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Tiger snake

tiger snake (Notechis scutatus)
Kunghur, New South Wales
Photo © Sandy Macdonald
Notechis scutatus - (Peters, 1861)
Pronunciation  no-TEK-iss   sku-TAH-tuss
Etymology  Notechis: 'southern Echis', after a genus of adders.
scutatus: 'shielded'1.
Other names  Hoplocephalus ater 
Total length
Species avg: 100 cm
Species max: 200 cm
Litter size
Average: 23
Range: 11 - 109
Length and clutch size information comes from a variety of sources, but primarily from Shine (1991) and Cogger (2000).
Description Distribution Natural history Conservation Further information More photos


A highly variable species, ranging from the monsters of Chappell Island that average 1.9m in length, down to the diminutive Krefft's tiger snake of the Flinders Ranges.2
Colouration and patterning can include solid black, grey, yellow-brown; banded, yellow streaks, and almost everything in between.

Similar species


Common tiger snake
Krefft's tiger snake
Tasmanian tiger snake
Peninsula tiger snake
Western tiger snake
Chappell Island tiger snake
Notechis scutatus scutatus
Notechis scutatus ater
Notechis scutatus humphreysi
Notechis scutatus niger
Notechis scutatus occidentalis
Notechis scutatus serventyi

Taxonomic notes

There has been widespread disagreement over the taxonomy of this genus. Some regard it as one highly variable species, others regard it as two species with numerous subspecies. Genetic works suggests that it is indeed one highly variable species.3

Subspecies are listed here for reference (after Mirtschin & Davis 1982)2.

Scale count information

Dorsal scales at midbody   17 to 21
Ventrals   140 to 190 with a single anal scale
Subcaudals   35 to 65 and are single
Other scale information  
Danger rating   Dangerous. Antivenom: tiger snake.
Note: even a bite from a 'virtually harmless' or non-venomous reptile can result in serious complications. Play it safe and don't get bitten by anything.
Notes and disclaimer
This information may not be complete. While all care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information in this page, primary sources should always be consulted for definitive information. Animals have an endearing habit of disobeying the rules, so the information on this page should be interpreted with a degree of flexibility.
The author and site operator accepts no responsibility for any losses or damages incurred through using this web site or the information contained herein. Don't get bitten by anything!
This page may be cited as:
  Notechis scutatus at the Australian Reptile Online Database. Last updated 2017-06-12 17:17:04.
  Retrieved from on the 10th of August, 2020.
Before citing information contained in AROD, please read our Citing AROD page.

Copyright notice
This page, its content and layout are copyright © 2007-2020 Stewart Macdonald / Ug Media, unless otherwise stated.
All photographs in The Australian Reptile Online Database are © the photographer and may not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the photographer.
No part of The Australian Reptile Online Database may be reproduced without written permission from Stewart Macdonald.
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