Snouted Cobra

© Roger de la Harpe
Snakes should not be handled by anyone other than a trained handler for your own protection.

Name

Snouted cobra [Naja annulifera]
The Snouted cobra [Naja annulifera] and the Egyptian cobra [Naja haje] were once thought to be the same, but have recently been described as totally separate species.

The snouted cobra can be found in the following areas in South Africa: Limpopo, North West, Northern Gauteng and Northern KwaZulu Natal. it is also found in Eastern Botswana, Southern Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

Egyptian cobras are found in Morocco, Egypt, Tanzania and Central Africa.

Vital Statistics

Class - Reptilia
Order - Squamata
Family - Elapidae
Length F - Average length is 1.8m, but have been recorded at 2.5m
Length M - Average length is 1.8m, but have been recorded at 2.5m

Description

Snouted cobras appear in two forms: Plain phase which has a uniform dark brown/yellow colour on their scales and a banded phase which has banded patterns on their scales.

Distribution

The snouted cobra can be found around Southern Africa including Eastern Botswana, Zimbabwe and Southern Mozambique. In South Africa, they are located in Limpopo, North West, Northern Gauteng and Northern KwaZulu Natal Provinces.

Venom

The snouted cobra venom is a potent mix of neurotoxic and cytotoxic cocktail, which results in tissue damage at the bite site and severe neurological disruptions throughout the body that can lead to respiratory paralysis and if untreated death.

Diet

The snouted cobra feeds off a variety of animals found in South Africa. Prey includes small mammals, birds, lizards and even other snake species, including other venomous species such as puff adders.

Field Notes

The snouted cobra inhabits dry savannah and wooded areas in South Africa. They often take refuge along river beds or up trees. They are not known to spit or spray their venom, but when threatened spread out their hood to ward off predators. They chase down their prey and envenomate them via a bite. They then hold on to their prey until the venom takes effect.