Oxyuranus microlepidotus (McCoy, 1879:12)

Inland taipan, Fierce snake, Small-scaled snake



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Diemenia microlepidota McCoy, 1879:12 (basionym); Pseudechis microlepidotus McCoy, 1879:12; Parademansia microlepidota (McCoy, 1879:12); Diemenia ferox Macleay, 1882:812


Diemenia ferox was first synonymised with O. microlepidotus by (H. G. Cogger in Cogger et al., 1983:230)


Conservation Status

Last record: 1882

Rediscovered in 1972



Australia (eastern)


Biology & Ecology

"Ecology: terrestrial, diurnal, predator, low shrubland, tall shrubland, tussock grassland; oviparous, general carnivore."

(Cogger et al., 1983:230)



Lectotype: NMV D12354 (designated by Coventry, 1970:121; Cogger et al., 1983:230)

Type locality: "junction of Murray and Darling Rivers, Vic." (Cogger et al., 1983:230)


Holotype (ferox): MMUS (presumed lost) (Cogger et al., 1983:230)

Type locality: "Fort Bourke, N.S.W." (Cogger et al., 1983:230)






Original scientific description:

McCoy, F. (1879). Small-scaled brown snake. Prod. Zool. Vict. 3: 12-13.


Other references:

Bell, Karen L; Sutherland, Struan K; Hodgson, Wayne C (1998). Some pharmacological studies of venom from the inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus). Toxicon 36(1): 63-74.

Broad, A. J., Sutherland, S. K., Tanner, C. and Covacevich, J. (1979). Electrophoretic, enzyme, and preliminary toxicity studies of the venom of the small-scaled snake, Parademansia microlepidota (Serpentes: Elapidae), with additional data on its distribution. Mem. Queensland Mus. 19: 319-329.

Cogger, Harold G., Cameron, Elizabeth E. and Cogger, Heather M. (1983). Elapidae, pp. 216-240. In: Zoological Catalogue of Australia. I. Amphibia and Reptilia. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service. vi + 313 pp. [p. 230]

Covacevich, J., McDowell, S. B., Tanner, C. and Mengden, G. A. (1981). The relationship of the taipan, Oxyuranus scutellatus, and the small-scaled snake, Oxyuranus microlepidotus (Serpentes: Elapidae), pp. 160-168. In: Banks, C. B. and Martin, A. A. (eds.). Proceedings of the Melbourne Herpetological Symposium, 1980. Melbourne: Zoological Board of Victoria.

Covacevich, J. and Wombey, J. (1976). Recognition of Parademansia microlepidotus (McCoy) (Elapidae), a dangerous Australian snake. Proc R Soc Queensland 87: 29-32.

Coventry, A. J. (1970). Reptile and amphibian type specimens housed in the National Museum of Victoria. Mem. Natl. Mus. Vict. 31: 115-124.

Fohlman, J. (1979). Comparison of two highly toxic Australian snake venoms: The taipan (Oxyuranus s. scutellatus) and the fierce snake (Parademansia microlepidotus). Toxicon 17(2): 170-172.

Hodgson WC, Dal Belo CA, Rowan EG (2007). The neuromuscular activity of paradoxin: a presynaptic neurotoxin from the venom of the inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus). Neuropharmacology 52(5): 1229-1236.

Macleay, W. (1882). Description of two new species of snakes. Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. 6: 811-813.

Mirtschin, P. (1981). South Australian records of the inland taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus McCoy, 1879). Herpetofauna 13: 20-23.

Shine, Richard and Covacevich, Jeanette. (1983). Ecology of Highly Venomous Snakes: the Australian Genus Oxyuranus (Elapidae). Journal of Herpelology 17(1): 60-69.


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