King Cobra

Ophiophagus hannah

A snake-eat-snake world

The king cobra’s diet consists primarily of other snakes. This can lead to conflicts with humans, as the vipers and pythons it preys on are often found hunting rats and mice close to human settlements.


  • Origin

    Large parts of tropical south and southeast Asia

  • Habitat

    Forests, riverbanks, open grassland, plantations

  • Diet

    Snakes, lizards

  • Status


  • Size

    3 to 5 m

  • Weight

    up to 9 kg

  • Gestation period

    2 to 2,5 months

  • Achievable age

    up to 20 years

Threat Categories of IUCN

Rising to the challenge

King cobras can reach up to five metres in length. That makes them the largest venomous snake in the world – but not the most poisonous, which is a common misconception. When alarmed, this snake can rear up a third of its body length, giving it a better view of the danger.

Did you know?

King cobras are monogamous, females will only mate with one specific male.
King cobras are the only snakes that build nests for their eggs.

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