Naja nigricollis (Black-necked spitting cobra)
(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:
Naja nigricollis woodi (Black spitting
cobra), Western Cape. [photo M. Witberg ©,from
This snake species is identified by its uniformly olive or
grey brown body and a single broad black throat band. This snake is the second
largest cobra in Africa and has an average length of 1.3 meters but can grow to
a length of 2 meters.
Distribution and habitat
The distribution of the three subspecies recognised in
southern Africa is as follows:
Naja nigricollis nigricollis (Black-necked
spitting cobra) - Caprivi Strip, Namibia
Naja nigricollis nigrocincta (Western barred
spitting cobra) - central and northern Namibia
Naja nigricollis woodi (Black spitting cobra) -
southern Namibia, Namaqualand (Northern Cape) to Citrusdal (Western Cape)
Eats lizards, other snakes,
amphibians, small fish,
eggs and rodents.
Predators, parasites and disease
Fed on by other snakes.
Oviparous (egg laying), usually laying between 10 and 15
eggs occasionally as many as 22.
Like other cobras they live for on average of about 20 years.
Has a powerful and potentially deadly
cytotoxic venom which is capable of causing permanent blindness (this snake is
able to spit its venom). There is no antivenom available for this species.
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.