The Black-Necked Spitting Cobra (Naja nigricollis) is a medium-sized African spitting cobra. It is an elapid – a snake with fangs.
The Black-Necked Spitting Cobra is mainly black, but its colour varies. Some are pale grey with a yellow or reddish ventral side with a broad, black neck band, often with an orange bar on the neck. Others can be yellowish-brown without the bandings around the neck and the reddish colour on the belly, whereas others are deep reddish-brown or olive brown.
The Black-Necked Spitting Cobra has 21-23 dorsal scales at the mid-body, 182-196 ventral scales, and 54-66 subcaudal scales.
The Black-Necked Spitting Cobra can grow to a length of 1-2 metres (3.3 and 6.6 feet).
They prey on small rodents, such as small rats and mice, but also birds, lizards, eggs and other snakes.
Like other spitting cobras, it can eject venom from its fangs. The venom can cause permanent blindness if it enters a person’s eyes.
The Black-Necked Spitting Cobra is common and widespread in Africa. It likes savanna and semidesert regions, as well as locations near rivers. Like other cobra species, the Black-Necked Spitting Cobra may live in abandoned termite mounds, rodent holes or tree trunks. They are excellent tree climbers.
They can be nocturnal (active at night) or diurnal (active during the day).
Like other cobra species, the Black-Necked Spitting Cobra is oviparous, which means that it lays eggs. Females lay 10-15 eggs, which take about 60-70 days to hatch. At birth, the young snakelets are about 20-25 centimeters (7.9 to 9.8 inches) in length and are completely independent.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM