King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah )

Interesting :

It is the biggest poisonous snake in the world. Its head is big, round, and blunt. It can spread the hood but it does not have star like the cobra. But, it can make the sound like the cobra. Its body is long and slender. Most of them are in brown and green color. Sometimes, it may have other colors. Its belly is in yellow to white color. It is in red or orange color under its neck.

Habitat :

HABITAT AND ECOLOGY This species is found in a variety of habitats, primarily in pristine forests, but it can also be found in degraded forest, mangrove swamps and even agricultural areas with remnants of woodland. It has also been found swimming in rivers in non-forested land and probably occurs in palm oil plantations (R. Inger pers. comm. 2010), however it is not yet clear whether oil palm plantations can support viable populations of this species (M. Auliya pers. comm. 2011). In India, this species has also been recorded from tea estates in the Western Ghats and Assam (Whitaker and Captain 2004). In Nepal this species is poorly-known, but has been reported primarily from undisturbed Sai forest and from dry high-altitude grasslands (D. Jelić pers. comm. 2012). Females build nests of dead leaves and stay with the eggs until they hatch, which takes 70 days at 28²C (Whitaker and Captain 2004). Reproductive age in captivity has been estimated at 5-6 years, and this is here conservatively taken to be the generation length in the wild population, although true generation length is probably longer. One individual was reported to have a 6.3 km² home range (Bhaisare et al. 2010), indicating that the species is likely to occur in low population densities, although it is unknown whether this is natural or a result of the depletion of wild populations.

Food :

The King Cobra likes to eat the living snakes, rats, frogs, desert monitors.

Behavior :

It is a fierce snake. Normally, it moves quite slowly but it can move fast when it is frightened. It will spread the hood to the height of about the waist or approximately one-third of the length of its body. It will spread the hood and it will hiss when human beings move closer. Normally, it lives in the forest. Normally, it is not found in plantation, orchard, or in the field. This type of snake can make a nest to lay its eggs. The King Cobra firmly bites its opponents so it is rather different from the cobra since the cobra just grabs the opponents.The King Cobra’s poison will damage the neuro-system like the poison of the Cobra but the symptom is more rapid and severe since the amount of poison is higher than that of Cobra (since its body is bigger than the cobra).

Current Status :

The species is listed in CITES Appendix II. This species has been regionally assessed in India, China and Vietnam. The Regional India preliminary assessment of Near Threatened was made by the BCPP CAMP, while in China it was assessed as Critically Endangered in the national Red Data Book, and as Endangered in the China Species Red List (Wang and Xie 2009). It is listed as Critically Endangered in the national Red Data Book for Viet Nam (Dang et al. 2007), where it is a protected species. There are protected areas within the range of this species which probably provide small safeguards from harvesting pressure. Conservation measures are required to reduce the rate of habitat destruction occurring within its range and to manage the trade levels of this species. Further research into, and monitoring of the population status of, this species is required, as well as research into sustainable harvesting levels. Taxonomic research is also needed to determine if this species actually consists of a complex of species. Educational programmes may help to minimise the persecution of the species. In Royal Chitwan National Park the King Cobra is included in a new project focusing on ecological monitoring of and providing education about large reptiles, run by Nepal's National Trust for Nature Protection, the park authority, and the Zoological Society of London (D. Jelić pers. comm. 2012).


CLASS : Reptilia

ORDER : Squamata

FAMILY : Elapidae

GENUS : Ophiophagus

SPECIES : King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah)

Conservation status : Vulnerable

Reproductive :

The King Cobra lays approximately 20-40 eggs once a year. It likes to make a nest in the bamboo forest. The King Cobra will hatch the eggs by itself.

Reference :

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Update : 06 April 2017