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A juvenile King Cobra - Ophiophagus hannah

The King Cobra. The joke goes this snake is misnamed, and that the King cobra is actually not a cobra, and that snakes are self governing.

Here a juvenile - very different in appearance.

So, let me's scientific nomenclature is Ophiophagus hannah, So it doesn't belong to the genus of the true cobras i.e the Najas. It is the single and sole member of its own genus. This is because of their external morphology (it looks different from other Cobras) and also its diet is mainly other snakes, including true Cobras.

Here a juvenile in bright colours eyes up lunch, in the shape of a rat snake.

This is the world’s largest venomous snake…but here is a juvenile that looks completely different to the adult. This little guy is actually bright yellow, with up to 65 chevron-shaped black bands down his body. These bands also go across the head and snout. This bright colouring of the juvenile fades and the adult is tan, almost to black.

This wonderful snake is highly intelligent, has very sharp eyesight unlike many other snakes, and will mainly only eat snakes! It is one of the very, very few snakes that will guard its nest, which is the only time it can be considered aggressive/more defensive. Bites from this snake are extremely rare (I have never heard of one in Hong Kong), as it will avoid contact, and only strike defensively, when cornered. I have seen a documentary where it shows that it even growls to warn elephants not to step on it!

Please see a complete feature about this wonderful animal over at our sister site,

Link to article or cut and paste .

ps Happy Birthday to me! For blogs in Chinese, search for "香港野 hong kong wildcreatures " Please also see for ID and animal information, around 180 species are listed with photo ID, and for snakes.

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