Black Spitting Cobra


This snake is long and of medium build.  Adults grow to 1,2 – 1,8 m long. The head is distinct from the neck. The eye is medium with a round pupil and a very dark iris. The colour in juveniles is grey with black skin between the scales with a black head and neck and a black belly.  Adults are uniformly jet-black above and below. The dorsal scales are smooth and shiny in 21 rows at mid-body, with paired subcaudal scales and an entire anal shield.

Fixed front fangs, modified with L-shaped canal that exists on front of fang, enabling snake to defensively spray venom towards attacker’s eyes.

The venom is potently cytotoxic. Because they are rarely encountered, few bites have been recorded, but like other spitting cobras, they are likely to cause severe pain, swelling, and tissue damage. Venom in the eyes causes extreme pain and should immediately be washed out with copious amounts of water to prevent permanent damage and blindness. Medical attention must be sought as soon as possible. Polyvalent anti-venom is not available for this snake’s bite.

Arid, sandy to rocky areas.

Shy, elusive, quick to escape. Juveniles are diurnal. Their habits are probably very similar to other spitting cobras as they are mainly nocturnal, preying on frogs, lizards, rodents, and snakes.
Reproduces by egg-laying.