Naja mossambica (Mozambique spitting cobra)
Mosambiekse spoegkobra, Spuugslang [Afrikaans]; iPhimpi
[Xhosa]; imFezi [Zulu]; iPhimpi [Ndebele]; Kake [Tswana]; Phakhuphakhu [Venda].
(animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia >
Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates) > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) >
Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class:
Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) >
(four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota >
Reptilia (reptiles) >
Romeriida > Diapsida > Lepidosauromorpha > Lepidosauria >
Squamata > Serpentes
(snakes) > Family: Elapidae > Genus:
The Mozambique spitting cobra can be identified by the
following features; an ability to spit its venom from any position without
raising its hood, irregular black throat bands that become visible when the hood
is raised and lastly its habit of playing dead when threatened. This snake grows to an
average length of 1.2 meters but may grow to a length of 1.5 meters.
Distribution and habitat
Has a broad distribution being found in
the following areas; KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West. It is also present in
the following countries ; Swaziland, southern Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and
northern Namibia. Its favoured habitat is rocky savanna or lowland forest where
it inhabits hollow logs or termite mounds close to a water source. This snake is
capable living on the ground or in small shrubs.
other snakes (particularly Puff adders).
Predators, parasites and disease
Fed on by other snakes
Oviparous (egg laying), lays between 10 and 22 eggs in
This snake lives for an average of 20 years in captivity.
This cobra species has a powerful cytotoxic (but also has a
weak neurotoxic effect) that causes serious tissue damage requiring skin grafts
or blindness if received in the eyes. This can be reduced if antivenom is used
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.