World's Most Venomous Snakes

Apr 25th, 2009
Venomous snakes use modified saliva called venom and usually delivered through highly specialized teeth such as hollow fangs, for the purpose of prey immobilization and self-defense. Here’s a list of the most toxic serpents in the world.

Venomous snakes use modified saliva called venom and usually delivered through highly specialized

teeth such as hollow fangs, for the purpose of prey immobilization and self-defense. Here’s a list of the

most toxic serpents in the world.

1. Belcher’s Sea Snake (Hydrophis belcheri)

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This extremely venomous snake is also commonly called Faint-banded Sea Snake - it is the most toxic

snake in the world. It has a friendly temperament and would normally have to be subjected to severe mis-

treatment before biting. Because of its docile nature, it is generally not regarded as very dangerous. They

can be found in the waters of Visayan and Panay areas in the Philippines, New Guinea, Australia, Solomon

Islands, Gulf of Thailand and Timor Sea.

2. Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus)

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The Inland Taipan is the most venomous terrestrial snake. It is also called Small Scaled Snake, Fierce Snake

and change color as season change. The above picture shows its color during summer. It is native to Australia

and although highly venomous, it is timid and docile, provided it is left alone.

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They kill with quick through multiple strikes, injecting venom into their victim. A bite from the Inland Taipan

can contain enough venom to kill 100 human adults or 250,000 mice. The average venom yield is 44 mg,

110 mg being the largest recorded. Its venom is 200-400 times more toxic than most rattlesnakes and 50

times as toxic as a cobra. Its neurotoxic venom can kill an adult human in 45 minutes, luckily, there have

been no documented human fatalities.

3. Beaked Sea Snake (Enhydrina schistosa)

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This is also known with various common names such as Hook-nosed Sea Snake, Common Sea Snake and

Valakadyn Sea Snake. It is active both during the day and at night and capable to dive up to 100 meters

and stay underwater for a maximum of five hours before resurfacing because it has air bubbles closing nose

(see picture below). It’s venomous but not aggressive and thus handled by fishermen without fear, they just

throw it back into the sea upon sight. The venom of this snake is rated four to eight times as toxic as cobra

venom. About 1.5 milligrams of its venom is estimated to be lethal.

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It is found in the Persian Gulf Arabian Sea, south of the Seychelles and Madagascar, the seas off South

Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Guinea.

4. Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis)

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The Eastern Brown Snake of Australia is one of the world’s deadliest snakes and often regarded as the

2nd most venomous land snake. Although Eastern Browns will seek to avoid confrontation, their venom is

very toxic, and can be fatal; even juveniles have caused human fatalities. When bitten, application of pressure

mobilization first-aid technique is highly effective. If correct first-aid and safety protocols are followed, the

chances of death from Eastern Brown Snake are minimal

5. Coastal Taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus)

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The Coastal Taipan is regarded as the 3rd most venomous land snake in the world. It has two subspecies:

Oxyuranus scutellatus scutellatus and the Papuan Taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus canni). Taipans can grow

6½ to 12 feet long (2 to 3.6 meters). The Coastal Taipan is usually pale to dark brown in color, fading to a

lateral cream, although juveniles are lighter in color. The Papuan Taipan is black or purplish-gray, with a

copper-colored stripe on its back. It is often found in sugar fields due to abundance of rats—its main food

source, where it fed on it 2x to 3x a week.

6. Philippine Cobra (Naja philippinensis)

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The very toxic “Ulupong” or Northern Philippine Cobra is found on the islands of Luzon, Mindoro, Masbate

and Catanduanes. It grows up to 2 meters in length. Its venom is a neurotoxin which affects cardiac and

respiratory function and can cause neurotoxicity and respiratory paralysis and death in thirty minutes. It is

capable of spitting their venom up to 3 meters. Drop by drop, the Northern Philippine Cobra has the most

potent venom of all the species of cobra. Victims die because of complete respiratory failure.

7. King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah)

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The King Cobra is the longest venomous snake in the world with lengths of up to 6.7 m or 22 ft with a weight

of 6 kg or 13 lbs and is widespread throughout Southeast Asia and parts of India, but found mostly in forested

areas. Its venom of the King Cobra is primarily neurotoxic, and the snake is fully capable of killing a human with

a single bite. The mortality rate from a bite can be as high as 75%. Although its venom is not the most toxic

one, its size enables it to inject larger quantities of venom than most other species. On a single bite, it injects

as much as 6 to 7 ml of venom that kills faster than other serpents. The King Cobra can kill up to 5 times faster

than the black mamba, so it just takes a few minutes to kill a human, and can even kill an Asian Elephant within

3 hours.

8. Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis)

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The deadly Black Mamba is one of Africa’s most dangerous and feared snakes. It is regarded as the 6th

most venomous snake in the world. It also holds other record such as the largest venomous snake in Africa,

the second longest venomous snake in the world and the fastest land snake in the world. It is known for being

very aggressive when disturbed or confronted and will not hesitate to strike with deadly precision.

It grows to a maximum of length of 4.5 meters or 14 ft. The name “black mamba” is somewhat confusing because

it contradicts the snake’s actual color. Its body is not black at all; the name is given to it because of its inky black


Black Mamba venom contains powerful, fast-acting neurotoxins and cardiotoxins, including calciseptine. Its

bite delivers about 100-120 mg of venom on average, however it can deliver up to 400 mg of venom; 10 to

15 mg is deadly to a human adult. Without antivenom, the mortality rate is nearly 100%, the highest among

venomous snakes. Death can result anytime between 15 minutes and 3 hours.

