This species can be identified by its hood and ‘Spectacled’ hood mark. This easily identifiable hood mark can be seen absent in some specimens. Brown, yellow, grey or black shades can be observed with speckled or banded pattern. A cobra used to stretch its hood along with hissing sound when provoked or threatened.
Length: 4.9ft.and maximum 7ft.
Typically (but not always) a single cuneate scale on each side. Frontal clearly longer than broad. Males scale in 23-37 rows (at 10thventral): 19-25 (at 20% of ventrals): 21-25 (at 40% of ventrals): 19-23 (at 60% of ventrals): 13-18 (at 80% of ventrals): 15-18 (at vent.) ventrals 171-197; subcaudals 53-67, paired. Females scales in 23-37 rows (at 10th ventrals): 19-25 (at 20% of ventrals) 20-25 (at 40% of ventrals): 17-24 (at 60% of ventrals): 15-17 (at 80% of ventrals): 15-18 (at vent). Ventrals 178-196; subcaudals 50-65, paired.
Habitat and Reproduction:
Spectacled cobra is one of India’s commonest snakes. This species can be seen in fields, near streams, rock piles, tree, granaries and grain shops. Often lives in rat holes or termite mounds. Feeds on rodents, toads, frogs, birds and snakes. Cobras are oviparous and they lay 12-30 eggs in the months of March to July. Eggs hatch after 48 to 69 days. Gestation period is about 62 days. The venom in juvenile cobras has same potency as that of adult one.
Bite and Venom:
It is one of the Big four snakes in India. The venom of a cobra contains neurotoxins which affect nervous system of the victim. Simultaneously it destroys red blood corpuscles, body cells and ultimately damage respiratory system. Usually cobra bite is a dry bite in which no venom is injected into victim’s body. But when threatened, it injects ample amount of venom which is sufficient to kill a human.
Distribution: Spectacled cobra is recorded throughout mainland India except North-East and observed up to 2000m from sea level. These reptiles are well adapted to variety of habitats and reported throughout Chhattisgarh. Its habitat ranges from dense forests to paddy field to urban settlements. Except India spectacled cobra is recorded from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.
Due to presence of venom, it suffers killing by humans whenever detected. This species is very much popular with snake charming due to its peculiar behavior of targeting the threat. Since ages this act of cobras made them popular among charmers. The requirement of its venom also poses threat to this species. Habitat loss is another added issue that negatively affecting this species.