Siamese Spitting Cobra Fact File
Siamese spitting cobras are also known as the Indo-Chinese spitting cobra, black-and-white cobra or Thai spitting cobra. They are named for their ability to squeeze venom out of their fangs and direct it at a threat.
They are natives of south-east Asia where they hunt small animals such as rodents and amphibians.
These animals are listed as vulnerable due to large amounts of harvesting to supply the traditional medicine trade.
Learn more about these superb snakes by reading on below.
The Siamese spitting cobra is also known as the black-and-white spitting cobra with its body colored black across the back with lighter skin, normally white on the underside. In parts of their range the black is replaced with brown. Their is high variability in their pattern with white spots and stripes across this.
On either side of the head is extra skin which extends out in to the hood when threatened. They have a spectacle or irregular shaped mark on this hood.
They are a medium sized species of cobra with a thin body. As a snake they do not have legs.
An average Siamese spitting cobra will measure 0.9-1.2m(3-4ft) long while some exceptional individuals reach a length of up to 1.6m (5.2ft) long. They weigh up to 1.8kg (4lbs).
Siamese spitting cobras are carnivores. Their diet includes rodents, amphibians and smaller snakes.
Siamese spitting cobras are native to Asia. Here they can be found in Cambodia; Lao People’s Democratic Republic; Myanmar; Thailand and Viet Nam.
They make their home in forests include deciduous, open and disturbed forests. Siamese spitting cobras will also live in cultivated areas such as rice paddies.
Rural areas have become a favored habitat of this species due to the abundance of rodents available there.
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A female Siamese spitting cobra and will lay up to 19 eggs. Egg laying occurs 100 days after mating. They are incubated for between 48 and 70 days.
At birth they are independent and begin to hunt for their own. They possess the same venom as adults.
Sexual maturity is reached at two years old.
Siamese spitting cobras are named for the ability to spray venom at a threat. It is not spat but instead squeezed from small holes in the fangs. This venom can travel up to 2m (6.5ft) long with a high level of accuracy.
When spraying venom they will move the head side to side so they cover more area. Their venom may be sprayed up to 40 times consecutively.
Their bite has the potential to cause death in an adult human. Significant pain can also be caused by the venom coming in contact with the eyes of a person.
These animals are primarily nocturnal.
Predators and Threats
The species is subject to heavy collection for the traditional medicine trade which is the largest threat to this species. Some are also harvested for their skin but it is considered of low quality against other species. A significant number of the individuals harvested are exported.
In parts of their range successful captive breeding programs have been established which are now supplying the demand for them.
Siamese spitting cobras are considered highly tolerant to habitat modification which helps their survival.
Siamese spitting cobras are known by a range of alternative common names including the Indo-Chinese spitting cobra, Thai spitting cobras or black-and-white spitting cobras.
Rushen, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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