Name in Smith, 1943 : Naja n.kaouthia

Current Scientific Name :

Naja sagittifera   Wall, 1913

Common Name : Andaman Cobra

Naja sagittifera  Wall, 1913
Andaman Cobra

Material Examined : 2 adults.

Description & Scalation : Head broad, slightly distinct from neck. Eye medium, with round pupil; nostrils large; frontal small; no loreal; 1 preocular in contact with posterior nasal; 3 postoculars; temporals 2+1 or 2+2. Scales smooth, in 27-29 : 21-23 : 15-17 rows; supralabials 7 ( 3rd and 4th in contact with the eye ), 7th longest, elongated; cuneates 1 on each side; infralabials 8, first 4 touching the first pair of genials; ventrals 172–184; subcaudals 60-64, paired; anal entire.

Coloration : 3 color forms seen in adults.

  1. Uniform glossy black above, with indistinct black monocle hood mark. Glossy dark-gray below. Head black, with pale white patches on shields.
  2. Light brown or creamish above, with indistinct black lines round the body and tail and indistinct black monocle hood mark, with brown centre. Pale brown below. Head light brown, spotted with black.
  3. Uniform grayish above, with distinct black narrow, irregular cross-bars on the body and tail and distinct black monocle hood mark, with gray centre. Grayish below. Head black, with pale white patches on shields.

Juveniles and sub-adults have broad black cross-band on throat or underside of neck. Juveniles are glossy black above with a series of narrow, white, irregular cross-bars on body and tail, which show 'A' shape marks when seen from the side. There is a distinct white monocle mark, with black centre. Monocle mark becomes black with the age, also a broad white band below monocle mark disappears with age. Black below. Head black, with some shields blueish-white.

Natural History : Diurnal and terrestrial species that likes water. Alert and fast in its movements. Mostly seen in mangrove swamps, thick forest, forest edges, grasslands and plantations, many individuals were encountered near human habitations. Two dead specimens were seen in a fresh water stream on Little Andaman Island. Seen swimming in the mangrove waters, in early evening at low tide. Mainly feeds on rodents, also duck and chicken eggs are reported to be consumed; one which was captured in a chicken basket regurgitated four entire chicken eggs. When alarmed, spreads hood and hisses loudly, few times chases approaching person. 13 eggs were observed inside a termite mound in the Month of May. Female probably stays with eggs during incubation, juveniles are seen in the month of August. Nothing is known about its venom. No bites are recorded from this species. Heavy-bodied, max. size recorded 1.80m.

Distribution - India : Endemic to Andaman and Little Andaman Islands.

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Visitors Since 15th June 2012.
Last Updated Date 13 August 2013.