Caspian Cobra

Caspian Cobra

Central Asian cobra, Ladle snake, Oxus cobra, Russian cobra

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Naja oxiana
Population size
Unknown
LENGTH
1 m

The Caspian cobra is a venomous snake native to Central Asia. It is medium in length and has long cervical ribs capable of expansion to form a hood. The dorsal scales are smooth and strongly oblique, with the outer two or three scale rows larger than the remainder. Juveniles tend to be pale, with a faded appearance; they have noticeable dark and light cross-bands of approximately equal width around the body. Adult Caspian cobras are completely light to chocolate brown or yellowish. They don't have a hood mark or lateral throat spots.

Di

Diurnal

Cr

Crepuscular

No

Nocturnal

Ca

Carnivore

Te

Terrestrial

Pr

Predator

Pr

Precocial

Ov

Oviparous

Po

Poisonous

Da

Dangerous

So

Solitary

No

Not a migrant

Hi

Hibernating

C

starts with

Distribution

Geography

Caspian cobras are found in parts of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, the Fergana Valley, north and east Afghanistan, northeastern Iran, the northern half of Pakistan, from the Kashmir region east to the state of Himachal Pradesh in India, and in southwestern Tajikistan. They live in arid and semiarid, rocky or stony foothills usually covered with scrub.

Caspian Cobra habitat map

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Caspian cobras are quick-moving and agile snakes. They are solitary and usually shelter in holes in embankments or trees. These cobras are generally aggressive and bad-tempered. They will avoid humans as much as they can and will become fiercely aggressive when threatened or cornered, and even juveniles tend to be very aggressive. When cornered and provoked they spread their hood, hiss, sway from side to side and strike repeatedly. Caspian cobras are terrestrial and mainly diurnal, but they may be crepuscular and nocturnal in some parts of their range during the hottest months (July and August). These snakes are good climbers and able swimmers. They are often found in water and seldom found too far away from it, where they hunt their prey, both during the evening, and early morning. Caspian cobras hibernate from late September or late October to late March-April usually in deep burrows of gerbils, cracks, and sometimes under residential buildings.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Caspian cobras are carnivores and prey on small mammals, amphibians, and birds. They eat mainly rodents, toads and frogs, occasionally fish, and birds and their eggs.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
May
INCUBATION PERIOD
60-65 days
INDEPENDENT AGE
at birth
FEMALE NAME
female
MALE NAME
male
BABY NAME
snakelet
BABY CARRYING
6-19 eggs

The mating season of Caspian cobras usually takes place in May. In July, females lay 6-19 oblong eggs in rat holes or termite mounds and fiercely guard them during the incubation period until they hatch. The eggs are 40-54 mm (1.6-2 in) long and weigh 12-19 g (0.4-0.7 oz). The incubation period lasts between 60 and 65 days. The young hatch in the second half of August-September and measure 31-39 mm (1-1.5 in) long at birth. They are independent at birth and reach reproductive maturity at the age of 3-4 years.

Population

Population threats

The number of the Caspian cobra is generally low and in some areas of its range, the populations of this species are decreasing due to the destruction of habitats. Caspian cobras that occur in river valleys, piedmont deserts, and foothills are especially vulnerable because in these areas habitats are destroyed as a result of intensive economic development.

Population number

The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Caspian cobra total population size. According to Wikipedia resource in the early 1980s, 300-350 Caspian cobras were kept in zoos and serpentaria annually. Currently, this species is classified as Data Deficient (DD) on the IUCN Red List.

References

1. Caspian Cobra on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caspian_cobra
2. Caspian Cobra on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/164642/5915160

More Fascinating Animals to Learn About