Most Deadly Animals In Australia

Most Deadly Animals In Australia

Okay Aussies! What are the most deadly animals in Australia? Aussies abroad get asked all the time about Australian spiders, snakes, sharks and crocodiles. Our friends from other countries have seen those deadly animals on the National Geographic Channel and they’re scared about visiting Australia. To be fair, nobody likes snakes and spiders but we actually have other things to be scared of in Australia. There are animals that can cause more deaths in Australia than spiders, snakes, sharks and crocodiles. So share the scare!

Ozzies Abroad will surprise you with some of the lesser known deadly animals in Australia.

Australian Paralysis Tick (Modes holocyclus)

In Australia, there are over 75 species of ticks. The tick lives on the native Australian marsupials which have developed an immunity. However, the Australian paralysis tick which lives on the east coast of Australia can cause serious problems especially for children. The symptoms can be lethargy, loss of appetite, loss of balance, change of voice and these symptoms increase until the child is unable to walk.

While the child is paralyzed there can be labored respiration and then death. In adults or bigger children the symptoms can be double vision, aversion to light, darting movements of eyes (creepy) and eventually paralysis but usually in just one part of the body. A bite behind the ear for example may cause that side of the face to droop and become immobile.

Each year there are only a few cases of paralysis in humans but the main victims are dogs and cats. Some 10,000 dogs and 12,000 cats are affected each year with approximately 500 and 1000 respective fatalities.

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Bull Ant (Myrmercia pilosula)

This is a native Australian species of venomous bull ant also known as the jack jumper ant. The species of ant are known to be aggressive in behavior towards humans and able to jump long distances. The jack jumper ant can grow up to 12 millimeters long and the queen up to 16 millimeters long. That’s big enough to scare the crap out of you!

Most Deadly Animals In Australia

They’re abundant in Australia but mostly live in Tasmania and Victoria. They’re particularly hard to avoid in Tasmania. They’re one of the few species of ant that can be dangerous to humans because the venom causes anaphylactic shock in approximately 3% of the Australian population.

Most fatalities have been caused in Tasmania where the ant has a notorious reputation. The sting has been likened to the sensation of an electric shock. Royal Hobart Hospital records the ant is the main cause of Anaphylaxis.

After the ant jumps on you and releases it’s venom you will experience pain, swelling of area and possibly the face, lips and eyes. If you are allergic then you may further develop hives, headaches, anxiety, increased heart rate, coughing, chest pain, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting then leading to loss of consciousness and collapsing. Median time till cardiac arrest is 15 minutes. Um No Thanks!

On average there is one death every four years from the jack jumper ant.

Honey Bee (Apis Mellifera)

One of the most deadly animals in Australia is the honey bee. That’s crazy you may say but’s it’s true. Australia’s early European settler’s introduced the bee’s for their honey supply back in the 1820s and a few of those bees’s escaped. Overtime this bee turned into the tough rugged Aussie type that are not to be messed with. Honey bees defend their nests aggressively and punch a nasty sting, one or two won’t hurt you much but if you are swarmed then it’s going to be potentially deadly.Most Deadly Animals In Australia

You will experience pain, swelling, and difficulty breathing and then you will collapse. Sounds Awesome but no thanks.

This little insect kills about three humans every year in Australia. This is more than snakes and even spiders, historically more than sharks (Sharks are making a comeback in recent years) and more than crocodiles. The death rate is high because 3% of the population are allergic resulting in death within just minutes due to the symptoms of Anaphylactic shock.

So you can thank your friends from Europe for that one.

Giant Centipede (Ethmostigmus rubripes)

The giant centipede is found throughout Australia, The Soloman Islands, New Guinea, Indonesia, Southeast Asia and China. The Australian variety is the largest and produces venom strong enough to kill large prey such as mice, lizards and geckos.Most Deadly Animals In Australia

They’re able to squeeze through small gaps and their habitat is under rocks, logs and leaves. However, a study from the Australian Poison Information Centre found that most stings happen indoors and at night. WHAT? Does that mean they are squeezing into our houses and stinging us while we sleep?

The centipede has sharp pointed legs that it uses to secure it’s prey. If the prey is larger they wrap their whole body around their victim to secure and bite down with claws to inject venom.

They’re a deadly hazard as many pets as well as one child has received a fatal sting.

Interesting Australian Fact: The last time a spider killed someone in Australia was in 1981.

There You Have It

Who said snakes, spiders, sharks and crocodiles are the scariest Australia has? So next time your foreign friends say they are scared to come to Australia then you tell them that we have others they haven’t heard of. Ha Ha! These animals are a little less known but have the same creepy scary factor. Remember it’s all about bragging rights!

We hope you enjoyed the article on some of the most deadly animals in Australia. So go on and share your new knowledge with your friends and get vocal by leaving us a comment below.

See Ya!


6 Replies to “Most Deadly Animals In Australia”

  1. Hi there,

    Great article!

    That’s, funny; we tend to think that big animals are the most dangerous! You have proven the opposite in this article:) I have two dogs and two cats, so the ticks are very familiar to us, they have also killed a few people and many dogs and cats around here.
    The Bull Ant is very scary; I wouldn’t want to live in Tasmania or Victoria:) Just a question. Isn’t there any possibility to eliminate this dangerous insect? I blame all the people that live, there.

    Thank you for this excellent post!

    1. Hi Daniella, thanks for your comment. Might be hard to eliminate. It’s a big country and they play their role in the ecosystem. 🙂

  2. Nice Article!
    It was a bit scary but that’s fine. I have an Australian friend who lives in Melbourne keeps telling me how big and scary animals and insects are in Australia. I didn’t understand how scary that could be until reading your article. I think insects are scarier than animals because some of them can’t really be seen easily around, unlike big animals that you can easily know that you’re in danger.

  3. Hi Dave
    I always have to laugh at people, including my English cousins, who say they are too scared to come to Australia because of all the dangerous insects, reptiles, animals. If they are so dangerous why is population ever increasing? If we were all dropping dead from them we wouldn’t have population growth. Personally I would rather avoid the Brown Snake in the backyard than worry whether the brown bear or coyote in the woods will be on my porch later tonight. I think because we grow up around these animals we get an understanding of how to identify and avoid them. Besides you forget to mention the most likely bit – the green ant – not usually deadly but man they hurt!

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