Mozambique Spitting Cobra - Naja mossambica

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Average Length: 1 m Names in other languages
Afrikaans: Mosambiekse Spoegkobra Zulu: Mfezi
Look for:
  • Grey to olive-brown with black bars or blotched across the throat
  • Each scale on the back is edged in black
  • Belly is salmon-colored to yellow
  • Can spit venom from any position
  • Forms a hood when disturbed, lifting half of the body off the ground


Distribution


Venom Type: Cytotoxic. Causes serious local tissue damage. Slight neurotoxic symptoms. Fatalities are rare.


First Aid

Immobilise and reassure victim, who must lie down and be kept as quiet as possible. Apply pressure bandage immediately, see First-aid procedures; immobilise limb with a 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.

Habits

The characteristic salmon-colored throat identifies this species. It is a shy snake that seldom stands its ground. When cornered may spread a narrow hood but will not hold this pose for long. It may not always spread a hood before spitting and may only open its mouth slightly before doing so. In contrast to the Rinkhals which always spreads it's hood before spitting, this snake can spit from any position. The grey body scales are black-tipped.

Food

Toads, small mammals, birds, lizards, insects.

Reproduction

Oviparous. Lays 10-22 small eggs in summer. Young 230-250 mm.

Enemies

Other snakes.

Habitat

Found in moist savanna and lowland forest where it favours broken rocky country and hollow trees.

 

 

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