Cobra 1: Hemachatus Hemachatus - African, spits venom, has keeled scales and bears up to 60 live young.
Cobra 2: Naja Naja Atra - Asian, has a "complete mask" (i.e., a black and white scale pattern that completely covers the back of its neck), its venom played a role in the development of immunology and serum therapy for snake bite.
Cobra 3: Many-Banded Krait - Asain, Kraits bite almost only at night. The Many-Banded Krait has closely-set black and white rings: it does not roll into an ellipse like the more common Banded Krait, but into a rounded knot.
Cobra 4: Taipan - Most poisonous Australian snake. The venom not only paralyzes the central nervous system, but it also destroys red corpuscles.
Cobra 5: D. Polylepis - Largest venemous snake in Africa, characterized by lightning quick, elegant movements in branches and the vigor of its reactions. When excited, lifts its head and neck and opens its mouth threateningly.
Cobra 6: Lampropeltis Doliata Syspila - Brilliantly-colored American snake. A "false" coral snake, it uses mertensian mimicry for protection.
Cobra 7: Boomslang - Australian, a colubrid that lives in trees, it uses its rear fangs to inject hematoxic venom into its prey. This species has killed at least one noted herpetologist.
Cobra 8: Maticora Intenstinalis - Southeast Asian snake. Has a coral-red tail underside, which it displayes when excited. Its venom appears to be less potent than other cobra species.
Cobra 9: Acanthopis Antareticus - Australian, the death adder. When excited, inflates itself into a sausage shape. Its bite leaves practically no mark. Chiefly active at dusk.
Cobra 10: Hydrophiidae - Have glands in the head used for eliminating excess salt. Its external nasal openings are on top of the head and can be closed by a valve.
Cobra 11: Ngu Sam Liem - Southeast Asian cobra. Lacquer-black with shiny yellow bands on a strangely ridged back, the "triangle snake" eats almost nothing but other snakes.
Cobra 12: Ophiophagus Hannah - The largest poisonous cobra in the world, it is the only cobra that can move forward while in the threat position.
Cobra 13: Boulengerina - These cobras almost always live in shallow water and feed on nothing but fishes.
Cobra 14: Laticanda Laticanda - Widely distributed snake. It moves quickly and skillfully on land, but us often encountered sunning itself near the beach.
© ℗ John Zorn 1995
Printed in Canada