The Philippine cobra is one of a few snakes capable of causing severe pain to a human being or even death. Did you know that they are adept at spitting venom from a distance of 10 feet, at lightning speed, and at pinpoint accuracy?
The Philippine cobra is called the northern Philippine cobra, or the Philippine spitting cobra. This fascinating snake, native to the northern Philippines, is extremely intimidating to its predators and humans. They are particularly fond of water, preferably living close to ponds, rivers, or large puddles of water and low-lying plains and forested regions found on the Philippine islands.
It is a fairly sturdy, medium-sized snake with a long hood. The adult snakes are uniformly light to medium brown, whereas the juveniles tend to be darker brown. Its head is depressed a little, elliptical, and distinct from the neck. It has scale rows around it, the eyes are moderate size with dark brown and round pupils, and a neck with a short rounded snout and large nostrils.
The Philippine cobra, Naja philippinensis, is a snake belonging to the Animalia kingdom; phylum Chordata. The class, order, suborder, family, and genus of this cobra are Reptilia, Squamata, Serpentes, Elapidae, and Naja.
What class of animal does a Philippine Cobra belong to?
The northern Philippine cobra belongs to the Reptilia class of the family Elapidae. Cobra Naja Philippinensis literally means cobra from the Philippine Islands.
How many Philippine Cobras are there in the world?
The exact number of Naja philippinensis is unknown, but they are almost near to extinct. Though there are about 300 cobra species, this species of spitting snake, the Naja genus, is becoming endangered.
Where does a Philippine Cobra live?
Naja philippinensis is native to the northern Philippines and is found on the islands of Luzon, Mindoro, Catanduanes, and Masbate, as these places provide a perfect natural habitat for the cobra species. They like to stay in open fields, grasslands, dense jungles, agricultural fields, and human settlements.
What is a Philippine Cobra's habitat?
Naja philippinensis is particularly fond of water and stays close to ponds, rivers, or large puddles of water, as it needs an abundant supply of water and food. It also likes low-lying plains and forested regions, open fields, grasslands, dense jungles, agricultural fields, and human settlements.
This species is terrestrial, spending daytime on the ground. During nights, they hide in burrows, holes, and other places in which they can hide. The Philippine Islands of Luzon, Mindoro, and Catanduanes, provide ideal places to live.
Who does Philippine Cobra live with?
Naja philippinensis is a solitary being except while mating. Being highly dangerous and extremely fast and agile, it can protect itself and survive on its own, and this is probably the reason for it to remain solitary.
How long does a Philippine Cobra live?
The lifespan of the Philippine cobra is not known precisely, but some studies indicate that it can live up to 20 years.
How do they reproduce?
The breeding season for the Philippines cobra is year-round, as the warm climate of the northern regions of the Philippines is ideal for mating. After locating a mate, the male and female follow a methodical ritual. First, the male tries to dominate the female by spreading its hood and pushing the female down. After mating is complete, the female locates a suitable burrow or hole to lay her eggs. She lays 10 to 20 eggs and incubates them for 70 to 90 days. During this period, the female cobra is particularly aggressive and protective of her eggs. During such periods, their bites are also more frequent.
It is fascinating to know that the snakelets are independent immediately after hatching and venture into the wild, fending for themselves.
What is their conservation status?
This species is listed as Near Threatened by IUCN Red List. This is because the main threat for it comes from humans. Humans attack to kill it and prevent bites by the Philippine cobra as it is highly venomous.
Philippine Cobra Fun Facts
What do Philippine Cobras look like?
The Philippine cobra is a fairly stocky snake species of length 3.3 ft which is considered medium-sized and has a long hood. Its head is elliptical, depressed a little, distinct from the neck with a short rounded snout and large nostrils, the eyes are a moderate size with dark brown and round pupils. The juveniles tend towards darker brown color, whereas the adult snakes are uniformly light to medium brown. Scales run throughout the body, with 36-49 subcaudals and 182-193 ventrals.
It has an inflatable hood behind its head with elongated ribs which they can expand by inhaling large quantities of air to look bigger and intimidate its predator.
How cute are they?
It is by no means cute but actually may be considered majestic and powerful. Some of its great qualities include its lightning reaction speeds and pinpoint accuracy of the attack. It generally targets the eyes of its enemy to incapacitate it!
How do they communicate?
Though there is little information about Naja Philippinensis communication specifically, though a good amount of research has been done on how cobras communicate. They are very unsocial beings and communicate with low-frequency sounds, vibrations, and pheromones. Their hissing sounds to ward off danger, raising hoods and vibrating as a sign of warning, release of chemicals with typical smells to attract mates or demarcate boundaries of territories are all different modes of communication.
How big is a Philippine Cobra?
The average length of Naja philippenensis is about 3.3 ft (1 m). It can expand up to 5.2 ft (2.6m) This can be one-third the size of a king cobra, which can be as big as 10 ft.
How fast can a Philippine Cobra move?
This snake is primarily known to move at lightning speed when in danger. However, it is extremely fast and agile. Some cobras have fast speeds of up to 12 miles per hour.
How much does a Philippine Cobra weigh?
Naja philippinensis can weigh up to 15 - 20 lbs (7 - 9 Kgs).
What are the male and female names of the species?
There are no sex-specific names for this species.
What would you call a baby Philippine Cobra?
The young one is called a snakelet, and it is independent of the time it is hatched by the female. They fend for themselves immediately.
What do they eat?
This cobra is a stocky snake that mostly dines on small mammals like mice or rats. Its diet also consists of small lizards, frogs, other snakes, birds, and eggs.
Are they poisonous?
This species is extremely dangerous and has the rare ability to spit venom from a distance capable of killing a human within 30 minutes. It is considered one of the most venomous snakes in the world but fortunately, it is timid unless it feels threatened. It is best to be watchful in fields near burrows on the ground to prevent from getting too close to a Phillippine cobra.
Would they make a good pet?
No, they are wild animals and deadly if threatened.
Did you know...
It is interesting to compare the Philippine cobra and the king cobra, which is much longer though both are equally venomous. It is a shocking fact that the latter preys on Philippine cobras! Surprisingly, it does not belong to the true Naja family, whereas the Philippine cobra does.
Philippine cobra is called ulupong in tagalog, carasaen in ilocano and agwason or banakon in Cebuano.
One of the defense mechanisms of this snake is its intimidating appearance, where it can stand upright up to one-third of its length and extend its hood.
One study showed that rice farmers of the northern regions of the Philippines were frequent victims of Naja philippinensis. The death rates in that area were as high as 107.1 deaths per 100,000 people, per year.
What are the symptoms of Philippine cobra venom?
Once the venom is injected, the neurotoxins of the snake venom disrupt the nerve signal transmissions, and the respiratory functions of the body are jeopardized. The symptoms include dizziness, headache, nausea, breathing difficulty, vomiting, diarrhea, and severe abdominal pain.
What does Philippine cobra venom do?
The venom yield can vary between each of these species but can range between 90 to 100 milligrams per bite. The venom of the Philippine cobra is so deadly that it can attack the body's respiratory system within minutes, causing paralysis of respiratory muscles. Hence, leading to severe long-term damage or even death, if not treated rapidly within half an hour. Often, farmers in northern regions are victims and cannot reach the hospital within a short period and succumb to the deadly venom.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including king cobra facts and emerald tree boa facts.
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