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Snakes that eat snakes...starring the King Cobra (as a baby)

Did you know that some snakes eat other snakes? The Kraits, the Chinese Cobra, and the smaller Mock Viper have all been known to eat snakes, but the King Cobra's - Ophiophagus hannah - diet is almost exclusively other snakes. Its name, “Ophiophagus”, is a Greek-derived word which translates to ‘snake-eater’.

Here is a Juvenile King Cobra on the hunt...spotting a juvenile rat snake.

Looks like he got him!

  • Snakes are an important part of the ecosystems they inhabit as predators of other species that would otherwise proliferate unchecked

  • In addition to rodents, lizards, mammals, and amphibians some snakes also eat other snakes in a surprising twist of evolutionary fate

  • The two Krait species, Banded and Many Banded, are prolific snake eaters whose diets are heavy on their slithery kin. The Chinese Cobra has a varied diet but also definitively enjoys meals of the snakey sort when the opportunity presents itself.

The king Cobra is the world’s largest venomous snake…as you can see from the image below, the juvenile looks completely different to the adult. The 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.

Here is a sub-adult King Cobra, in a distinctive cobra pose.

This wonderful snake is highly situationally aware, intelligent, and has very sharp eyesight unlike many other snakes, and it is one of the very, very few snakes that will guard its nest, which is the only time it can be considered aggressive. But please do not approach snakes to take photographs unless you are properly equipped, both with equipment and knowledge. If you are bitten, call 999 immediately.

For more information on each of these species mentioned in the article stop by the ‘All Snakes Page’ on

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