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False Water Cobra

False water cobras are large, rear-fanged species of snakes belonging to the colubrid family, found in South America. There are no recognized subspecies of this species. They derived their name from exhibiting the cobra hood when threatened and also they are not true species of cobra, hence the name false cobra. The species is fast moving and diurnal.



    Kingdom Animalia
    Phylum Chordata
    Subphylum Vertebrata
    Class Reptilia
    Order Squamata
    Suborder Serpentes
    Family Colubridae
    Subfamily Xenodontinae
    Genus Hydrodynastes
    Scientific Name Hydrodynastes gigas


    Other Names Brazilian Smooth Snake, False Cobra, South American Water Cobra
    Length Around 2m; some specimens may exceed 3m
    Weight Around 10lbs
    Color Olive green or brown background color with dark bands and spots turning more darker towards the tail; yellow or brown ventral scales with spotted dark streaks that form into three dotted lines which tend to combine towards the tail
    Distribution Eastern Bolivia, southern Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina
    Habitat Wet, humid areas, and marshlands in the tropical rainforests
    Diet Fish, amphibians,  rodents, small mammals, birds, other reptiles
    Hibernation Fact Undergoes brumation
    Predators Juveniles fall prey to Amazon horned frogs and some birds of prey
    Venom Fact Venomous
    Breeding Season Spring
    Mode of Reproduction Oviparous (egg laying)
    Clutch Size 8 to 16
    Incubation Period 60 to 75 days
    Reproductive Age Males: 2 years of age
    Females: 4 to 5 years of age
    Average Lifespan 15 or more years
    IUCN Conservation Status Not Listed

    False Water Cobra Pictures Gallery

    Published on October 8th 2016 by under Snakes. Article was last reviewed on 4th June 2019.

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