Fenelia Hellman

Written by Fenelia Hellman

Modified & Updated: 16 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: En.wikipedia.org

The Nubian Spitting Cobra, scientifically known as Naja nubiae, is a fascinating and awe-inspiring snake species that can be found in the arid regions of northeastern Africa. Known for its unique defense mechanism of spitting venom, this snake has captured the attention of both wildlife enthusiasts and researchers alike.

In this article, we will dive into the world of the Nubian Spitting Cobra and uncover 19 intriguing facts about this remarkable serpent. From its physical characteristics and habitat to its hunting techniques and venomous abilities, get ready to explore the captivating world of the Nubian Spitting Cobra.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Nubian Spitting Cobra is a fascinating snake found in Africa, known for its spitting ability and potent venom. It plays a crucial role in the ecosystem and should be admired from a safe distance.
  • Despite its name, the Nubian Spitting Cobra doesn’t actually spit venom. Instead, it forcefully ejects venom from its fangs with remarkable accuracy. This unique defense mechanism helps it survive in the wild.
Table of Contents

Venomous Spit?

Contrary to popular belief, the Nubian Spitting Cobra does not actually spit venom. Instead, they forcefully eject the venom from their fangs, projecting it towards their target, often with remarkable accuracy.

Venom Composition

The venom of the Nubian Spitting Cobra is a potent mixture of neurotoxins and cytotoxins, designed to incapacitate its prey and defend against potential threats.

Length and Appearance

Adult Nubian Spitting Cobras can reach an average length of 1.5 to 2 meters. They have a slender build, with a distinctive hood that flares up when threatened.

Not Just Black and White

While the name “Nubian Spitting Cobra” may suggest a predominantly black coloration, these snakes actually exhibit a range of colors, including shades of brown, olive, and even reddish hues.


These cobras are primarily found in dry savannahs, grasslands, and arid regions of Africa. They can also adapt to more urban environments.

Home Range

Nubian Spitting Cobras typically have a small home range, rarely exceeding one square kilometer. This suggests that they have a close association with their immediate surroundings.

Nocturnal Predators

These snakes are nocturnal hunters, actively seeking their prey during the darkness of night. Their excellent vision and heat-sensing abilities assist them in locating their next meal.


The diet of a Nubian Spitting Cobra consists mainly of small mammals, birds, lizards, and other reptiles. They are skilled predators, using their venom to immobilize their prey before consuming it.

Ambush Predators

Nubian Spitting Cobras are ambush predators, patiently waiting for unsuspecting prey to come within striking distance before launching their attack.

Defensive Behavior

When threatened, the Nubian Spitting Cobra will raise its body off the ground, spread its hood, and emit a loud hissing sound as a warning to potential predators.

Unique Defense Mechanism

The ability to spit venom towards potential threats is a unique defense mechanism of the Nubian Spitting Cobra. By aiming for the eyes of the predator, they can temporarily blind their aggressor, giving them a chance to escape.

Spitting Range

The Nubian Spitting Cobra can accurately spit venom up to a distance of 2-3 meters, effectively deterring predators or intruders without risking a direct confrontation.

Human Encounters

Due to their proximity to human settlements, Nubian Spitting Cobras often come into contact with humans, resulting in incidents where people inadvertently get sprayed with venom while too close to the snake.

Mating Season

The breeding season for Nubian Spitting Cobras occurs during the rainy season. Males engage in combat to win the attention of females, and mating takes place once a successful male emerges.

Egg Laying

After mating, females lay a clutch of around 10-20 eggs in secluded areas such as termite mounds or holes in the ground. They remain fiercely protective of their eggs until they hatch.

Maternal Care

Unlike many snakes, Nubian Spitting Cobra females exhibit maternal instincts. They guard and protect their eggs until they hatch, showing dedication rarely seen in reptiles.

Venomous Potential

The venom of the Nubian Spitting Cobra is not only potentially dangerous to its prey but can also cause significant harm to humans if bitten. Seek medical attention immediately in case of a snakebite.

Conservation Status

The Nubian Spitting Cobra is not currently listed as threatened or endangered. However, habitat destruction and snake-human conflicts pose significant challenges to their long-term survival.

Fascinating and Fearless

The Nubian Spitting Cobra is undoubtedly a fascinating and fearless snake, with its extraordinary spitting ability and potent venom. Its presence in the African ecosystem contributes to the delicate balance of nature.

In conclusion, the Nubian Spitting Cobra is a captivating snake species that demands respect and admiration from both researchers and nature enthusiasts. With its spitting behavior, venomous potency, and unique characteristics, it serves as a reminder of the diverse and awe-inspiring world of reptiles. Remember to admire these incredible creatures from a safe distance and appreciate their important role in our ecosystem.


In conclusion, the Nubian Spitting Cobra is a fascinating and unique snake species. From its potent venom to its distinctive behavior of spitting, this snake has captured the curiosity and interest of animal enthusiasts around the world. Its ability to accurately spit venom at its targets, as a means of defense, is truly remarkable.With its beautiful coloration and slender body, the Nubian Spitting Cobra stands out among its snake counterparts. While it may seem intimidating, it plays an important role in maintaining the delicate balance of ecosystems in its native habitat. Its hunting skills, agility, and adaptability make it a formidable predator.By exploring the 19 captivating facts about the Nubian Spitting Cobra, we can gain a deeper appreciation for these intriguing creatures. Whether you are an animal lover, a reptile enthusiast, or simply someone interested in the wonders of nature, the Nubian Spitting Cobra is a creature worth learning about and protecting.


Q: How dangerous is the Nubian Spitting Cobra?

A: The Nubian Spitting Cobra is venomous and should be considered dangerous. Its venom contains potent toxins that can cause pain, tissue damage, and even blindness if not treated promptly.

Q: Can the Nubian Spitting Cobra blind its prey with its venom?

A: Yes, the Nubian Spitting Cobra has the ability to accurately aim its venom at the eyes of its prey or predators. This can lead to temporary or permanent blindness in the affected individual.

Q: How far can the Nubian Spitting Cobra spit its venom?

A: The Nubian Spitting Cobra can spit its venom with impressive accuracy and a range of up to 3 meters (10 feet) away from its target.

Q: Are humans at risk of being spat by the Nubian Spitting Cobra?

A: Yes, humans are at risk of being spat by the Nubian Spitting Cobra if they are perceived as a threat. It is important to exercise caution and maintain a safe distance when encountering this snake in the wild.

Q: Where can the Nubian Spitting Cobra be found?

A: The Nubian Spitting Cobra primarily resides in Sub-Saharan Africa, including countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Tanzania.

The Nubian Spitting Cobra's captivating traits make it one of the most venomous snakes around. Its unique defense mechanism and striking appearance set it apart from other serpents. Reptile conservation efforts, like those aimed at protecting the critically endangered Antiguan Racer, help ensure these fascinating creatures remain part of our world. Studying snakes and other reptiles through herpetology allows us to better understand their behavior, habitats, and importance within ecosystems. Whether you're curious about deadly venom or passionate about preserving rare species, there's always more to learn about these incredible animals.

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