The Snouted Cobra is long and slender, becoming robust with size. Adults can grow from 1,2 – 1,8 m, but may reach lengths of up to 2,5 m. The head s distinct from the neck, becoming very large and broad with bulging temporal muscles in large specimens. The eye has a round pupil with a dark iris. The colour of the snake is dark-brown, grey, black or sometimes banded with yellow and dark bands. The throat has a dark band. The belly is paler and heavily mottled. They have smooth and dull dorsal scales in 19 rows at mid-body. The subcaudal scales are paired and the anal shield entire.
Fixed front fangs. This cobra does not spit.
They have a potent neurotoxin with some local effects around bite-site. Venom yield is 80 – 300 mg with an average of 150 mg, while 35 mg is considered a fatal dose. Few bites have been reported annually. Polyvalent anti-venom is available.
Favours savanna, low-veld and bushveld areas.
Can be diurnal, but mainly active after sunset, often visiting human dwellings in search of prey such as rodents, frogs, toads, birds and poultry. Raids chicken runs for eggs and chicks, killing hens defending their chicks. Preys on snakes (especially Puff Adder) and other reptiles.
Usually tries to escape but will not hesitate to face an attacker, raising the anterior portion of body off the ground, spreading a broad hood.
Preyed upon by raptors.
Reproduces by egg-laying.