Range and habitat Found in forests and grasslands of southeast and southern Asia, including Philippines
Natural diet: The adult diet is almost entirely snakes, both non-venomous and venomous. Juveniles may also take lizards.
Size / weight range: Record size is 18 feet, making this the largest venomous snake in the world.
Interesting Facts: • The venom of the king cobra is not as toxic as the common cobras of Asia, but it produces its poison in great quantities. Bites to humans are largely fatal without medical treatment.
• King cobras have been known to kill animals as large as elephants. The skin of the elephant is very thick and the snake can only effectively inject venom into the end of the trunk.
• The king cobra has a narrower hood than the common cobra. In a defensive posture, it can raise the first third of its body off the ground, spread its hood, and look directly into the eyes of a full grown man.
• The king cobra is one of the few snakes that the female constructs a nest and stays with the eggs for protection until they hatch. The nests are constructed of leaves and other debris. There is a lower chamber for the eggs and an upper chamber where the female stays coiled while guarding the next generation.
• These snakes are almost entirely snake eaters.
They eat both venomous and non-venomous snakes. The scientific name “Ophiophagus” means snake eater.
• The king cobra lives in low population densities and is not common in any area, unlike the Asian cobra which can be very common in some areas.