Naja atra (Cantor, 1842)
Chinese Cobra 眼鏡蛇
(Highly venomous)

Naja atra
Squamata 有鱗目
Serpentes 蛇亞目
Family Elapidae 眼鏡蛇科
Genus Naja 眼鏡蛇屬
Species Naja atra
Other name -
Chinese name 飯鏟頭
Total length Average 90 - 100 cm, may grow up to 165 cm

Usually dark-coloured, but may be black, grey, brown or even golden in rare cases.
An expandable, short, wide hood on the neck, which appears as loose skin when not expanded.
White mark of one or a pair of eye on the back of the hook, but may be absent in some individuals.
Ventrals greyish-white with two black spots on upper throat. Moderately stout body.
Head large. Snout short and blunt; Scales smooth.


Large diversity of habitats including edges of mangrove swamps, shrubland, grassland and open woodland.
Not common in densely shaded forest and mountain grassland.
Sometimes found in rural areas in and around houses.


Usually nocturnal, but may also be active in less disturbed areas during the day. Often hides beneath objects.
Displays a variety of defensive behaviours when disturbed: raising up the body, inflating the hood, hissing and striking downwards.
Captive specimens have been observed to spit venom but such behaviour has not been observed in the wild.


Carnivorous feeding primarily on toads, frogs, rodents and other snakes;
Preys rarely on lizards and birds.


Oviparous. Lays at least 14 eggs a time.
Eggs hatch in 2 months with hatchlings being some 30cm in total length.


Common and widely distributed in Hong Kong.
Throughout southern China, Taiwan and Northern Vietnam.

Conservation Status IUCN Redlist: NE (Not Evaluated)
China Redlist: Vulnerable
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