King Cobra – Longest Venomous Snake



Conservation status: VULNERABLE
Common name: king cobra, hamadryad
Scientific name: Ophiophagus hannah
Type: reptile
Diet: other snakes, lizards and rodents
Length: 3.18 – 4m
Weight: n/a

The king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), also known as the hamadryad, is a species of venomous snake in the family Elapidae, endemic to forests from India through Southeast Asia. This serpent is the world’s longest venomous snake.

Adult king cobras are 3.18 to 4 m (10.4 to 13.1 ft) long. The longest known individual measured 5.85 m (19.2 ft). Despite the word “cobra” in its common name, this species does not belong to genus Naja but is the sole member of its own. It preys chiefly on other snakes and occasionally on some other vertebrates, such as lizards and rodents. It is a dangerous snake that has a fearsome reputation in its range, although it typically avoids confrontation with humans when possible. The king cobra is a prominent symbol in the mythology and folk traditions of Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. It is the national reptile of India.


  1. Stuart, B.; Wogan, G.; Grismer, L.; Auliya, M.; Inger, R.F.; Lilley, R.; Chan-Ard, T.; Thy, N.; Nguyen, T.Q.; Srinivasulu, C. & Jelić, D. (2012). “Ophiophagus hannah“. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  2. Mehrtens, J. (1987). Living Snakes of the World. New York: Sterling.
  3. O’Shea, M. (2008). Venomou snakes of the world. London, Cape Town, Sydney, Auckland: New Holland Publishers.
  4.  Young, D. (1999). “Ophiophagus hannah”. Animal Diversity Webthe King Cobra is undoubtedly a very dangerous snake (“Behavior” section)
  5.  “King Cobra – National Reptile of India”. indiamapped.

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