The normal Snouted Cobra (Naja annulifera) is one of the most kept African cobra species, even when many snake keepers think that they keep the Egyptian Cobra (Naja haje haje) is it most of the time the Snouted Cobra. Naja annulifera; The head is large and depressed and slightly distinct from the neck. The neck from the Snouted cobra is dilatable like all other species of the Naja complex. The dilatable neck or also called hood can be 12 -16 cm wide. The snout of the Snouted cobra is just like the head moderately broad, but pointed. The eyes are quit big with a round pupil. The body of the Snouted cobra is cylindrical and stout with a long tail.
In color are these cobras been found in many different varieties. Juveniles have a yellowish or greenish color, the scale often show a dark edging which looks like a speckled patron, in the neck do they have a broad dark band, the ventral side is usually yellow from color. Adults are mostly grey, brown, reddish-brown or black from color, but we also know a banded color phase which usually caries 6 – 9 bands on the body and 2 – 3 on the tail, these snakes have broad black and white cross bands around the body. The ventral side can be yellow or grey from color and can have speckles or a mottled patron. On the throat they have a broad dark band.
Naja annulifera anchietae; This subspecies is in morphology similar to Naja annulifera annulifera. The head is large and depressed and slightly distinct from the neck. The neck from the Snouted cobra is dilatable like all other species of the Naja complex. The dilatable neck or also called hood can be 12 -16 cm wide. The snout of the Snouted cobra is just like the head moderately broad, but pointed. The eyes are quit big with a round pupil. The body of the Snouted cobra is cylindrical and stout with a long tail. In color is this subspecies of the Snouted Cobra quite similar to the Naja annulifera annulifera except that this subspecies can also been found in light yellow and orange. They never seem to become black.
Naja annulifera ; The average adult size of this cobra is 150 – 220 cm, maximum 250 cm, males are usually bigger than females.
Naja annulifera anchietae; The average adult size of this cobra is 130 – 190 cm, maximum 230 cm, males are usually bigger than females.
Habitat Snouted Cobra
Snouted cobra inhabiting savanna grasslands, semi desserts, rocky areas but is also often found nearby humans in gardens and under houses. They will enter poultry runs. Snouted cobras will often occupy a permanent home in termite mounds, holes in rocks, hollow trees, and under dense vegetation. Snouted cobras are nocturnal but can be found basking on a rock close to there residence in the early morning. The snouted cobra is not a aggressive species but when cornered it will stand his ground by spreading his hood, while hissing load, when further provoked it will strike fast.
Behaviour in Captivity
Snouted cobras can be very pleasant animals in captivity. They often calm down fairly easy but some will stay easy to irritate. When housed in a large enclosure will they show a nice active behaviour. Snouted cobras that are housed to small will rub there noses continuously in the corners of there enclosure which will damage there rostral scale. Even when they are nocturnal will they show there self in daytime basking under a spot. Snouted cobras are curious animals that spend many hours of investigate there enclosure and with digging in the substrate. When coming close to there enclosure will they watch carefully any movement. Snouted cobras can be best handled on the tailing method while supporting there body on a snakehook.
Geographic Range Naja annulifera : Southern Zambia , Malawi , KwaZulu Natal , Mozambique , Swaziland , Zimbabwe , Northern provinces of South Africa and Botswana land.
Geographic Range Naja annulifera anchietae: Northwestern Zimbabwe, Western Zambia, Northern Botswana land, Southern Angola, Southern Zaire, and Namibia .
In nature feeds the Snouted cobra mainly on toads, but they will also eat small mammals, birds their eggs, reptiles including other snakes. Some wild caught specimens even ate puff adders (Bitis arietans), they will often enter gardens to search for food in chicken runs and under trash piles. My snouted cobras are fed with dead and live rodents and chicks. Dead prey items will be offered out of a long tweezer and will be taken slowly. When fed alive they will hunt there prey down and will bite them several times. I only feed my snakes live food in a bin.
Breeding Snouted Cobras
Snouted Cobras are Oviparous and laying 8 – 34 eggs.The eggs measure a size of 46 – 55 mm X 24 – 32 mm). Snouted Cobras are easy to breed cobras when provided a large and wel setup enclosure. The animals in my collection mate in late spring or early summer (May, June) after a gestation period of 2 months do the females lay there eggs in special laying boxes placed in the enclosure. Mating can take a few minutes to several hours. I don’t give my Snouted Cobras a hibernation period, but in winter time will the average room temperature drop some degrees and the animals will not get as much food as in the warmer months. The eggs are placed in a dry incubator on sterilized sand.
The temperature in the incubator varies between 27 - 300C with a humidity level around 80% which can be adjust by spraying water. After about 65 – 90 days the eggs will hatch, hatchlings measure a size of 22 – 35 cm in length. The hatchlings will shed for the first time after 8 – 12 days. After there first shedding food will be offered. I feed my juvenile Snouted Cobras with baby mice, which most of them will accept the first time, hatchlings that not eat will be force fed till they start eating on there own. The hatchlings are kept separate in plastic boxes till they reach a size of around 70 cm.