Australia's Dangerous Snakes

Hardback - November 2017 - AU $120.00

eBook - November 2017 - eRetailers Google Books Kobo

The biology, natural history and venom properties of venomous marine and terrestrial snakes.

Australia’s venomous snakes are widely viewed as the world’s most deadly and are regarded with cautious curiosity, fascination and, regrettably, fear. Australia’s Dangerous Snakes examines the biology, natural history, venom properties and bite treatment of medically important venomous marine and terrestrial snakes. It contains comprehensive identification profiles for each species, supported by keys and photographs. In addition to their medical importance, the environmental roles of these snakes and the threats that are causing the decline of many of these reptiles are discussed. Drawing on the authors’ experience in the fields of herpetology, toxinology and clinical medicine, this book stimulates respect and admiration and dispels fear of Australia’s fascinating snakes. + Full description

Australia’s Dangerous Snakes will provide hours of rewarding reading and valuable information for anyone interested in Australia’s unique wildlife and natural history, and will be an essential reference for herpetologists, toxinologists, physicians, zoo personnel and private snake collectors.

- Short description


"This book is a wonderful contribution, in terms of providing the capacity for us to be better educated about snakes, about the perception of those snakes, about indeed, what we can learn from them." Senator Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training, at the book launch

"I think what is really key to this book is that this is all about how we actually have a greater understanding of snakes and the contribution that they make to our biodiversity. And really, as people can understand snakes better, they can actually learn how to respond to them better and even to coexist with them."
Brian Oldman, South Australian Museum Director, at the book launch

"Very comprehensive and covers everything about Australian poisonous snakes, providing the reader with information that is easy to access and accurate...” (translation of French language review)
Ivan Ineich, Bulletin de la Société Herpétologique de France 168, 2018

"I found the text comprehensive and authoritative with the complementing contributions from all three authors very good. The authors should be congratulated on the work they have done to bring together for the first time so much significant information. This will make Australia’s Dangerous Snakes an essential reference for many years to come."
Christopher J. McInerny, The Herpetological Bulletin 143, 2018

"a fascinating and informative journey into the lives of Australia’s dangerous snakes"
Don Howe, WA Naturalists' Club Newsletter, March 2018

"Throughout the book, beautiful colour images enhance what is already an excellent publication by illustrating key points and, in many cases, providing the reader with multiple images of the species described.... Australia’s Dangerous Snakes is a well written, valuable addition to the library for anyone working with venomous snakes. It provides a lot of new information, is well laid out and is an up-to-date summary of Australian dangerous snakes."
Scott Elpper, The Victorian Naturalist 135(1), February 2018

"I was really impressed and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I must say it is the kind of book I would have liked to have when doing my postdoc... I highly recommend this book to any person interested in reptiles."
Sylvian Dubey, Amphibia-Reptilia, April 2018

"Australia's Dangerous Snakes provides readers with a comprehensive reference that goes far beyond the latest taxonomy and identification of medically important species. It is the only treatment of venomous snakes that integrates information about the biology and conservation of terrestrial and marine elapids with information on the clinical uses and production of their venoms, bite risk, and treatment of envenoming. I recommend it to snake enthusiasts, herpetologists and toxinologists anywhere in the world."
Kate L. Sanders, Herpetological Review 49(2), June 2018

"an impressive body of work, collating up-to-date and detailed information on the biology, venom, conservation and identification of Australia’s venomous snakes, as well as the medical management of envenomation, in one volume... for anyone interested in Australia’s venomous snakes this book provides a comprehensive and readable account of the topic."
Timothy Portas, Australian Veterinary Journal 96(9), September 2018

"This book is an excellent primer on the subject for enthusiastic amateurs through to budding young scientists. Even more experienced scientists will find this to be a helpful resource."
Bryan G. Fry, Quarterly Review of Biology (94), March 2019

"Australia’s Dangerous Snakes: Identification, Biology and Envenoming is true to its title – providing a comprehensive, interesting and easy-to-read account of snake identification, biology and envenoming in people in Australia. Anyone with an interest in herpetology – and Australian snakes in particular – will find this book both interesting and useful."
Dr Philip Judge, Vet Education, 1 July 2020


Hardback | November 2017 | $120.00
ISBN: 9780643106734 | 432 pages | 270 x 210 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Colour photographs, Illustrations, Maps

ePDF | November 2017
ISBN: 9780643106741
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers

ePUB | November 2017
ISBN: 9780643106758
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • Contains comprehensive identification profiles for each dangerous snake species, supported by keys and photographs
  • Describes the production, actions and uses of venoms
  • Provides information on the risks and clinical management of snakebite and envenoming


Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: The Relative Danger of Snakes
Chapter 3: Morphology and General Features of Dangerous Snakes
Chapter 4: Identification of Dangerous Snakes
Chapter 5: The Dangerous Snakes Described
Chapter 6: Conservation of Australia's Dangerous Snakes
Chapter 7: Production, Actions and Uses of Venoms
Chapter 8: Snakebite and Envenoming: Risks, Realities and Clinical Management
Chapter 9: Snakes and People
Appendix 1: The Pioneers of Venom Production for Australian Antivenoms


Peter Mirtschin is the founder of Venom Supplies, which supplies both Australian and exotic snake venoms for research, antivenom and therapeutic applications. He has published over 70 scientific papers on venom research, snake ecology, conservation and snake behaviour, as well as several books on Australian dangerous snakes. Peter has featured in several television documentaries, being an ardent results-driven conservationist.

Arne Redsted Rasmussen is an Associate Professor at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Conservation in Copenhagen, Denmark. He has been a researcher on sea snakes for about 30 years, mostly conducting taxonomic research in Asian and Australian waters, and has contributed to over 100 peer-reviewed publications.

Scott Weinstein is a clinical toxinologist, family physician and herpetologist. His extensive experience in clinical and research toxinology includes comprehensive treatment of envenoming, mushroom and poisonous plant intoxication, and identification of the evidence-based risk of venomous snakes of little-known medical importance. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications on toxinology, herpetology and medicine. He is currently a Clinical Associate Professor with the University of Adelaide School of Medicine.