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King Cobra

King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah)

King Cobra

The king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is the world’s longest venomous snake and is known for its impressive size and potent venom. Here are some detailed points about this species:

Physical Characteristics

  • Size: King cobras can grow up to 5.5 meters (18 feet) in length, making them the longest venomous snake in the world.
  • Appearance: They have a distinctive hood, similar to other cobras, but it is narrower and longer. The head is broad and flattened.
  • Color: Their coloration varies, but they are generally olive-green, tan, or black with faint, narrow bands.


  • Geographical Range: The king cobra is found across Southeast Asia, including India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
  • Environment: They prefer dense highland forests, mangrove swamps, and bamboo thickets. They are also found near streams and often in agricultural areas.

Cultural Significance

  • Symbolism: The king cobra holds cultural and religious significance in many parts of its range. It is often revered and feared in equal measure.
  • Mythology and Folklore: In various cultures, the king cobra is featured in myths and legends, symbolizing power, royalty, and fertility.

Conservation Status

  • Threats: The king cobra faces threats from habitat destruction, poaching for skin and traditional medicine, and persecution due to fear.
  • Conservation Efforts: It is listed under Appendix II of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), which regulates international trade. Conservation programs focus on habitat protection and raising awareness to reduce human-snake conflict.
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