The Indian cobra is probably the most famous of India’s venomous snakes. It is embedded in Indian mythology and culture and is recognized as a powerful Hindu deity. It is also the creature of choice for India’s brazen snake charmers. The Indian cobra is one of a collection of snakes known as the ‘Big Four’ (the others include the common krait, Russell’s viper and the saw-scaled viper). These slippery customers are responsible for the highest number of snakebites in the country.Can be easily identified by having hood and adjoined rounded mark on posterior of hood. Color of Spectacles Cobra greatly depends on geographical areas. In and around human habitation and agricultural lands it can seen commonly as a rodent predator. Always raise hood on disturbance or to alarm its enemy. Typical spact-shaped mark is usually present which is characteristic of this species. Body slender with smooth oval shaped scales. Dorsal color includes yellow, all shades of brown, dark gray, reddish, black or black mixed with blue, purple, red etc. Side dorsal scales larger and clearly oval shaped while scales on the top narrower and become pointed. Color greatly depends on geographical region. Maharashtra, whole South India, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal etc. coastal states populations bear color range of yellow and brown (light). Sometimes dark color obtuse bands also found on posterior side. Central, northern & western India population is known for dark brown or black color.Found both in hills and plains. Distributed in variety of forests of Indian mainland which includes rain-forest mixed, moist and dry deciduous forests, grassland, wetland, desert etc. Lives in dense & open forests, agricultural lands, city outskirts, around wetlands, rocky terrain having mounds and deep hiding places, old woods etc. Hides in mounds, holes, piles, caves, cracks etc.It preys on variety of animals including frogs, toads and mostly rodents. Also feed on birds, other snakes including venomous ones, small mammals (mongoose and kittens), eggs etc. Can climb up to good heights on roof tops and trees in search of food.This snake is exploited extensively by all Indian snake charmers and comes in skin trade too. Many communities consume this species for edible use. Its venom is used in production of Anti Venom Serum and various research use so venom harvesting is done illegally in some parts of India and many other countries of its range. This is one among many venomous snake which are in high demand for Chinese medicines and snake vine.
The Indian cobra is mostly active during the evening and early morning.
Indian cobras usually prey on mice, rats, poultry, frogs and snakes.
When threatened, the Indian cobra will hiss and sway its hood to appear as large and aggressive as possible.
The venom of the Indian cobra is highly toxic.