Cobra snakes in India | four different species

Cobra snakes are known for their hood which they expand to look larger when they seek danger. India is home to over 250 species of snakes, a few of which are cobra species. In this article, we will look at the four different cobra snake species in India.

Cobra snakes in India

Spectacled Cobra (Naja naja)

An image of a Spectacled Cobra, the most found Cobra species in India

Spectacled cobra or Indian cobra is probably the most found venomous snake in India. The snake got its name from a spectacle-shaped design on the back of its hood, although not all spectacled cobras have that design. The spectacled cobra is generally 4-5 ft long and varies greatly in colour.

Monocled Cobra (Naja kaouthia)

Monocled Cobra is about the same size as the Spectacled Cobra. These Cobras have an O-shaped pattern on the back of the hood. Monocled Cobras are mostly found in the eastern and northeastern regions of India. They are also called Indian Spitting Cobra as some specimen can also spit out their venom.

Andaman Cobra (Naja sagittifera)

Andaman Cobra as the name suggests is found in the Andaman island group. Not as long as the above two species, these Cobras are generally about a meter long. Andaman Cobras also have a monocle-shaped (O-shaped) pattern on the back of the hood just like the Monocled Cobras. Some specimen can spit their venom.

Caspian Cobra (Naja oxiana)

Caspian cobra/Central Asian cobra is considered the most dangerous Cobra species in the world. Found in the extreme northern parts of India, these Cobras have an average length of 1 meter. Caspian cobras are generally light brown or light yellow in color.

You may be wondering why the mighty King Cobra is not listed above. This is because King Cobra is not classified in the Naga genus. It is not actually a Cobra, although it is also famous for its hood. The binomial name for the King Cobra is Ophiophagus hannah meaning it is classified under the genus Ophiophagus.

Note: All the aforementioned cobra snakes of India are highly venomous. You must rush to a hospital to take the antivenom. Do not panic as it will increase the heart rate and the venom may spread faster inside your body.


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