Kashmir rock agama | Laudakia tuberculata Gray, 1827

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Monocled cobra| Naja kaouthia Lesson, 1831

Monocled cobra, Naja kaouthia


Naja kaouthia  is a highly venomous snake species & commonly known as monocellate cobra or monocled cobra, native to South Asia and Southeast Asia. It is found in China, Vietnam, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Bhutan, Thailand, and Myanmar. They are called Monocled cobras on account its “O” shaped hood pattern, which is also denoted as the monocellate hood pattern. 
It is a medium-sized and heavy-bodied snake having elongated cervical ribs that expand to form the hood when they are alarmed.
Naja kaouthia (Image source: reptilesmagazine.com)
 The Monocled cobras have an average length of 3-5 ft but are known to grow up to 7.5 ft. Their body pattern (color) is highly erratic among the individuals depending on the geographically zone. Its head is elliptical in form and a little distinctive from its neck having medium sized eyes with round pupils, and a short rounded snout with large nostrils.
The coloration of dorsal surface in this species may vary from yellow to brown, gray or blackish, with or without frayed or may have clear distinct cross bands. Some snake individuals may be olivaceous to brownish or black over with or without a yellow or orange colored, “O” shaped mark on their hood. On the lower side of hood these snakes have black spot on either side, with one or two black cross-bars on the ventral surface behind it while, rest of the belly is of the same color as the dorsal body but a little faint. As age advances, the snake becomes paler, wherein the adult is brownish or olivaceous.
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum:
Chordata
Class:
Reptilia
Order:
Squamata
Suborder:
Serpentes
Family:
Elapidae
Genus:
Naja
Species:
kaouthia
Binomial name
Naja kaouthia Lesson, 1831
Conservation status
Least Concern

Scalation in these cobras has 25-31/ 19-21/ 17-15 scales dorsally while on the ventral side they have 164-197 ventral scales and 43-61 subcaudal scales. They also have more than one cuneate scale on either side. The frontal scale is short and quadrangle.
It is an oviparous species of snake where females lay clutch of 16-33 eggs. Incubation periods in this species take about 55-73 days & egg were laid mostly from January-March.
This species has been categorized as Least Concern by IUCN on account of its large distribution, tolerance, and its reported abundance. There are no major threats have been reported about the species so far. It is also listed on CITES Appendix II.
This cobra species is highly adaptable snake species which has adapt to a wide range of habitats, from natural to human-modified environments, at elevations of about 1000 m.asl. These snakes prefer to live places having water resources such as agriculture fields, mangroves, and swamps, but can also be sighted in grasslands, scrublands, and forests.\

Naja kaouthia (Image source: reptile-database.reptarium.cz/)

Naja kaouthia was formerly considered as a subspecies of the Naja naja (Spectacled Cobra). It is mainly a crepuscular or nocturnal terrestrial species of snake, but it shows some arboreal ability if needed. Generally prefer to hide in rodent holes, caves, mounds, piles, cracks, agriculture fields and under fallen wooden logs. They can also be found in scrublands, grasslands, and forests as well as around human settlements. They feed on rodents, small mammals, fish and occasionally other snakes whereas; juveniles take amphibians mostly.
When encountered these snakes prefer to flee at first but if cornered they lift their anterior portions of their bodies, spread their hood, produce hiss sound loudly and try to bite in aggression for defending themselves. It has been recorded recently that some individuals of the monocled cobra have the potential of spitting venom. It contains the neurotoxins in its venom which leads to symptoms such as localized swelling at the bite side, drowsiness, neurological problems (progressive paralysis of the nervous system, respiratory paralysis and death due to asphyxia) and muscle issues (tissue necrosis) in victims after being bitten.

