Fun Gwardar Snake Facts For Kids

Iram Ashfaq
Feb 21, 2024 By Iram Ashfaq
Originally Published on Aug 17, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Discover these interesting Gwardar snake facts.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.6 Min

Did you know that the gwardar snake or western brown snake (Pseudonaja nuchalis) is one of many species of snakes whose venom can actually kill a human being? It paralyzes its prey with neurotoxins, before swallowing them whole. This snake typically hunts at night and has been known to eat animals as big as cows! The western brown snake (Pseudonaja nuchalis) is a type of python that lives in Indonesia and Western Australia. The western brown snake is an interesting creature because it can swim through underwater environments while hunting for food. It is possible they feed on fish or small mammals, but researchers haven't yet been able to study their diet up close just yet. These snakes are capable predators who make their living by scaring the victim with the intimidating size they have attained through evolution to an apex predator status among other reptiles. They are also known for being able to change color but not pattern as it is difficult for them due to their thick skin which blocks out light from reaching pigment cells below. This means they rely on shadows and temperature changes rather than color and pattern itself.

Western brown snakes make their homes in the desert. They are a type of pit viper and like to live near water sources, which is why they can be found often by watering holes or pools. The western brown snake will prey on any animal smaller than itself, from reptiles to birds. Like all snakes, these carnivores have no ears but instead rely on vibrations emitted through the ground for directional cues about threats nearby as well as food opportunities down below them where it might not yet be detected visually due to sand coverage. The head of this snake has an upturned snout that allows it to smell its prey while also being able to eject venomous saliva quicker with more precision when striking an animal that it is too big for eating whole. The gwardar snake is well known for its beautiful, iridescent scales, peculiar color, and pattern. It is also the most venomous native Australian species of snake.  For many years it was mistaken as a type of king brown snake because they have similar coloring and patterns on their skin. However, the difference is that this deadly creature can be found in suburban backyards throughout Australia while other snakes are much more wild and wilderness-loving!

For more relatable content, check out these kingsnake facts and copperhead snake facts for kids.

Gwardar Snake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a gwardar snake?

The western brown snake is a type of snake with the scientific name Pseudonaja nuchalis or simply P. nuchalis. Its distribution is very wide over the range of northern and western Australia.

What class of animal does a gwardar snake belong to?

Just like every other snake, Australian brown snakes belong to the class Reptilia. Its belly is cream-colored while the neck, head, and total length of the body are banded and mostly dark brown, gray, yellow, pale orange, or black in color.

How many gwardar snakes are there in the world?

The answer to that question remains a mystery as nobody has a proper estimate of their number yet.

Where does a gwardar snake live?

These dangerous brown snakes (P. nuchalis) are found near wetlands and water sources, especially any water body near forests and meadows. Even though these snakes are very dangerous, they have peculiar mesmerizing black, gray, and pale brown bands over their body and neck which makes them super attractive.

What is a gwardar snake's habitat?

The Australian brown snake has been seen to thrive in tropical climates with hot temperatures as well as cold climates where it will hibernate for long periods at times when there are no leaves on trees that provide shade. These aggressive brown snakes (P. nuchalis) are most commonly found in southern and  northern Australia.

Who do gwardar snakes live with?

This banded species can be found living in close proximity to black rat snakes and black racers! These creatures are often characterized by their unique colors and patterns on the surface of their skin which can range from dark brown and gray bold bands to subtle orange and cream spots.

How long does a gwardar snake live?

This dangerous western brown snakes species of south-coastal Australia typically lives for 10-12 years and their belly is cream in color with distinct dark brown, orange, or pale yellow bands on their neck and body.

How do they reproduce?

The Australian brown snake lays its eggs on the dry ground during warm seasons when temperatures are at their highest. These brown snakes tend to prefer sandy or rocky areas where there is plenty of sun exposure so that the eggs can properly heat up enough under it before being laid out. Typical litter size ranges between 20-26 with females often producing multiple clutches over time as well as sometimes waiting upwards of six weeks after hatching before breeding again.

What is their conservation status?

The orange-banded western brown snake species that has its habitat in Australia has an IUCN conservation status of Least Concern for now. This could change to Near Threatened if not they are not protected.

Gwardar Snake Fun Facts

What do gwardar snakes look like?

