What Is A Spitting Cobra?

cobra spitting venom

Spitting Cobras are one of the most fascinating and dangerous creatures on earth. These serpents are known for their ability to spray venom into the eyes of their prey or predators, causing blindness and excruciating pain.

Found in Africa and Asia, Spitting Cobras are a type of venomous snake that belongs to the Elapidae family. With their distinctive hoods and agile movements, they are a sight to behold. But beware, for these cobras are not to be trifled with as their venom can cause serious harm to humans and animals alike.

A Spitting Cobra is a venomous snake found in Africa and parts of Asia. It gets its name from the ability to spit venom at its prey or predators. They have specialized teeth that allows them to spray venom up to 8 feet away, causing blindness and severe pain. It’s important to stay away from these snakes and seek medical attention if bitten.

What is a Spitting Cobra?

What is a Spitting Cobra?

Spitting cobra is a venomous snake that belongs to the cobra family, also known as Elapidae. It is called a spitting cobra because it can spit venom from its fangs up to a distance of 8 feet. This snake is found in many parts of Africa and Asia.


Spitting cobras are medium-sized snakes that can grow up to 6 feet long. They have a distinctive hood that they can flare to make themselves appear larger when threatened. Their coloration varies from brown to black with patterns of lighter color on their belly. They have large eyes with round pupils and a broad head.

The spitting cobra’s venom delivery system is highly specialized. They have two long fangs at the front of their mouth, which they use to inject venom into their prey. The venom is a mixture of neurotoxins and cytotoxins and can be deadly to humans.


Spitting cobras are found in a wide variety of habitats, from forests and grasslands to deserts and savannas. They are most commonly found in Africa and Asia, but can also be found in some parts of the Middle East.

These snakes are most active at night and prefer to hide in dark, enclosed spaces during the day. They are also good swimmers and can often be found near water sources.


Spitting cobras are carnivorous and feed on a variety of prey including frogs, lizards, rodents, and other snakes. They use their venom to immobilize their prey before swallowing it whole.

Benefits of Spitting Cobras

Spitting cobras play an important role in controlling the populations of their prey species. They are also an important part of the ecosystem and help to maintain the balance of nature.

Spitting Cobra Venom

The venom of the spitting cobra is highly toxic and can cause a range of symptoms in humans, including severe pain, swelling, and tissue damage. In some cases, the venom can also cause respiratory failure and death.

When threatened, the spitting cobra can spit venom at its attacker. The venom is sprayed from the fangs and can cause severe pain and damage to the eyes and skin.

Benefits of Spitting Cobra Venom

Despite its dangers, spitting cobra venom has some potential benefits. The venom contains proteins that have been used to develop drugs for a range of medical conditions, including heart disease and cancer.

Spitting Cobra vs. Other Cobras

There are several differences between spitting cobras and other cobras. The most obvious difference is the ability to spit venom. Spitting cobras also have smaller fangs and a less potent venom than other cobras.

Table: Comparison of Spitting Cobra and Other Cobras

Spitting Cobra Other Cobras
Length Up to 6 feet Up to 14 feet
Fangs Smaller Larger
Venom Less potent More potent
Ability to spit venom Yes No

Prevention and Treatment

The best way to prevent a spitting cobra bite is to avoid contact with the snake. If you do encounter a spitting cobra, it is important to stay calm and slowly back away from the snake. If you are bitten, seek medical attention immediately.

Treatment for a spitting cobra bite may include antivenom and supportive care to manage symptoms such as pain and swelling.


In conclusion, spitting cobras are fascinating and dangerous snakes that have unique adaptations that set them apart from other cobras. Understanding their behavior and habitat can help to prevent encounters with these snakes and minimize the risk of a bite.

Frequently Asked Questions

Explore the world of snakes and learn about the notorious spitting cobra with these frequently asked questions.

How does a Spitting Cobra get its name?

A spitting cobra is named after its unique ability to spit venom at its prey or predators. It has a specialized gland in its mouth that can project venom up to a distance of 3 meters. The venom is aimed at the eyes of the target, causing intense pain and temporary blindness.

This is a defense mechanism for the spitting cobra as it can avoid a confrontation by spitting venom from a safe distance rather than fighting in close quarters.

What do Spitting Cobras eat?

Spitting cobras are carnivorous and feed on a variety of prey, including small mammals, birds, lizards, and other snakes. They are known to be opportunistic feeders and can adapt their diet as per the availability of prey.

They use their venom to subdue their prey before swallowing it whole. The venom also helps in the digestion of the prey as it contains enzymes that break down the tissues of the victim.

Where are Spitting Cobras found?

Spitting cobras are found in Africa and Asia, inhabiting a wide range of habitats, including forests, savannas, and deserts. They are known to be adaptable and can survive in close proximity to human settlements.

There are several species of spitting cobras, including the black-necked spitting cobra, the red spitting cobra, and the Mozambique spitting cobra, among others.

Are Spitting Cobras dangerous?

Yes, spitting cobras are dangerous, and their venom can cause severe pain, swelling, and necrosis if left untreated. In some cases, the venom can also cause blindness and even death.

Spitting cobras are known to be aggressive and can attack humans if they feel threatened or cornered. It is best to avoid them and give them their space.

How do you treat a Spitting Cobra bite?

If you are bitten by a spitting cobra, seek medical attention immediately. The first aid for a spitting cobra bite includes cleaning the wound with soap and water and immobilizing the affected limb.

Antivenom is the most effective treatment for spitting cobra bites. It is important to receive antivenom as soon as possible to prevent the venom from spreading and causing further damage.

Spitting cobras: the peculiar evolution of defensive venom in snakes | Natural History Museum

In conclusion, spitting cobras are unique venomous snakes that have adapted a special defense mechanism to protect themselves. Their ability to shoot venom accurately at their predators or prey from a distance is an impressive feat of nature.

While these reptiles can be deadly to humans, they play an important role in maintaining the balance of their ecosystem by controlling rodent populations.

Overall, spitting cobras are fascinating creatures that are worth learning about. With their distinctive characteristics and impressive abilities, they are a testament to the diversity and complexity of the animal kingdom.

Aubrey Sawyer


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