Monocled Cobra

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The monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) is a species of cobra that has a circular mark behind the hood, unlike that of the Indian cobra.

Conservation status

The species has been assessed as Least Concern by IUCN owing to its large distribution across central and southern Asia, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, including anthropogenically altered environments, and its reported abundance.


Its body scales are smooth and arranged in 19–21 (usually 21) longitudinal rows at mid-body. The throat is pale, with scarcely any dark mottling, often followed by a single dark band. The ventro-lateral throat spots are distinct, the remainder of the venter is either pale or increasingly cloudy with darker pigmentation towards the rear. In adults, hood markings are usually distinct, usually a pale, oval or circular marking, with a dark center and occasionally a narrow dark outer border. Occasionally one or two dark spots are present in the pale oval. Fangs not modified for spitting, and the venom discharge orifice is large. Ventral scales number 164–196 and subcaudal scales 43–58. Total length 1500 mm (5 feet); tail length 230 mm (9 inches) (according to Smith larger specimens have been recorded, but they are rare).

Geographic distribution

Monocled cobras are distributed from India in the west through to China, Vietnam and Cambodia, also occurs in the Malaysian Peninsular and is native to Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar,...
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