Red Spitting Cobra

Red Spitting Cobra

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Suborder
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Naja pallida
Life Span
20 yrs
LENGTH
0.7-1.2 m

The Red spitting cobra is a medium-sized species of spitting cobra native to Africa. This attractive snake is usually bright salmon-red in color contrasted with a broad black throat band and subocular teardrop markings. However, the color of Red spitting snakes usually varies depending on where in Africa they are found. For example, individuals from southern Kenya and northern Tanzania have an orange-red color, with a broad, dark blue, or black throat band. Some specimens may have two or three throat bands, but this is uncommon for specimens from East Africa. The ventral side is also reddish in color, sometimes the throat area may be a creamy white. Red spitting cobras from other areas can be yellow, pinkish, pink-grey, pale red, or steel grey. Most specimens will have a throat band, but it will fade or even sometimes disappear in larger adults. The true red specimens will become reddish-brown in color as they age and grow in size.

No

Nocturnal

Di

Diurnal

Ca

Carnivore

Te

Terrestrial

Pr

Predator

Pr

Precocial

Te

Territorial

Po

Polygynandry

Ve

Venomous

Da

Dangerous

So

Solitary

No

Not a migrant

Hi

Hibernating

R

starts with

Distribution

Geography

Red spitting cobras are mainly found in East Africa, including Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia, southern Egypt, northern and eastern Ethiopia, northern Tanzania, and northern Sudan. They are also widespread in eastern and northern Kenya. These cobras prefer to live in dry savanna and semidesert areas of East Africa and are usually found near water holes.

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Red spitting cobras are terrestrial, fast, and alert snakes. Adults are nocturnal, while juveniles are more active during the day. During the day adults like to hide in termite mounds, old logs, holes, brush piles, or any other ground cover. They are also known to be cannibalistic which could be the reason juveniles and smaller specimens are diurnal, while adults are nocturnal. Red spitting cobras are solitary and interact with each other only during the mating season or disputes for mating rights or for current territory. These snakes are not territorial but they will defend the area they are in at the moment. When threatened, Red spitting cobras rear up and display a typical cobra hood. They may also hiss loudly. If the intruder does not retreat, the cobra may spray jets of venom to the face of the intruder. Venom in the eyes can cause burning pain and blindness. Even so, this snake seldom causes fatalities in humans.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Red spitting cobras are carnivores and have a wide range of prey, but they prefer amphibians such as toads and frogs if they are available. Their diet also includes rodents, birds, and probably other snakes. These cobras are also known to raid chickens in the region.

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
REPRODUCTION SEASON
mid-spring to early summer
PREGNANCY DURATION
80 to 120 days
INCUBATION PERIOD
80-120 days
BABY CARRYING
2 to 16
INDEPENDENT AGE
at birth
FEMALE NAME
female
MALE NAME
male
BABY NAME
snakelet
BABY CARRYING
6-21 eggs

Red spitting cobras are polygynandrous (promiscuous) meaning that both the males and females have multiple partners. They usually mate from mid-spring and until early summer. The female lays 6 to 21 eggs and the incubation period lasts for 80-120 days. Red spitting cobras don't guard their clutches and don't provide parental care to their young. Baby spitting cobras hatch precocial (fully-developed) and are completely independent. They become reproductively mature between 2 and 3 years of age.

Population

Population threats

There are no major threats to the Red spitting cobra at present.

Population number

Presently, the Red spitting cobra is not included in the IUCN Red List and its conservation status has not been evaluated.

Ecological niche

Red spitting cobras are top predators within their ecosystem and help control populations of their prey items such as amphibians, small rodents, and birds.

References

1. Red Spitting Cobra on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_spitting_cobra

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