King Cobra facts – Size, venom, conservation status, etc

King Cobra is a large venomous snake found in South Asia and Southeast Asia. Because of its size and deadly neurotoxin venom, the King Cobra is one of the most feared snakes, although it is rarely encountered. The following are some interesting facts about the mighty King Cobra. Let’s read.

King Cobra facts

The world’s largest venomous snake

King Cobra is the world’s largest venomous snake. Large individuals can reach a length of 12-15 ft and can weigh as much as 10 kilograms. King Cobra’s longer than 18 ft (5.5 meters) have also been reported in some rare instances.

I watch a lot of snake rescue videos online. As I have seen, King cobras above 12 ft in length are very common.

A King Cobra
A large King Cobra


King Cobras are found in South Asia and Southeast Asia, predominantly in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Bangladesh. It prefers hot and humid low-lying areas.

King Cobra is not a cobra species

Although called a Cobra because of the hood, the King Cobra is not a cobra species. Its biological name is Ophiophagus hannah, meaning it is classified under the genus Ophiophagus. Cobras are snakes that are classified under the genus Naja.

King Cobra’s hood

Type of Venom

King Cobras have a neurotoxin venom that affects the nervous tissues when injected. A King Cobra can inject an extraordinarily large amount of venom through their bite. A bite can kill 20 humans or even an elephant.

King Cobra head
King Cobra head


A King Cobra generally eats other snakes, particularly rat snakes. Very rarely it preys on rodents and other reptiles. King Cobras are even seen devouring other smaller King Cobras. After a meal, a King Cobra can go for weeks without eating.

The only snake that builds nest

King Cobra is the only snake in the world that builds a nest to lay eggs. A female King Cobra normally lays 20-40 eggs that hatch in 80 to 105 days.

Conservation status

King Cobra is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). In India, it is even illegal to kill a king Cobra. Killing a King Cobra in India may attract a long jail term.

A recent development

In a recent development, four different species of the King Cobra are proposed. They are the population of King Cobra living in –

  1. Western Ghats, India
  2. Indonesia and Malaysia
  3. Eastern India, China, Myanmar, etc
  4. Philippines

Basic facts about the King Cobra

Lifespanabout 20 years
Biological nameOphiophagus hannah
Conservation statusVulnerable
RangeSouth Asia and Southeast Asia
Size12-15 ft

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