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The king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah)

The king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), also known as the hamadryad, is Hong Kong’s (and the World’s) largest venomous snake. I know its winter, and not really snakey time, but I cannot resist!

and what an interesting snake it is! So much so, i'll spend two days talking about it.

This is the kind of shot I live for...very challenging, with intermittent sun in a small valley floor, and a beautiful wild animal on the move. Here above, a sub adult in a stream.

The King cobra is endangered, mainly because of loss of habitat, and there is also demand in the pet trade (even tho this is illegal almost everywhere, and their trade is not allowed).

Despite being called King Cobra, this snake actually hails from a genus of its own, called Ophiophagus. The King Cobra, or Ophiophagus Hannah, is classified under the Elapidae family. It is not a member of the Naja genus which incorporates most cobra species, known as “true cobras”.

Ophiophagus is the King Cobra’s generic name and it is a Greek-derived word, which means “snake-eater”, and its diet consists primarily of other snakes. When food is scarce, they may also feed on other small vertebrates, such as lizards, birds, and rodents.

The Ophiophagus Hannah has 11 large scales on his head which resemble a King’s crown, hence his majestic name. Other people may beg to differ on how it got its name...but i'm sticking with this one.

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

Link to article or cut and paste .


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