Red and Mozambique Spitting Cobra

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Red spitting cobra — The red spitting cobra starts out as salmon red or reddish-orange, with a black or dark blue band around its throat, making it an attractive snake. As it grows, however, it becomes a darker shade of red and the throat band disappears. Young red spitting cobras are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day, while adults are nocturnal, or active at night. This prevents the adults from eating the young ones. The diet of a spitting cobra doesn’t differ much from the diet of other snakes. Frogs and toads are on the menu, as well as lizards, birds, bird eggs, chickens, rats, mice, other snakes and even insects.

The red spitting cobra is mainly found in East Africa, including DjiboutiEritreaSomalia, southern Egypt, northern and eastern Ethiopia, and northern Tanzania and northern Sudan. It is also widespread in the dry country of eastern and northern Kenya. It primarily inhabits dry savanna and semidesert areas of East Africa up to an elevation of about 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) above sea level. They can usually be found near water holes.[2][3]

Mozambique Spitting Cobra occurs from southern KZN to Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Limpopo, North West, most of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, eastern and northern Botswana, northern Namibia and elsewhere further north.

Mozambique Spitting Cobra

The diet of this snake consists largely of frogs, small mammals, birds and snakes, including the Puff Adder. It is also known to eat insects.

It is active on overcast days, but more active at night, often ending up in houses where people are bitten while asleep. This snake accounts for the majority of serious snakebite cases in Southern Africa but fatalities are rare. It also ejects it venom and does not always spread a hood when doing so.

Its venom is potently cytotoxic causing pain, swelling, blisters and in many cases severe tissue damage. Antivenom is effective but needs to be administered sooner rather than later to prevent tissue damage.

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