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Spitting Cobra

The Spitting Cobra is most renowned for their infamously remarkable spitting fangs that allow the cobra to actually spray venom accurately into the face and eyes of predators and trampling hoovestock. When the cobra wants to “Spit” or “Spray” its venom at a threat, it “Hoods Up”, aims its open mouth as specialized muscles contract the Venom Gland, forcing the Cobra's Venom out through its fangs.
Picture of a Spitting Cobra
Spitting Cobra

Spitting cobras are extremely accurate at distances over 10 feet. Some scientists theorize that the “Spitting Behavior” and evolution of the fang modifications were a result of the fact that Spitting cobras cohabitate with numerous antelope species. These scientists believe that the primary function of Spitting cobra fangs is to deter being trampled by antelope hooves. The Cobra is well equipped to spray its painful venom directly into the eyes of potential trampling animals from a safe distance. This theory is almost identical to the theory of the evolution of the “Rattlesnake Rattle” on rattlesnakes. Scientists speculate that the rattle’s main function was to alert buffalo and other grazing North American Hoovestock to their presence in order to avoid being trampled by their feet.

Information on Spitting Cobras is plentiful as they are truly one the most remarkably adapted and unique reptiles. If you study Pictures of Spitting Cobras, you will notice that they come in all kinds of colors and patterns. This is due to the fact that there are many different species of Spitting Cobra. For example, there is the Banded Spitting Cobra (Naja nigricollis nigricincta) with contrasting bands, the small South African Ringhal Spitting Cobra that is primarily all black, the beautiful Red Spitting Cobra (Naja mossambica pallida), and the Black Necked Cobra (Naja nigricollis nigricollis), which is the most famous of all the Spitting Cobras. There are quite a few other species of Spiting Cobra described by science today, but these are my favorites ;-).

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Spitting Cobras prefer to spit or spray venom into the eyes of would be attackers, threats or predators, but are perfectly capable of delivering a deadly Snake envenomation via a bite. In fact, Spitting Cobra Bites are common in some areas of Africa and are extremely painful if not deadly. In many cases, victims of Spitting Cobra Attacks become permanently blind if sprayed in the eyes. Spitting Cobra venom is very toxic and extremely deadly, although it is nothing compared to the venom of the King Cobra, which also delivers a lot of venom with each hit. But then again, being shot by a 9mm vs. a 45 still sucks big time, if you get my drift. So in reality, Spitting Cobra poison is the lesser of the two evils compared to King Cobra Poison.

Spitting Cobras in Captivity are much easier to care for than the King Cobra as they do not feed exclusively on snakes. Instead, Spitting Cobras feed primarily on small rodents, frogs, toads and even lizards. Captive breeding is achieved on a common basis with some specimens living over 20 years. Spitting Cobra eggs are laid under logs, in abandoned rodent burrows, termite nests or other suitable nooks and crannies. Baby Spitting Cobras are born “LOCKED AND LOADED” and pack a mean wallop if bitten. An interesting fact about captive Spitting Cobras is that the majority of them loose their desire or need to “Spray” their venom. Not that they won’t bite the be-geezers out of you if given the opportunity, they will. Most cobras are very intelligent and hate wasting venom if not necessary. Perhaps captive Cobras being fed a commercial diet of thawed rodents realize their caretaker will not “Step” on them? Who knows for sure, but many Spitting Cobras seem to lose there spitting urges in captivity. Then again, there are those individual specimens that are constantly spraying venom at any passerby. These are a major pain to manage in captivity, as you always have to wipe down their enclosure.

The Tigerhomes Sanctuary does not house these amazing venomous reptiles, but David and I really wanted to bring them to the attention of our visitors and Webcam viewers. I have been fortunate to interact with multiple species of Spitting Cobra years ago, and trust me they are remarkable animals. When working within direct proximity to these snakes it is imperative to wear a FULL face protector over glasses in addition to other protective safety equipment as mere contact with Spitting Cobra venom can cause, pain, blindness, injury and even death if it gets into the eyes or an open wound. This is one reason I prefer to avoid handling these snakes. I can’t stand wearing sleeves much less facemasks. African and Asian Cobras are very fast and very intelligent snakes and should ONLY be cared for in captivity by qualified experienced and State and/or Federally licensed personnel. Venomous Reptiles do not make good pets and should be appreciated from afar or in an accredited Zoological Facility.

David and I both want to thank everybody for their continued interest and support in the TIGERHOMES.ORG Animal Sanctuary. As always we invite you to view the numerous Animal Web Cams placed strategically within our White Tiger Habitat, Golden Tiger Habitat, Lion Habitat, LEOPARD HABITAT, and Lemur Habitat. Our state-of-the-art web cams are designed to capture and create an interest in our visitors to protect wildlife and support conservation efforts around the World. We hope you get to know each of the Sanctuary’s residents personally. Marcan, the Sanctuary’s adult Golden Tiger really wants to pose for a SNAP SHOT taken by you directly from one of six (6) web cams placed inside his large naturalistic habitat. Speaking of “Snap Shots”, you should check out some of the fantastic pictures viewers like you have taken of all the residents in our “Viewer Gallery”. Perhaps even enter our monthly “Snap Shot Contest”, where you can win one of the Sanctuary’s 3 “Educational DVD’S”.

See also:
  How to Avoid Snake Bites | Poisonous Snake Bites Effects | Snake Venom | Snake Fangs

Other Snakes:

Diamondback Rattlesnake
| King Cobra | Spitting Cobra | Kingsnakes & Milk Snakes

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