Fun Dugite Facts For Kids

Sonali Rawat
May 10, 2023 By Sonali Rawat
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Fact-checked by Oluwapelumi Iwayemi
Get to know some interesting dugite facts about the habitat, diet, and predators of these Australian snakes.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.4 Min

The dugite (Pseudonaja affinis), also known as the spotted brown snake, is a species of venomous reptile common in southern and western Australia. They have a semi-glossy body and a small head and can be found in colors ranging from brown and gray to olive green. The dugite's population is stable and their conservation status is currently listed as Least Concern. They are carnivores who hunt small mammals like mice, lizards, birds, and other snakes for food.

Apart from the western mainland subspecies, there are two other island subspecies of dugites known as Pseudonaja affinis tanneri and Pseudonaja affinis exilis. These island subspecies are not as abundant as the mainland snakes and may need some conservation efforts to reach a stable population. The venom from a dugite is considered one of the most lethal bites and it can cause clotting or stunted coagulation which leads to excessive blood loss. They usually avoid facing humans but can get aggressive if cornered.

Read on to know more amazing dugite snake facts and if you want to know more about other snake species, check out our water snake and western ribbon snake facts too.

Dugite Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a dugite?

The dugite, with the scientific name Pseudonaja affinis, is a species of venomous brown snake that is commonly found in western Australia. It is also known as the spotted brown snake and its highly toxic venom is dangerous to humans.

What class of animal does a dugite belong to?

The dugite belongs to the class of reptiles, which means it is skin is made of scales and it can regularly shed this skin. They have a cold-blooded body due to the absence of a body temperature control mechanism.

How many dugites are there in the world?

The exact number of dugites in Western Australia is currently unknown, but since it is a common snake in Australia, its population is stable and the count should be plenty.

Where does a dugite live?

Dugites are most commonly found in various parts of southern and western Australia, including on offshore islands like Rottnest Island. Their habitat consists of coastal areas, woodlands, and wild shrublands.

What is a dugite's habitat?

Dugites are very versatile and can be found in a variety of habitats. They are often spotted in coastal dunes, areas with sandy soil, and places with plenty of vegetation like wild forests or woodlands. Dugites avoid damp areas like swamps and wetlands. This brown snake can also live in industrial areas and houses, as some of its primary food sources are house mice and lizards. Rock formations like granites and limestone-rich areas in the southwest are also common habitat preferences. In city areas like Perth, these snakes can be found near buildings and hiding behind concrete slabs.

Who do dugites live with?

Australian dugites are solitary animals and tend to move alone in the wild, even while hunting. It is uncommon to find snakes living together unless it is the breeding season.

How long does a dugite live?

The estimated lifespan of a dugite is 20-30 years. Their lifespan usually depends on factors like diet, terrain, and predators.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of dugite snakes is between September to November and their eggs are laid from December to January. Dugites produce an average of 11-35 eggs every breeding season. After laying the eggs, females usually leave them to self-incubate. The incubation period is around 53-61 days long and juveniles are independent as soon as they are born.

What is their conservation status?

The dugite's conservation status is listed as Least Concern. Since these brown snakes are adapted to a variety of habitats and can hunt house mice, their population in western Australia is predicted to remain stable for a long time.

Dugite Fun Facts

What do dugites look like?

Like all other snakes, Australian dugites have long and slender bodies with a semi-glossy look. They have about 19 rows of scales and a small head that merges with their neck. There is a lot of color and pattern variation in this species. The colors of western mainland dugites can vary from black or green to gray or brown with occasional irregular spotting. The two island subspecies (Pseudonaja affinis tanneri and Pseudonaja affinis exilis) usually have a uniform brown color. They also have smaller bodies when compared to the mainland species.

A small dugite snake on the ground.

How cute are they?

Dugites have quite a rugged body and their venom can be dangerous. They may be shy but these snakes are not very cute!

How do they communicate?

There are no specific studies into how Australian dugites communicate. Like all other snakes, these snakes are likely to communicate through pheromones and chemical cues. They can smell their predators and prey and may even hiss in the face of danger.

How big is a dugite?

A dugite snake can grow up to 59-78 in (150-200 cm) long. The island subspecies are smaller than the mainland ones and will be about 39 in (100 cm) long. Dugites are about five times bigger than the rubber boa snake!

How fast can a dugite move?

The speed of a dugite is currently unknown. Since agility is important for these opportunistic hunters living in the unpredictable terrain of Australia, dugites can reach a considerably good speed.

How much does a dugite weigh?

Dugites can weigh up to 3.3 lb (1.5 kg). Their body weight may depend on the breeding season and their diet as well.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for male and female dugites.

What would you call a baby dugite?

A baby dugite can be referred to as a 'juvenile' or a 'snakelet'.

What do they eat?

Australian dugites tend to hunt lizards, frogs, birds, and mammals. Dugites are cannibalistic and can eat other snakes, even those which are as big as themselves! In metropolitan habitats like Perth, their major source of food comes from house mice and lizards. Venom and constriction is the most common way that they immobilize their prey. Common predators of this snake in Australia are raptors like the tawny eagle, wild cats, and other snakes.

Are they poisonous?

A dugite has a small head and small teeth that cannot penetrate heavy fabrics but it is venomous and highly toxic to humans. Their venom is considered to be one of the most lethal and can cause blood clotting or hinder coagulation in humans. A single bite may contain a lot of venom, and if you are bitten by a dugite it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Would they make a good pet?

Although dugites are shy and tend to avoid humans, they can be very dangerous when cornered or feeling threatened. They are not good pets and it is best to let them live in the wild.

Did you know...

After mating, female dugites tend to experience intense hunger and eat large amounts of food. Their weight can increase from an average of 10.8 oz (309 g) to up to 20.4 oz (580 g) after a month of mating. Because they are most active when hunting, the chances of encountering a dugite can significantly increase from October to November.

Are dugites active at night?

A dugite is diurnal, which means it is active only during the day. They are mostly active in the morning and a little bit in the afternoon. They also burrow in the winter season.

How many babies do dugites have?

In one breeding season, a mainland female dugite will lay about 11-35 eggs, 21 being the average. Island species of dugites will lay around 12-15 eggs per season. The incubation period of these brown snakes is 65 days. The mother abandons her eggs after laying them, and the newborns are almost immediately independent.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including the corn snake, or rattlesnake.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Dugite coloring pages. 

Dugite Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Lizards, mice, and frogs

What Type of Animal were they?

Carnivore

Average Litter Size?

11-35

How Much Did They Weigh?

3.3 lb (1.5 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

woodlands, coastal plains, and settlements

Where Do They Live?

australia

How Long Were They?

59-78 in (150-200 cm)

How Tall Were They?

N/A

Class

Reptilia

Genus

Pseudonaja

Family

Elapidae

Scientific Name

Pseudonaja affinis

What Do They Look Like?

Pale gray and black

Skin Type

Scales

What Are Their Main Threats?

none

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Sources

en.wikipedia.organimalia.bioperthzoo.wa.gov.au

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Written by Sonali Rawat

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali Rawat picture

Sonali RawatBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali has a Bachelor's degree in English literature from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and is currently pursuing a Master's in English and Communication from Christ University. With considerable experience in writing about lifestyle topics, including travel and health, she has a passion for Japanese culture, especially fashion, and anime, and has written on the subject before. Sonali has event managed a creative-writing festival and coordinated a student magazine at her university. Her favorite authors are Toni Morrison and Anita Desai.

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