is highly toxic and can cause severe pain, swelling, and bleeding at the site of the bite. In severe cases, it can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. There is an antivenom available for this species, which can be administered in cases of envenomation.

In general, mulga snakes are not aggressive and will only bite in self-defense when threatened or provoked. These snakes are found in a variety of habitats, including grasslands, woodlands, and wetlands, and they are good climbers and swimmers. They are also nocturnal, so they are most active at night.

 

Forest cobra (Naja melanoleuca)

Forest cobra (Naja melanoleuca)

The forest cobra (Naja melanoleuca) is a venomous snake species that is native to parts of Central and West Africa. It is a medium-sized snake, typically reaching lengths of about 3-4 feet (90-120 cm), although some individuals can grow up to 6 feet (180 cm) in length. The forest cobra is also known as the black-necked cobra due to the distinctive black coloration on the back of its neck.

The forest cobra has a slender, cylindrical body with a triangular-shaped head and a pair of long, hinged fangs. Its scales are smooth and shiny, and its coloration is typically yellow, brown, or olive-colored with darker crossbands or spots on its body. The forest cobra is a diurnal snake, meaning it is active during the day. It is found in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and agricultural areas.

The forest cobra is a venomous snake and is capable of injecting a potent neurotoxic venom through its long, hinged fangs. Its venom attacks the nervous system and can cause symptoms such as paralysis, difficulty breathing, and death. The forest cobra is responsible for a significant number of snakebite incidents and deaths in its native range, and it is considered to be one of the most dangerous snake species in Africa. Despite its reputation, the forest cobra is not typically aggressive towards humans and only bites when it feels threatened or provoked.

 

Brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis)

Brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis)

The brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) is a venomous snake species found in the tropical regions of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. It is a member of the Colubridae family, which includes other non-venomous snakes such as garter snakes and kingsnakes.

An adult brown tree snake can reach an average length of about 3.3 feet (1 meter), although individuals up to 6.6 feet (2 meters) have been recorded. These snakes are slender and have a narrow head and neck, with a long, tapering tail. They have a shiny, smooth appearance and are typically brown or yellowish-brown in color, with distinctive markings on the body.

The venom of the brown tree snake is not considered to be highly toxic to humans, and bites are generally not considered life-threatening. However, bites may cause pain, swelling, and other local symptoms. There is no specific antivenom available for this species, so treatment is typically supportive in nature and may include medications to control pain and inflammation, as well as fluids to help prevent dehydration.

In general, brown tree snakes are not aggressive and will only bite in self-defense when threatened or provoked. These snakes are found in a variety of habitats, including rainforests, savannas, and grasslands, and they are skilled climbers and swimmers. They are also nocturnal, so they are most active at night.

 

Narrow banded Sea Snake (Hydrophis spiralis)

Narrow banded Sea Snake (Hydrophis spiralis)

The narrow-banded sea snake (Hydrophis spiralis) is a venomous snake species found in the waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is a member of the Elapidae family, which includes other venomous snakes such as cobras, kraits, and mulga snakes.

An adult narrow-banded sea snake can reach an average length of about 3.3 feet (1 meter), although individuals up to 5.9 feet (1.8 meters) have been recorded. These snakes are slender and have a narrow head and neck, with a long, tapering tail. They have a smooth, shiny appearance and are typically brown or yellowish-brown in color, with distinctive markings on the body.

The venom of the narrow-banded sea snake is highly toxic and can cause severe pain, swelling, and bleeding at the site of the bite. In severe cases, it can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. There is an antivenom available for this species, which can be administered in cases of envenomation.

In general, narrow-banded sea snakes are not aggressive and will only bite in self-defense when threatened or provoked. These snakes are found in a variety of marine environments, including shallow reefs, lagoons, and estuaries, and they are excellent swimmers. They are also nocturnal, so they are most active at night.

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