Literature Cited:
Cantor, T. (1839). Naja larvata. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. 7: 32–33.
Chan-ard, T., Parr, J.W.K. and Nabhita, B.J. (2015). A field guide to the reptiles of Thailand. Oxford University Press, NY, 352 pp. [see book reviews by Pauwels & Grismer 2015 and Hikida 2015 for corrections] - get paper here
Chan-ard,T., Grossmann,W., Gumprecht, A. and Schulz, K. D. (1999). Amphibians and Reptiles of peninsular Malaysia and Thailand - an illustrated checklist [bilingual English and German]. Bushmaster Publications, Würselen, Gemany, 240 pp. [book review in Russ. J. Herp., 7: 87] - get paper here
Chanhome, L, Jintkune, P., Wilde, H., Cox, M.J. (2001). "Venomous snake husbandry in Thailand" (PDF). Wilderness and Environmental Medicine. 12: 17–23. doi:10.1580/1080-6032(2001)012[0017:vshit]2.0.co;2.
Charles, C. 2016. Recent reptiles records from Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand Seavr, 117-120 - get paper here
Cox, M.J. (1995). Naja kaouthia. Herpetological Review, 26 (3): 156-157 - get paper here
Cox, M.J., Van, D., Paul, P., Jarujin, N. and Thirakhupt, K. (1998). A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Ralph Curtis Publishing, 144 pp.
Das, A., Uttam, S., Murthy, B.H.C.K., Santanu, D. and Sushil, K.D. (2009). A herpetofaunal inventory of Barail Wildlife Sanctuary and adjacent regions, Assam, north-eastern India. Hamadryad, 34 (1): 117 – 134
Das, I. (2012). A Naturalist's Guide to the Snakes of South-East Asia: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali. Oxford John Beaufoy Publishing – get paper here
Das, S. and Amit, B. (2017). Notes on the breeding ecology of monocled cobras (Naja kaouthia) from areas adjacent to Sundarban, India Herpetological Bulletin (140): - get paper here
Frömberg, C. (2007). Haltung und Zucht der Suphan-Kobra, Naja kaouthia ("suphanensis") (Lesson, 1831). Ophidia, 1(2) - get paper here
Geissler, P., Hartmann, T., Ihlow, F., Neang T., Seng R., Wagner, P. and Bohme, W. (2019). Herpetofauna of the Phnom Kulen National Park, northern Cambodia—An annotated checklist. Cambodian Journal of Natural History 2019 (1): 40–63 - get paper here
Geissler, P., Truong, Q.N., Nikolay, A.P. and Wolfgang, B. (2011). New records of snakes from Cat Tien National Park, Dong Nai and Lam Dong provinces, southern Vietnam. Bonn zoological Bulletin 60, (1): 9-16 - get paper here
Gray. J. E. (1834). Illustrations of Indian Zoology, chiefly selected from the collection of Major - General Hardwicke. London. 2 (1833-1834):263 pp 95 plates - get paper here
Grismer, L.L, Thy, N., Thou, C., Perry, L., Wood, J., Jamie, R., Oaks, J.H., Jesse, L., Grismer, T.R.S. and Timothy, M.Y. (2008). Additional amphibians and reptiles from the Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary in Northwestern Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia, with comments on their taxonomy and the discovery of three new species. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 56 (1): 161-175 - get paper here
Grismer, L.L., Neang, T., Chav, T. and Grismer, J.L. (2008). Checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the Cardamom region of Southwestern Cambodia. Cambodian Journal of Natural History, 1: 12–28 - get paper here
Grossmann, W. and Tillack, F. (2001). Bemerkungen zur Herpetofauna des Khao Lak, Phang Nga, thailändische Halbinsel. Teil II: Reptilia: Serpentes; Testudines; Diskussion. Sauria, 23 (1): 25-40 - get paper here
Gumprecht, A. (2009). Über das Vorkommen der Monokel-Kobra (Naja kaouthia) in Nord-Thailand. Sauria, 31 (2): 60-62 - get paper here
Hallmen, M. (2005). Farb- und Zeichnungszuchten in der Terraristik. Reptilia (Münster) 10 (55): 16-22 - get paper here
Hallmen, M. (2006). Selective Breeding for color and pattern. Reptilia (GB) (44): 12-18 - get paper here
http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Naja&species=kaouthia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monocled_cobra
Jackson, K. (2002). Post-ovipositional development in the Monocled Cobra, Naja kaouthia, (Serpentes: Elapidae). Zoology, 105 (4):203-214
Kästle, W., Rai, K. and Schleich, H.H. (2013). Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal. ARCO-Nepal e.V., 625 pp. - get paper here
Kyi, S.W. and Goerge, R.Z. (2003). Unusual foraging behaviour of Naja kaouthia at the Moyingye Wetlands Bird Sanctuary, Myanmar. Hamadryad, 27 (2): 265-266
Mahony, S., Kamrul, M.H., Md. Mofizul, K., Mushfiq, A. and Md. Kamal H. (2009). A catalogue of amphibians and reptiles in the collection of Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Hamadryad, 34 (1): 80–94 - get paper here
Majumder, J., Partha, P.B., Koushik, M., Chiranjib, D. and Basant, K.A. (2012). Documentation of herpetofaunal species richness in Tripura, Northeast India. NeBIO, 3 (1): 60-70 - get paper here
Murthy, T.S.N. (2010). The reptile fauna of India. B.R. Publishing, New Delhi, 332 pp.
Nath, A., Hilloljyoti, S. and Das, A. (2011). Snakes of Bongaigaon Municipality Area, Assam, India. Reptile Rap, (13): 9-13 - get paper here
Onn, C.K.., Lee, L., Grismer, D., Sharma, S., Daicus, B. and Norhayati, A. (2009). New herpetofaunal records for Perlis State Park and adjacent areas. Malayan Nature Journal, 61 (4):255 - 262
Pandey, D.P. (2018). New records of snakes from Chitwan National Park and vicinity, Central Nepal. Herpetology Notes, 11: 679-696 - get paper here
Purkayastha, J. (2018). Urban biodiversity: an insight into the terrestrial vertebrate diversity of Guwahati, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 10(10): 12299–12316 - get paper here
Santra, V. and Wüster, W. (2017). Naja kaouthia (Monocled Cobra) Behavior / spitting. Herpetological Review, 48 (2): 455-456 - get paper here
Smith, M. A. (1943)  The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. Volume “III” (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London.
Status of Naja kaouthia". CITES species database. CITES. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
Stuart, B. and Wogan, G. (2012). "Naja kaouthia". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2012: e.T177487A1488122. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012-1.RLTS.T177487A1488122.en.
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Wallach, V., Wüster, W. and Broadley, D.G. (2009). In praise of subgenera: taxonomic status of cobras of the genus Naja Laurenti (Serpentes: Elapidae). Zootaxa, 2236: 26–36 - get paper here
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Winchell, S. (2011). Kobras. Reptilia (Münster) 16 (89): 16-22 - get paper here
Wüster, W. (1996). Taxonomic changes and toxinology: Systematic revisions of the asiatic cobras (Naja naja complex). Toxicon, 34 (4): 399-406
Wüster, W. (1998). The cobras of the genus Naja in India. Hamadryad, 23 (1): 15-32.

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PerSonaLife: Monocled cobra| Naja kaouthia Lesson, 1831
Monocled cobra| Naja kaouthia Lesson, 1831
Monocled cobra, Naja kaouthia
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