The banded western brown snake with the scientific name Pseudonaja nuchalis is a type of snake that can be found in coastal regions and freshwater swamps. These reptiles have scales brown to pale gray in color, with bright orange stripes running down their body lengthwise. The head is not banded but instead is slightly distinct from the neck and rest of the body.

The gwardar or western brown snake species prominently has a dark brown color on its head and pale yellow on the belly with a distribution of distinct bands on its body.

*Please note the main image is of a western brown snake, not a gwardar snake. If you have an image of a gwardar snake, please let us know at

How cute are they?

The western brown snake might look absolutely gorgeous because of its distinct black banded neck and pale orange head, but these can be super dangerous with their lethal venom. You should keep a safe distance from these reptiles.

How do they communicate?

The banded western brown snake has a complicated way of communicating with each other. They communicate through distinct mating calls and defensive warning hisses.

How big is a gwardar snake?

The aggressive and banded western brown snake can grow up to 6 ft (2 m) long and has a range of distinct color variations on its head and neck region.

How fast can a gwardar snake move?

The gwardar or western brown snake can move as fast as 15-20 mph (25-35 kph) with its distinct black-banded body and variable colored bands.

How much does a gwardar snake weigh?

A gwardar or western brown snake is an aggressive species that can reach up to 9 lb (4 kg) in weight.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Both male and female species go by the name gwardar or western brown snake, with no gender-specific names whatsoever. Both sexes have distinct variable black bands which help them escape their predators by camouflaging.

What would you call a baby gwardar snake?

The baby of a gwardar or western brown snake goes by the name hatchling.

What do they eat?

A gwardar or western brown snake is a cunning predator that will hunt any animal smaller than itself. This snake's diet consists of rats, mice, and other small snakes as well as lizards. The predators of a gwardar or western brown snake include a mongeese.

Are they poisonous?

Yes, the black-banded gwardar or western brown snake is a dangerous snake and can prove fatal for humans with its lethal venom.

Would they make a good pet?

These snakes are not the best choice of pet for any family, especially families with small kids. Gwardars might seem like an interesting idea at first because they come in so many different colors and sizes, but these cold-blooded reptiles can also give you a pretty nasty bite when threatened or agitated.

Just make sure to always wear gloves while handling them because these reptiles have been known to bite humans in the past and you must all be aware of the painful gwardar snake bite that injects lethal venom. This venom has been know to be fatal, so it is best to try and spot one of these snakes in the wild at a distance.

Did you know...

The western brown snake is known for inserting venom into its victim which makes it impossible for these poor creatures to escape and save themselves from being gobbled up by this dangerous snake.

What is the difference between a gwardar vs. western brown snake?

In the early '70s, two snakes terrorized Australia. Gwardar snakes came from Indonesia and were known for attacking humans in packs to kill them by giving them a bite in their throat or leg arteries and inserting the venom. This tactic made it difficult to know when a gwardar would attack as people were bitten when walking around during daytime hours too. On the other hand, western brown snakes were more likely found near homes where children often played with them because of how docile these reptiles can be depending on age and species type. A person could have both types of venomous serpents living nearby without even knowing about it until one attacked someone unexpectedly.

What is Australia's deadliest snake?

The eastern brown snake with its deadly venom is Australia's most dangerous snake.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles from our Burmese python facts and corn snake facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Gwardar snake coloring pages.

Gwardar Snake Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Rats, mice, other small snakes, and lizards

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

9 lb (4 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

forests, wetlands, and open meadows

Where Do They Live?

south australian regions, western australia, and indonesia

How Long Were They?

6 ft (2 m)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Pseudonaja nuchalis

What Do They Look Like?

Dark brown, light black, orange, gray, and yellow

Skin Type

Scaly thick skin

What Are Their Main Threats?

honey badgers and mongeese

What is their Conservation Status?

Data Deficient
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Written by Iram Ashfaq

Bachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

Iram Ashfaq picture

Iram AshfaqBachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

With a Bachelor's degree in Dental Surgery from Shaney Institute of Health Sciences and a Master's degree in Public Health from Imperial College London, Iram is a highly qualified and accomplished writer from Srinagar, India. Over the course of a year, she has acquired multiple writing certifications, focusing on health sciences and research studies. Prior to joining Kidadl, Iram gained valuable experience working as a content writer for Indian firms and interning at a New York-based company. Her expertise and passion for writing shine through in her ability to create compelling content across a variety of topics.

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