Though large, the inland taipan is a relatively sedentary snake that spends much of its time in hiding. A single specimen could be housed in a large terrarium at least 4 to 6 feet long and 4 feet high; make sure there is sufficient room to safely clean the terrarium. The substrate should not hold too much moisture. Keep the terrarium between 78 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, with a small drop at night. One or two basking lamps should be available over a basking spot for this diurnal species. A large, lockable hide box is a must, and a switch box should also be available. In nature, the inland taipan feeds on a variety of small marsupials as well as the local native rat species, and in captivity it usually will take small to large rats. Although it is rare and seldom kept even in Australia, this species has gained a reputation as one of the most venomous snakes. No human fatalities are recorded, but certainly the inland taipan is large enough to have a fatal bite like that of its close relative the coastal taipan, Oxyuranus scutellatus.
This large venomous snake is a species of dry plains, where it often is found in burrows of native rats. Oddly, though it was described in 1879, it was not rediscovered until 1967, when its bite almost killed the first person to see it in almost a century.
This rare and poorly understood species is found in eastern Australia from the interior of Queensland south to northwestern New South Wales (where now possibly extinct) and as an isolated population in South Australia.
Scientific Name: Oxyuranus microlepidotus
Species Group: venomous
Size: Commonly 6 feet, but reaching at least 8 feet