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Kraits Cobras Sea Snakes and Relatives: Elapidae - Black-necked Spitting Cobra (naja Nigricollis): Species Accounts

Animal Life ResourceDinosaurs, Snakes, and Other ReptilesKraits Cobras Sea Snakes and Relatives: Elapidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, North American Coral Snake (micrurus Fulvius): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, KRAITS COBRAS SEA SNAKES THEIR RELATIVES AND PEOPLE,


Physical characteristics: The black-necked spitting cobra may be solid black or brown, or it may be striped with black and white. It has two sharp, thin fangs that it uses to spray its venom. These snakes can reach a length of 79 inches (2 meters).

Geographic range: This snake lives in western, central, and southern Africa.

Habitat: The black-necked spitting cobra usually lives in grasslands, but it sometimes enters villages and cities, where it can cause quite an uproar among human residents, who worry about being poisoned with its venom.

Although it spends much of its time on the ground, the black-necked spitting cobra can easily climb into bushes and trees. (Illustration by Dan Erickson. Reproduced by permission.)

Diet: The black-necked spitting cobra eats almost anything it finds, including frogs and toads, birds and their eggs, and other reptiles.

Behavior and reproduction: Although it spends much of its time on the ground, this cobra can easily climb into bushes and trees. It is most active at night, but it sometimes moves about during the day. Females lay eight to twenty eggs at a time.

Black-necked spitting cobras and people: Local people fear this snake, which can spray venom almost 10 feet (3 meters). The snake aims for the eyes, and the venom can be very painful and can even cause blindness if the person is not treated immediately. A bite from the snake can kill a person.

Conservation status: The black-necked spitting cobra is not endangered or threatened. ∎

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