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Looking for zebra spitting cobra facts for kids? You are at the right place. The western barred spitting cobra is more familiarly known as the zebra spitting cobra.

Its name refers to the pattern of brown or black and white stripes running the length of its body.

The zebra spitting cobra has strong venom that can cause serious eye damage or even blindness.

This reptile grows to a size of 3.9 to 4.9 feet or more and has a lifespan of as long as 12 years. It has a diet of rodents, small birds, fish, and frogs.

Scientific Classification of Zebra Spitting Cobra

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Suborder: Serpentes

Family: Elapidae

Genus: Naja

Species: N. nigricincta

Zebra Spitting Cobra Facts for Kids 1-9

1. Naja nigricincta is a spitting cobra species belonging to the genus Naja and the family Elapidae.

2. Long considered a subspecies of the Black-necked Spitting Cobra (Naja nigricollis), physical and genetic differences have led to this species’ identification as a distinct species.

3. Two subspecies are presently recognized under Naja nigricincta.

The name of the nominated subspecies N. n. nigricincta, often known as the Zebra Spitting Cobra or Western Barred Spitting Cobra, is derived from the black crossbars that run the length of the snake’s body.

The subspecies N. n. woodi, sometimes known as the Black Spitting Cobra, is exclusive to the desert regions of southern Africa and is entirely black. 

4. Naja nigricincta is an oviparous poisonous spitting cobra with a dark brown to black body and zebra-like white or light yellow stripes along the dorsal side.

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These stripes might be whole or broken and are often equally spaced.

The ventral scales range in hue from white to orange. The overall color of young snakes is paler than that of adults.

5. These snakes may flatten their head and neck to form a hood, like several cobra species. The heads and hoods are dark brown or black evenly.

6. It consumes rodents, small birds, fish, and frogs for food.

7. Naja nigricincta’s venom can induce extensive hemorrhage, necrosis, and paralysis in bite victims.

These snakes can also spew poison with pinpoint accuracy, causing temporary or permanent blindness in their victims.

8. If treatment is not offered, someone who gets this snake’s venom in their eyes may experience severe agony and may go blind if left untreated.

The therapy consists of rinsing the afflicted eye with copious amounts of water to eliminate the venom.

Immediate medical attention is required so that the damaged eye or eyes may be inspected.

In addition, the individual may require antibiotics to treat any bacterial infections.

9. This cobra’s bite also carries poison. The initial and most crucial step is to get the patient to a hospital for treatment.

As you await medical assistance, keep the damaged limb as motionless as possible.

The bite wound should be below the level of the individual’s heart. If you have a bandage, wrap it snugly but not too tightly around the bite site and affected limb.

Zebra Spitting Cobra Facts for Kids 10-18

10. Native to several portions of southern Africa (Namibia, southern Angola, and South Africa).

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11. It can spit its poison both on the ground and while standing with its hood extended.

12. It stores its venom in large pouches on its head’s sides.

13. This snake is frequently observed crossing highways at night.

14. It has a maximum lifetime of 12 years.

15. The zebra spitting cobra’s breeding season occurs between the middle of spring and summer.

During this period, they are observed wandering around their environment a bit more than normal.

16. According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the population of this snake is widespread and steady.

There is no precise population figure provided. It’s displayed as Least Concern.

17. The only time a zebra-spitting cobra rises its body and extends its hood is when it feels threatened or cornered.

This snake has been observed hissing and swaying when in an elevated posture. All of this activity is displayed to frighten away potential predators.

18. This species of cobra is nocturnal. It has exceptional night vision, which helps it hunt.

It injects poison into its target by biting it with a swift motion. The animal dies quite fast, and the cobra then consumes it.

Sources: 1, 2

Featured Image Source: Wikipedia

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