Philippine Cobra

Philippine Cobra

Northern Philippine cobra

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Naja philippinensis
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
20 yrs
LENGTH
1-1.6 m

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.

Distribution

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 Cobra habitat map

Geography

Continents
Subcontinents
Countries

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

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.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

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.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
year-round
INCUBATION PERIOD
70-90 days
INDEPENDENT AGE
at birth
BABY NAME
snakelet
BABY CARRYING
10-20 eggs

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.

Population

Population threats

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.

Population number

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.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • The Philippine cobra was described in 1922 by American herpetologist Edward Harrison Taylor.
  • The scientific name of this snake is 'Naja philippinensis' where naja means "cobra" and philippinensis is translated as "from the Philippine Islands".
  • Within its native range the Philippine cobra is called ulupong in Tagalog, carasaen in Ilocano and agawason in Cebuano-Bisaya.

References

1. Philippine Cobra on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine_cobra
2. Philippine Cobra on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/169768/6671431

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