Naja anchietae (Anchieta's cobra)

Anchietae se kobra [Afrikaans]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Lepidosauromorpha > Lepidosauria > Squamata > Serpentes (snakes) > Family: Elapidae > Genus: Naja

Identification

Anchieta's cobra can be identified by its large impressive hood (with a conspicuous brown band in juveniles), its occasional ploy of playing dead, its preference wooded river banks and its high level of activity at dusk. It grows to an average length of 1 meter but may reach 1.2 meters in length.

Distribution and habitat

Found in the following areas Northern Namibia, Northern Botswana and a small portion of East Zimbabwe. Its favoured habitat is wooded areas close to rivers or wetlands. Although primarily ground dwelling it can also be found small shrubs.

Food

Feeds on toads, rodents, birds (including poultry), birds eggs, lizards and other snakes.

Predators, parasites and disease

Fed on by birds of prey (particularly secretary birds and snake eagles), mammalian carnivores (e.g. mongooses) and other snakes.

Reproduction

Oviparous (egg laying), laying between 47 and 60 eggs in early summer.

Longevity

Medical importance

This cobra species has a potentially lethal neurotoxic venom that can cause asphyxiation and eventually death if untreated. Its venom also causes pain and blistering in the affected limb. There is not an antivenom available and therefore early treatment is essential. 

Links

References

  • Broadley, D.G. 1983. FitzSimons' Snakes of Southern Africa. Delta Books, Johannesburg.

  • Marais, J. 2004. A Complete Guide to Snakes of Southern Africa. Struik Publishing, Cape Town.

 


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