Continuing our look at snakes that you may encounter in Thailand and more importantly, the Buriram area, we will examine the Monocled Cobra.
Although much smaller than its huge more famous relative the King Cobra, it commands the same or even more respect. Its venom is more toxic than that of kraits and king cobras and urgent hospital treatment is required if bitten.
The venom is neuro toxic which affects the nerves and the brain and death comes very quickly without treatment.
Monocled cobras can be found all over Thailand in a wide variety of habitats.Contact with humans is frequent as they prey on rodents which can be found in all human settlements.Lizards, frogs, birds, eggs and other snakes are also taken.
These deadly reptiles inhabit farmland, forests, paddy fields, villages and cities. They are mainly nocturnal but you are more likely to see them in the daytime.They like hiding under leaves and wood and they also like to live under houses.
As with most snakes they are of a timid disposition and will flee from oncoming humans. However, if they feel threatened they will lift their head off the ground and flatten the neck. The hood flares quite wide compared to the size of their body.
Strikes are rapid and frequent so give them a very wide berth if you encounter one in the defensive position. They are light brown to dark grey in colour but some can be almost black.
They can be identified by the monocle or eye type shape on the back of the hood. Maximum length is about 1.5 metres but they can grow to up to 2.2 metres and they can live for thirty years in the wild.
The mating season is at the end of the rainy season and ten to thirty eggs are laid under leaves, stones, in hollow trees, in fact anywhere dark and sheltered. Incubation is around two months and hatching takes place in April to June.
The young are between eight to twelve inches long and look the same as adults. They are also just as deadly so don’t be fooled by their size !! Cute ? but they should not be approached.
The monocled cobra is still common in Thailand but its numbers are decreasing in some parts of Asia due to harvesting for medicines, its skin and also for snake wine in Vietnam. CHEERS !!