9. Tiger Snake (Notechis)

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Tiger Snakes are a type of venomous of Australia including its coastal islands and Tasmania. Tiger snakes

possess a potent neurotoxin, coagulants, haemolysins and myotoxins and rank amongst the deadliest snakes

in the world. There are 5 species of tiger Snakes, all of which are extremely venomous. Symptoms of a bite

include localized pain in the foot and neck region, tingling, numbness, and sweating, followed by a fairly rapid

onset of breathing difficulties and paralysis. While antivenom is effective, mortality rates approach 45% if not


10. Common Krait (Bungarus caeruleus)

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The highly venomous Common Krait is found in the jungles of India. Its venom is extremely neurotoxic and

quickly induces muscle paralysis. Fortunately, kraits are nocturnal and seldom encounter humans during

daylight hours, so incidents are rare. Death occurs approximately 6-8 hours after the krait bite and cause of

death is general respiratory failure like suffocation.

11. Russell’s Viper (Doboia russelii)

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Doboia russelii is found in Asia throughout India, Southeast Asia, southern China and Taiwan. It is the

most dangerous viperid snake and a major cause of snakebite injury and mortality within much of its range.

It grows to a maximum length of 166 cm or 5.5 ft. The amount of venom produced by individual specimens

is considerable. Reported venom yields for adult specimens range from 130-250 mg to 150-250 mg to 21-

268 mg. For 13 juveniles with an average length of 79 cm, the average venom yield was 45 mg.

12. Common Lancehead (Bothrops atrox)

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The Common Lancehead of South America is very dangerous and is the cause of more human fatalities than

any other American reptile. It is known to search for rodents in coffee and banana plantations and workers

there are often bitten by the snake which can lie camouflaged for hours, nearly undetectable, and striking with

high speed. It is much feared because its venom is a hemotoxin that is particularly lethal and fast-acting.

Venom yield averages 124 mg, although it may be as much as 342 mg. The fatal dose in humans is just

62 mg.

13. Terciopelo (Bothrops asper)

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Terciopelo of central and northern South America is sometimes referred to as the “ultimate pitviper” and the

main cause of snakebite incidents within its range. It is regarded as the most dangerous snake in Costa Rica

responsible for 46% of all bites and 30% of all hospitalized cases. Other names include Fer-de-lance, Barba

Amarilla, Nauyaca and Yellow-jaw Tommygoff

One of the reasons so many people are bitten is because of its association with human habitation and many bites actually occur indoors, especially in school libraries.

14. Golden Lancehead (Bothrops insularis)

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The Golden Lancehead is found only on the Island of Quiemada Grande off the coast of Brazil. Because it

is only found in an area uninhabited by humans, there has never been an official report of a human being

bitten by one, but other lanceheads are responsible for more human deaths than any other group of snakes

in either North or South America. Chemical analysis of the venom of Golden lancehead suggests that it is 5x

as potent as that of Bothrops jararaca and is the fastest acting venom in the genus Bothrops.

15. Jararaca Lancehead (Bothrops Jararaca)

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Bothrops jararaca of southern Brazil, Northern Argentina and Paraguay is the most well-known venomous

snake in the wealthy and heavily populated areas of southeastern Brazil, where it was responsible for 52%

(3,446 cases) of snakebite between 1902 and 1945 with an 0.7% mortality rate (25 deaths). The average

venom yield is 25-26 mg with a maximum of 300 mg of dried venom. The venom is quite toxic.

16. Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)

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Mojave Rattlesnake is the world’s most venomous rattlesnake. It is found in the deserts of the southwestern

US and central Mexico. It is perhaps best known for its potent neurotoxic venom. It is widely regarded as

producing one of the most toxic snake venoms in the New World. It grows to an average of less than 100 cm

in length, with a maximum of 137.3 cm. Other common names include Mojave Diamond Rattlesnake, Desert

Diamond Back, Mojave Rattler and Scutulated Rattlesnake.

17. Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus)

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The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake of southeastern US holds the reputation of being the most dangerous

venomous snake in North America and is the heaviest venomous snake on record which weighed over 12 kg

or 26 lbs. It is also the largest rattlesnake species that grows to a maximum size 244 cm or 8 ft in length. In

proportion to its length, it has the longest fangs of any rattlesnake species with a total length of 27 mm (over

one inch).

While not usually aggressive, it is large and powerful and mortality rate is 30%. Some victims have died within

a matter of hours. It has a very high venom yield: an average of 400-450 mg, with a maximum of 858-1,000 mg.

The estimated human lethal dose is 100-150 mg.

18. Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotralus atrox)

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Crotalus atrox of the US and Mexico is likely responsible for the majority of snakebite fatalities in northern

Mexico and the second greatest number in the USA after Eastern. Adults commonly grow to 120 cm or 4 ft

in length. Various common names are Diamondback rattlesnake. Adobe Snake, Arizona Diamond Rattlesnake,

Coon Tail, Desert Diamond-back, Desert Diamond Rattlesnake, Fierce Rattlesnake, Spitting Rattlesnake,

Texan Rattlesnake, Texas Diamond-back and Western Diamond Rattlesnake.

Hope you enjoyed this. Thank you!

For related articles about snakes see

Top 15 Most Venomous Cobras in the World

The World’s Most Colorful Snakes

Nobert Bermosa
I grew up and studied in a wonderful place with awesomely good and industrious people. I have always been a good follower and I solemnly believe that "If you want to be a good leader, be a good follower" and I also believe that "A real…
Nobert Bermosa
I am a Secondary School Head Teacher III and just graduated my doctorate degree at Araullo University. I also contribute articles on Triond & Knoji.
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