SNAKE SPECIES

Snakes are a real threat to people living in the United Kingdom, and below are some of the common snakes found here.

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King Cobra

(Ophiophagus hannah)

king cobra

Appearance

  • Giant powerfully built snake.
  • Up to 5.5m in length and 9 kg in weight.
  • Varies but mainly olive-green or black coloured with pale yellow cross bands along the body.
  • The underbelly may be pale yellow or cream.
  • The Head of a full-grown snake can be massive and bulky.
  • King Cobra has proteroglyph dentition — two short, fixed fangs in the front of the jaw channelling venom into the prey.
  • The Male is much larger than the female.
  • Hatchlings are 45–50 cm long and banded in black and white.

Life Cycle

  • The mating season is January.
  • Female lays up to 50 eggs and coils atop them for 60–80 days incubation period.
  • Averagely can live up to 20 years.

Habitat

  • Generally, its diet is composed of other snakes but may also feed on other small animals such as lizards, birds, and rodents.
  • Is shy and avoid humans whenever possible but are fiercely aggressive when cornered.
  • A diurnal species.
  • Capable of flattening its upper body by spreading its ribs and forming the distinctive ‘hood’ about its neck.
  • Its venom is primarily neurotoxic, which attacks the victim’s central nervous system and immediately causes severe pain, blurred vision, vertigo, drowsiness, paralysis, to death.