Ophiophagus hannah, Naja hannah, Naja bungarus.
Himalayan region, Bengal, Assam, and hills and forests of South India. The king cobra is a forest dweller primarily, but also inhabits mangrove, and occasionally tea and coffee estates. It feeds on other snakes, and is rarely encountered.
· The king cobra is the largest venomous snake in the world, and grows up to 8 to 12 feet or more in length (Fig 12.10).
· Like the common cobra, it has a hood, but lacks the mono-cellate or binocellate marking; the hood is much narrower than that of the common cobra.
· Colour varies from yellow to green, brown, or black.
· The head has two large occipital shields behind the pari-etals. This is a unique feature of this species. The 3rd supralabial touches the eye and nose shield as in the case of the common cobra, but cuneate is absent.
· Predominantly neurotoxic. However, according to some reports they may be able to produce haemorrhagic activity also.
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