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Home > Snakes > Forest Cobra

Forest Cobra

The forest cobra is a large, extremely venomous species of snake found in Africa. The species is world’s largest true cobra species. The snake is terrestrial but, is a good climber as well. It is fast-moving and swift and is an adept swimmer.

    Kingdom Animalia
    Phylum Chordata
    Class Reptilia
    Order Squamata
    Suborder Serpentes
    Family Elapidae
    Genus Naja
    Scientific Name Naja melanoleuca

    Other Names Black Cobra, Black and White-lipped Cobra
    Length Around 1.4 to 2.2 m, but may reach 2.7 to 3.1 m
    Color Consists of three color variations:

    Some are shiny black with cream or white chin, throat and anterior part of the belly with large black patches and cross-bars, black and white markings on the sides of the head;

    some specimens contain black and yellow bands with black tail, top of the head is brownish-yellow with yellow lips, chin and throat;

    some other members have brownish or blackish-brown upper part with pale lower parts, yellow or cream belly with profuse brown or black patches; full black (melanistic) specimens have also been recorded

    Distribution Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, southeastern Mali, Guinea,  Liberia, Sierra Leone (western Africa); Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo,  Central African Republic(central Africa); western Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, (eastern Africa); few parts in southern Africa
    Habitat Savanna and grassland, tropical and subtropical rainforests, mangroves
    Diet Amphibians, fish, other snakes, lizards, bird eggs, rodents, small mammals
    Predators Other snakes
    Venom Fact Neurotoxic
    Mode of Reproduction Oviparous (egg laying)
    Clutch Size 11 to 26
    Incubation Period 55 to 70 days
    Average Lifespan Around 20 years; one specimen lived for 28 years in captivity

    Forest Cobra Pictures Gallery

    Published on October 9th 2016 by under Snakes. Article was last reviewed on 4th June 2019.

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