Philippine Cobra

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Philippine Cobra

Naja philippinensis

Last updated: May 12, 2022
Verified by: IMP
Image Credit ccarbill/Shutterstock.com

Philippine cobra is a highly venomous species of spitting cobra.

Philippine Cobra Scientific Classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Reptilia
Order
Squamata
Family
Elapidae
Genus
Naja
Scientific Name
Naja philippinensis

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Philippine Cobra Conservation Status

Philippine Cobra Locations

Philippine Cobra Locations


Philippine Cobra Facts

Prey
Rodents, other small mammals, frogs, reptiles, eggs.
Fun Fact
Philippine cobra is a highly venomous species of spitting cobra.
Litter Size
10-20 eggs
Diet
Carnivore
Common Name
Philippine cobra, Philippine spitting cobra, or northern Philippine cobra.

Philippine Cobra Physical Characteristics

Color
  • Dark Brown
  • Light-Brown
Skin Type
Scales
Lifespan
20+ years
Length
3.3 to 5+ feet
Venomous
Yes
Aggression
Medium

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View all of the Philippine Cobra images!



The Philippine cobra, which is also known as the northern Philippine cobra or the spitting Philippine cobra, is exclusively found in the Philippine islands.

They usually range from 3 to 5 feet long, depending on the particular snake. They don’t need support from their mother after they are born, even though the baby snakelet is no more than 20 inches long in size. Though the name often refers to the northern Philippine cobra or the spitting cobra, you might also see the southern Philippine cobra, which is bright yellow and black.

5 Amazing Philippine Cobra Facts

  • The typical diet of the Philippine cobra consists of small mammals, frogs, other snakes, rodents, and more. However, they are often animals of opportunity in their diet, which means that they will also eat small birds and eggs when they can reach them.
  • Even though this cobra is quite a predator in its own right, it isn’t safe from other predators like humans, birds of prey, mongooses, and king cobras. Even though large rats won’t necessarily eat these snakes, they’ll bite and fight back.
  • To blend in with their surroundings, the color of the Philippine cobra’s body is light brown, though the blotches along the body are dark brown in color.
  • The closely related southern Philippine cobra is much bolder in color with yellow and black as the main colors. It is also highly venomous.
  • Baby Philippine cobras are called snakelets. The baby snakelets don’t require any care from their mother.

Where to Find Philippine Cobra

If you’re looking to find the Philippine cobra, there’s only one location to go – the Philippines. It is spread over multiple locations in the northern Philippines, including the islands of Luzon, Mindoro, Catanduanes, and Masbate. There’s a chance that other islands nearby might have these snakes as well, but there aren’t any confirmed cases.

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The primary habitat of the majority of these snakes tends to be forested locations and low-lying plains. However, they can also be found in grasslands, jungles, and open fields. Though they do not like to be approached by humans, they won’t even shy away from human settlements if their diet leads them there. They especially love water, so they can also be found near rivers, ponds, and other areas.

Philippine Cobra Scientific Name

The Philippine cobra, sometimes called the spitting Philippine cobra or the northern Philippine cobra, has the scientific name Naja philippinensis. In Tagalog, this cobra is called ulupong, though it is also called agwáson (Cebuano), banákon (Cebuano), or carasaen (Ilocano). The name was originally used by Edward Harrison Taylor, an American herpetologist from 1922, and it is Latin for “cobra from the Philippine Islands.”

Its class is Reptilia, and it belongs to the Elapidae family. Its phylum is Chordata.


Articles Mentioning Philippine Cobra

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Articles Mentioning Philippine Cobra

See all of our entertaining and insightful animal articles.


Philippine Cobra Population & Conservation Status

The worldwide population of Philippine cobras is one of the many unknown facts about the species. However, according to the IUCN, this cobra is Near Threatened, and their species is decreasing steadily.

How to Identify Philippine Cobras: Appearance and Description

Ranging from 3.3 feet to over 5 feet long in size, the spitting Philippine cobra is a medium-sized snake. With a subtle change from the head to the neck, it has dark brown round eyes, and it is rather stocky. The body is light brown in color, decorated with dark brown blotches all over. This is much different than the southern Philippine cobra, which is bright yellow and black.

How to identify Philippine cobras:

  • Up to 5 feet long in total size.
  • Light brown body with dark brown blotches.
  • Slimmer neck with broader head.

Philippine Cobra Pictures

Samar cobra, a snake similar to the Philippine Cobra. The Philippine Cobra has a body that is light brown in color, decorated with dark brown blotches all over.
Samar cobra, a snake similar to the Philippine Cobra. The Philippine Cobra has a body that is light brown in color, decorated with dark brown blotches all over.

ccarbill/Shutterstock.com

Samar cobra, Naja samarensis, an endemic cobra from Philippines. This is a snake similar to the Philippine Cobra. The Philippine Cobra has dark brown round eyes, and it is rather stocky.
Samar cobra, Naja samarensis, an endemic cobra from Philippines. This is a snake similar to the Philippine Cobra. The Philippine Cobra has dark brown round eyes, and it is rather stocky.

ccarbill/Shutterstock.com

Philippine Cobra Venom: How Dangerous Are They?

Part of the reason that the Philippine cobra is so dangerous is the venom that it releases. This venom can impact your respiratory function, causing paralysis as it stops the nerve signals from getting to the muscles. The venom is exclusively a neurotoxin, but you don’t have to even be bitten to suffer the consequences. This cobra is capable of spitting their venom nearly 10 feet away.

If you’re bitten by a Philippine Cobra, you’ll quickly feel nausea, start to vomit, experience pain, and more. It is important to seek out medical attention quickly because not being treated could lead to death as quickly as 30 minutes after the bite. Even though the actual risk of fatality depends on the particular snakes, you need to seek out medical attention as soon as the bite happens.

Philippine Cobra Behavior and Humans

Due to their highly toxic venom, Philippine cobras are dangerous to humans, but they don’t go out of the way to be aggressive. They only become aggressive with humans if they are provoked by threat or by being handled. They are not friendly, and they should not be kept as pets.

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Philippine Cobra FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

How do Philippine cobras hunt?

These snakes are primarily active during the day for hunting, tasting the air with their tongue to locate potential prey.

How does the Philippine cobra kill people?

This cobra bites, releasing enough venom to kill up to 20 in one dose.

Is Philippine cobra deadliest?

Based on toxicology studies, it has some of the strongest venoms among any cobra species.

Is the Philippine cobra venomous?

Absolutely. It is one of the most venomous cobras of the Chordata phylum in the world.

How venomous is a Philippine cobra?

The Philippine cobra is very dangerous and venomous. In fact, it is one of only 14 cobra species that will even seemingly spit at their threats. Research shows that this snake is one of the most venomous in the world, and the venom could lead to human death within just 30 mins.

Where is the Philippine cobra found?

As the name suggests, this cobra is primarily found in the Philippines in Luzon, Mindoro, Catanduanes, and Masbate.

What do Philippine cobras eat?

The typical diet of this cobra consists of small mammals, frogs, and other snakes. The easiest prey for them to capture and eat are rodents, though they’ll even eat eggs of other animals.

Sources
  1. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine_cobra
  2. Pets on Mom, Available here: https://animals.mom.com/adult-king-cobras-care-babies-10562.html
  3. Owlcation, Available here: https://owlcation.com/stem/The-Philippine-Cobra
  4. Kidadl, Available here: https://kidadl.com/animal-facts/philippine-cobra-facts

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