Red Spitting Cobra

The Red Spitting Cobra (Naja pallida), is a medium-sized African spitting cobra between 0.7 and 1.2 meters (2.3 and 3.9 feet) long.

The Red Spitting Cobra is usually bright salmon-red contrasted with a broad black throat band and teardrop markings, but the colour varies. The Kenyan Red Spitting Cobra has an orange-red colour, with a broad, dark blue or black throat band. Most will have a throat band, but it will fade or even sometimes disappear in larger adults.

Red Spitting Cobra

Red Spitting Cobra

The body of the Red Spitting Cobra is slightly tapered and moderately slender with a broad head. They have 21-27 dorsal scales at the mid-body, 197-228 ventral scales, and 61-72 subcaudal scales.

They prey on small rodents, such as small rats and mice, but also birds, lizards, toads, frogs, 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 Red Spitting Cobra is found in East Africa, in savanna and semidesert regions, as well as locations near rivers. They are terrestrial, preferring to move along the ground and not in trees. It hides in termite mounds, logs, and holes in the ground.

They can be nocturnal (active at night) or diurnal (active during the day).

Like other cobra species, the Red Spitting Cobra is oviparous, which means that it lays eggs. Females lay 6-21 eggs, which take about 60-70 days to hatch.

Red Spitting Cobra

Red Spitting Cobra


Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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