Snouted Cobra - Naja annulifera

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Average Length: 1,2 m Names in other languages
Afrikaans: Egiptiese Kobra, Boskapel
Look for:
  • A thick-set snake usually yellow-grey to brown and black with large head
  • Sometimes barred with 7-9 wide bands on the body and 2 on the tail
  • Spreads wide hood when disturbed with a dark throat band more visible in juveniles
  • Often basks in the sun
  • Active from sundown


Distribution


Venom Type: Neurotoxic. A potent venom that affects breathing. Symptoms include burning, swelling and blistering followed quickly by neurological symptoms. Bites are usually inflicted at night.


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, 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

Not an aggressive snake but when cornered will assume a intimidating posture. It does not spit it's venom. Often occupies a permanent home in a termite mound where it will reside for years if not disturbed. May sham death.

A spitting cobra living in a termite mound was observed. One day slid from the mound, continued towards a low growth of trees, bottom branches of which housed numerous grass-constructed mouse nests and proceeded to dine on the occupants. During the meal a Snouted cobra came sliding towards the vacant termite mound, liked what it saw and entered cautiously in case of trouble. In the process, the spitting cobra returned, did not like what it saw, grasped the intruders tail firmly and forced it to back out. Both snakes sparred with hoods expanded, exchanged bites and finally parted company, but the Snouted cobra died a few hours later.

Food

Toads, rodents, birds and their eggs, lizards.

Reproduction

Oviparous. Lays 8-33 large oval eggs. Hatchlings 240-330 mm.

Enemies

Birds of prey and other snakes.

Habitat

Arid and moist savanna; common in lowveld and bushveld areas.

 

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