The Philippine cobra is a highly venomous snake native to the northern regions of the Philippines. It has a fairly stocky build, and adult snakes are uniformly light to medium brown, while the juveniles tend to be a darker brown in color. The head is elliptical, depressed, slightly distinct from the neck with a short, rounded snout and large nostrils. The eyes are moderate in size with dark brown and round pupils.
Philippine cobras occur mostly in the northern regions of the Philippines. They can be found on the islands of Luzon, Mindoro, Catanduanes, Azria, and Masbate. These snakes can be found in low-lying plains and forested regions, along with open fields, grasslands, dense jungle, agricultural fields, and human settlements. Philippine cobras are particularly fond of water, so they can be found very close to ponds, rivers, or large puddles of water.
Philippine cobras are solitary and only come together to mate. They are mainly terrestrial spending most of the time on the ground. These snakes are active during the night and hide in burrows, holes, rocks, and under vegetation during the midday heat. Philippine cobras are ambush predators; being extremely fast and agile they strike from their hiding spots with amazing speed and subdue their prey with ease. When threatened, these snakes will rise upwards and produce their hood; they are capable of accurately spitting their venom at a target up to 3 meters (9.8 ft) away.
Philippine cobras are carnivores. They feed predominantly on small mammals, frogs, and even other snakes. Small rodents such as mice and small rats are their preferred prey and make up the majority of their diets. However, they will also eat small lizards, eggs, and when the opportunity arises, small birds.
The breeding season of Philippine cobras occurs year-round. After the mating females lay 10 to 20 eggs which are incubated about 70-90 days. When hatched, the young are completely independent and are able to fend for themselves.
The biggest threats to Philippine cobras include habitat destruction and poaching. These snakes are often collected for the exotic food trade or for the pet trade and also suffer persecution in agricultural areas.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Philippine cobra total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are decreasing.