INLAND TAIPAN Oxyuranus microlepidota (McCoy, 1879)
This dangerous snake attains two metres in length, although specimens of nearly three metres are known. The colour of this snake is brownish, but changes seasonally. In winter specimens are dark brown with blackish heads whilst in summer specimens are a light brownish colour without a blackish head. This snake is found on black soil plains of the 'channel country' of the Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia and north west NSW. Old records from last century show this snake as occurring along the Murray-Darling river system but none have been found in this area since then.
The scalation is smooth with 23 mid body rows, 220-250 ventrals, anal is usually single, and 55-70 divided subcaudals.
This snake shares with the the Taipan Oxyuranus scutellatus the distinction of being Australias deadliest snake, in terms of venom deadliness per bite. Published records suggest that an average bite can kill 50,000 mice. (About 50 human lethal doses in laboratory terms).
The Inland Taipan is diurnal and lives on black soil plains where it occurs. When inactive it hides in the large cracks that form in this soil. This snake which is often common where it occurs is mostly caught when foraging over the plains in the morning and at dusk, when it is not too hot. Most specimens are seen in spring and autumn.
When this snake bites its' prey it hangs on, unlike the Mainland Taipan Oxyuranus scutellatus which lets' go of it. In the wild it is believed that the Inland Taipan feeds principally on the plague rat Rattus villosissimus. This snake is not at all aggressive, being more placid in nature than most other deadly snakes.
About twelve eggs are produced in summer. Hatchlings measure about 40 cm.
The above was from the book Australian Reptiles and Frogs by Raymond Hoser and now available on a fantastic CD-Rom along with a vast amount of other information, papers and the like on reptiles, frogs and other wildlife.