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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 02, 2021

Did You Know? 19 Incredible Indochinese Spitting Cobra Facts

Indochinese Spitting Cobra Fact File

The Indochinese spitting cobra also called the Black and white spitting cobra or the Thai spitting cobra, is one of the several species of snakes in the world that has the ability to spit venom from its fangs at its predators. Its venom is extremely dangerous but its bite is even more so as it can cause death unless treated in time with antivenin or antivenom. They are found in Southeast Asia, mainly in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. This species of cobras, of the scientific name Naja siamensis, can be brown or gray or black with highly attractive white spots or stripes on its body and hood. They were often confused with the monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) and the Chinese cobra (Naja atra) because of their similar habitat and size. However, further research on these species found that they were separate species. A major distinction between Naja kaouthia and Naja siamensis is that the former species spits its venom in a mist rather than in a stream like most other spitting cobras. Naja siamensis can spit its venom in a stream and up to 78 in (2 m) in front of it while aiming at its victim's eyes.

If you are interested in knowing about other reptiles too, you can check out our Texas horned lizard facts and lava lizard facts pages.

Indochinese Spitting Cobra Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Indochinese spitting cobra?

The Indochinese spitting cobra is a type of snake.

What class of animal does an Indochinese spitting cobra belong to?

This species is a reptile belonging to the Elapidae family.

How many Indochinese spitting cobras are there in the world?

The exact number of these cobras in the world is unknown but it has been reported by people in the area that their numbers have started decreasing in their habitat.

Where does an Indochinese spitting cobra live?

Indochinese spitting cobras (Naja siamensis) are mainly found in Southeast Asia within the hills and forests of Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

What is an Indochinese spitting cobra's habitat?

These snakes mostly reside in a habitat that consists of various types of forests, cultivated areas, hills, and plains but are not usually found in closed-canopy evergreen forests. The species is most likely to live and hide in burrows, old logs, other holes, or vegetative cover which might enable them to camouflage themselves while dealing with a predator or prey. It may also be attracted to and seek out human settlements because of the presence of rodents there, which the snakes prey on.

Who do Indochinese spitting cobras live with?

This species lives independently as soon as they are born. Thus, they are not known to live in pairs or groups and avoids confrontation.

How long does an Indochinese spitting cobra live?

The exact lifespan of the Indochinese spitting cobras is unknown. However, most snakes in the genus Naja are expected to live for 20-25 years.

How do they reproduce?

The female cobra lays 13-19 eggs in a burrow or nest made from vegetative waste. The incubation period lasts 48-70 days, during which the female is extremely aggressive and territorial so as to protect its eggs. After this period, the eggs hatch, and hatchlings emerge.

What is their conservation status?

The numbers of the Indochinese spitting cobras have been decreasing in their range of distribution because it is often hunted in Vietnam and Cambodia to prepare traditional medicines. Despite their trade being banned in Thailand, they are still traded in other countries of Southeast Asia for medicinal purposes. Due to this, they have been classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN.

Indochinese Spitting Cobra Fun Facts

What do Indochinese spitting cobras look like?

The Indochinese spitting cobra has a thick body and is a medium-length black snake with white spots. In central Thailand, these snakes are more likely to be black and white than in other parts of its range within its distribution, where they can also be brown or gray. However, its color can vary between gray, brown, or black as well. They have a hood that might or might not be marked with a spectacle-shaped spot. The fangs in these species are located on the upper jaw with a hole on the tip from which the venom is spat out.

The Indochinese spitting cobra has a black body with white spots.

How cute are they?

These are some of the most venomous snakes of the world and prefer to be left alone in the wild. They can be considered attractive with their stunning black and white patterns but they will only look cute to a devoted snake-lover.

How do they communicate?

The Indochinese spitting cobra (Naja siamensis) is not known to communicate with other snakes but when trying to scare off predators, they will spread their hood and hiss at them before attacking them by spitting venom.

How big is an Indochinese spitting cobra?

These cobras can be 35.4-47 in (0.9-1.2 m) long, although they can reach the length of 63 in (1.5 m) too in rare cases. They are about the same length as a Chinese cobra and an Indian cobra, both of which belong to the genus Naja as well.

How fast can an Indochinese spitting cobra move?

The exact speed with which the species, Naja siamensis, moves is currently unknown. However, they are known to move by with a remarkable speed and unpredictability which helps them remain hidden or attack their predators effectively. When attacking, this species can spit venom up to the range of 78 in (2 m) in a very short amount of time.

How much does an Indochinese spitting cobra weigh?

An average adult Indochinese spitting cobra (Naja siamensis) weighs around 3.5 lb (1600 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the males and females of this species of spitting cobras.

What would you call a baby Indochinese spitting cobra?

A baby Siamese spitting cobra, just hatched out of its egg, can be referred to as a hatchling. The length of these baby cobras can range from 4.7-12.5 in (12-32 cm)  and they are fully capable of spitting venom right from birth.

What do they eat?

The diet of Thai spitting cobras mainly consists of rodents, toads, and other snakes. They are frequently found in and around human settlements in search of a rodent population to feed on, which is a common part of their diet. Their diet is also said to affect the toxicity of their venom.

These cobras can be eaten by monitor lizards, which are said to be immune to the spitting cobra's venom and can effectively close their eyes when the snake tries to spit venom at them. They are also vulnerable to mongooses, which are a common predator of snakes.

Are they poisonous?

The Indochinese spitting cobra (Naja siamensis) is an extremely venomous snake. The venom that comes out from the holes at the tip of their fangs has the ability to paralyze or make its victim permanently blind if it goes into their eyes. If the snake feels that spitting at its victim was not sufficient, it will move on to strike and bite them.

Would they make a good pet?

This species of snakes will definitely not make a good pet to adopt mainly because of their extremely aggressive and confrontational behavior.

Did you know...

The species Naja siamensis of spitting cobras is nocturnal, which means that it has a variable temperament. During the day, if bothered, the snake will be timid, non-confrontational, and will try to hide. However, if it is approached during the night, it is more likely to attack its predator by spitting venom at them or striking and biting them, thus injecting them with lethal venom.

Why is it called Indochinese spitting cobras?

This species is called so because it is found in Southeast Asian countries and it is able to spit venom at its predators at an alarming speed up to 78 in (2 m). The name of its genus Naja is derived from the Sanskrit word meaning 'cobra'.

What happens if a spitting cobra spits on you?

If a spitting cobra spits on you anywhere other than the eyes, the venom will do no harm. If the venom of this species happens to get into your eyes, you are sure to experience extreme pain and stand the risk of scarring your corneas which can further lead to temporary or even permanent blindness.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these pit viper facts and black mamba facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Indochinese spitting cobra coloring pages.

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