Forest Cobra - Naja melanoleuca

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Average Length: 1,6 m. Names in other languages
Afrikaans: Boskobra.
Look for:
  • A slender, very shiny snake
  • Spreads a narrow hood when disturbed
  • Head and front yellow-brown becoming shiny black toward the tail
  • Climbs and swims well
  • Active at night


Distribution



Venom Type: Neurotoxic. Bites in South Africa extremely rare because of distribution.


First Aid

Immobilise and reassure victim, who must lie down and be kept as quiet as possible. Apply pressure bandage immediately, see First-aid procedure;  immobilise limb with splint to reduce spread of venom. Loosen, but do not remove bandage if there is severe swelling. Take victim to hospital as soon as possible.

When breathing becomes difficult CPR is an urgent necessity until medical help arrives

Habits

A large snake, very active and alert, climbs well and at home on land and water. When disturbed will quickly disappear into dense thickets; when cornered will spread a narrow hood and bite readily. This snake does not spit is venom. The yellow-brown color of the front part of the body darkens to the purple-black tail.

Food

Toads, frogs, small mammals, birds and snakes.

Reproduction

Oviparous. Lays 11-26 eggs which hatch after 80-90 days. Young 380 mm.

Enemies

Other snakes.

Habitat

Lowland forest and moist savanna favouring coastal thickets.

 

 

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Safari Media Africa / C. Mitchell 2002/2003

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