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Broad-headed Snakes

  • Broad headed snake (Hoplocephalus bungaroides)
  • Pale headed snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus)
  • Stephen's banded snake (Hoplocephalus stephensi)

This information should be read in conjunction with the detailed background information on Australian snakebite.

Antivenom Tiger Snake: starting dose 1-3 ampoules
Bite Site ? < 50% effective bite, ? minimal local pain
Principle venom effect Predominantly coagulopathy

Limited to restricted areas of eastern mainland NSW (Hawkesbury River) and SE Queensland. They are nocturnal and occasionally arboreal snakes.

Their heads are characteristically broad and distinct from the neck, the body is dark (dark brown or black) with variable bands.

Venom not well characterised, predominant defibrination coagulopathy with little else. Suspect if defibrination is the only effect of a bite that is positive for tiger snake on VDK.

NOTE: Usually gives positive result in tiger snake tube of Venom Detection Kit.

Preferred antivenom is CSL Tiger Snake Antivenom.


Sutherland SK, Tibballs J. Treatment of snake bite in Australia. In: Sutherland SK, Tibballs J, editors. Australian Animal Toxins. 2nd ed. Melbourne: Oxford University Press; 2001. p. 286-342.
White J. Clinical Toxicology of Snakebite in Australia and New Guinea. In: Meier J, White J, editors. Handbook of Clinical Toxicology of Animal Venoms and Poisons. 1st ed. New York: CRC Press; 1995. p. 595-618.

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