King Cobra Vs Black Mamba: Which Is The Scarier Snake For Humans?

Abhijeet Modi
Oct 26, 2023 By Abhijeet Modi
Originally Published on Nov 22, 2021
Know which is more dangerous, King Cobra or Black Mamba.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.0 Min

The king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is a dangerous snake that is strong and aggressive enough to fight any snake.

Apart from feeding on small animals, insects, lizards, and birds, king cobras also kill and eat other venomous snakes, like the spectacled cobra and krait snake. King cobras are not true cobras.

They are closely related to mambas in sub-Saharan Africa. There are four mamba species.

The black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) is the most poisonous when compared to all other snakes in the Dendroaspis genus. An adult human will die within 20 minutes after getting bitten by a black mamba. Both these dangerous snakes belong to the Elapidae family.

Continue reading to find out which sake would survive in a fight between the above-mentioned species. You can also check out our other articles on king cobra bites and the most venomous snakes in the US.

Who would win, black mamba or king cobra?

The black mamba and king cobra are both dangerous snakes.

A fight between these two snakes would be a nail-biting event. However, it is very unlikely for the two species to fight with each other. First things first, which snake is more venomous?

Both of them are venomous snakes, but the black mamba is highly venomous due to the presence of toxins like calciseptine, cardiotoxins, and neurotoxins. However, the king cobra secretes venom that is five times the quantity of the venom secreted by a black mamba. As a result of this, the king cobra becomes considerably more dangerous.

Black mambas are 6.5-8.2 ft (2-2.5 m) long and can reach a maximum length of 14 ft (4.3 m) while the king cobra is 9.8-11.8 ft (3-3.6 m) long with a maximum length of 18 ft (5.4 m). A combination of factors like the quantity of venom and bigger size gives the king cobra an upper hand.

While the black mamba can put up a fight with the king cobra easily, the king cobra would win no doubt.

Which is more poisonous king cobra or black mamba?

The king cobra and black mamba are some of the most venomous snakes.

The venom of black mambas is much stronger than the venom of king cobras. The venom of mambas also has a speedy impact. The neurological system is the most vulnerable to venom.

Under the epidermis, the lethal dosage is 0.34 mg/kg. In a bite, black mambas produce 100-120 mg of venom. A king cobra's venom has a disastrous impact, but it is not particularly strong. The lethal dosage under the skin is 1.28 mg/kg.

The venom of a king cobra is five times weaker than that of a black mamba. The king cobra, as previously said, is a much larger snake. It is, in fact, the largest venomous snake on the planet.

Though a king cobra bite can deliver 500 mg of venom in a single bite, while a black mamba can only deliver 100-120 mg in a bite, It is important to note that the Black mamba is more poisonous and devastating.

Although the potency of their venom is similar mamba venom acts much faster and the dendrotoxins found in mamba venom are generally more devastating to the central nervous system.

and cause more rapid neurotoxicity.

King cobras can be killed by snakes like the rock python. All this said, despite its reputation as an aggressive snake, the black mamba is a timid and anxious creature. It will flee rather than strike if given an opportunity.

Black Mamba venom is stronger than that of King Cobra.

Habitat Of A King Cobra Vs Black Mamba

King Cobra: King cobras are shy reptiles that live in a variety of habitats. King cobra species mainly occupy plains and rainforests in regions like South China and India.

These venomous snakes are found in higher altitudes at an elevation of 6600 ft (2000 m). Forests, swamps, and elevated meadows are also a few of their favorite places to live.

Since king cobras live in water as well as land, they can be found in rivers and streams. The color of king cobras widely varies from one location to another.

Black Mamba: Black mambas are mainly found in woodlands, hills, and savannahs in Africa. These snakes are also fond of water and can be found on river banks. They occupy hollow logs, termite mounds, and burrows in steep areas.

Though black mambas are tree dwellers, they are primarily seen on land. Some of their preferred habitats are sparsely vegetated areas, arid savannahs, and mildly dense forests. They mostly live in altitudes less than 3300 ft (1000 m).

Fun Fact: There is no such thing as poisonous snakes. A snake can only be venomous. Poisonous is when the toxin is ingested through the mouth. Venomous is when the toxin is injected.

Appearance Of A King Cobra Vs Black Mamba

King Cobra: King cobras, like some other snakes, have flattened skin on either side of their heads. They are mainly yellow, brown, green, or black in color. King cobras have yellow or white markings that look like crossbars.

The neck of this snake is cream-colored. The maximum body length of a king cobra is 18 ft (5.4 m). It is the longest venomous snake.

Young king cobras are black and have yellow tails. They have four unique crossbars on the backside of their head. The fangs of this snake are 0.5 in (1.27 cm) in length.

Black Mamba: When you think of a black snake, you probably think of a black mamba. Black mambas are not truly black and appear in a variety of dark brown and gray shades. The black interior of the mouth gives these dangerous snakes their name.

The body of this snake is long and slender, with olive green, gray, or brown scales, and barely visible patterns. The black mamba, like other snakes, has a forked tongue. Black mambas may reach lengths of up to 14 ft (4.3 m).

King Cobra Vs Black Mamba Relation With Humans

Both these snake species are known for their aggressive behavior but are also shy.

King Cobra: Due to their shy nature, king cobras avoid humans. They do not attack humans unless they are harmed or provoked.

Harming does not always mean hitting them with a stick! Since this snake is highly protective of its young ones and eggs, even being spotted in the vicinity can anger the snake. Luckily, there are a few hints before they attack.

They raise their head and stand tall, raising almost one-third of their body. They also hiss and raise their head before charging. These snakes can even kill an elephant and 20 humans in a single bite.

So having them as pets might not be a great idea. Having them as pets is also illegal in many states.

Black Mamba: There are several stories of black mambas not just attacking but also fiercely chasing humans. The attacks made by this snake species are rare. They are afraid of densely populated areas and come out of their natural habitat rarely.

Almost all snakes only attack humans when they feel threatened. The same applies to a black mamba. They are extremely territorial and even stepping near the snake can trigger it.

This snake is steadfast and delivers multiple bites before letting go. Don't even think about having a black mamba as a pet. Just two drops of its venom can kill an adult human in no time.

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Written by Abhijeet Modi

Master of Computer Science

Abhijeet Modi picture

Abhijeet ModiMaster of Computer Science

An experienced and innovative entrepreneur and creative writer, Abhijeet holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Application from Birla Institute of Technology, Jaipur. He co-founded an e-commerce website while developing his skills in content writing, making him an expert in creating blog posts, website content, product descriptions, landing pages, and editing articles. Passionate about pushing his limits, Abhijeet brings both technical expertise and creative flair to his work.

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