Mozambique spitting cobra (Naja mossambica)
The Mozambique spitting cobra (Naja mossambica) is second only to the mamba as the most dangerous snake in Africa because of its venomous bite. Adults are 1-1.5 meters long, with the tail encompassing 15-20 percent of the total body length. These cobras don’t actually spit venom; they spray it. Their muscles contract to push venom from the bottom of the fangs while air from the lung blows or sprays the venom at the victim’s eyes.
Their colour can be olive-grey, tawny brown, or grey with black scales in between. Mozambique spitting cobras occupy a wide variety of habitats—they can be found in thicket and moist savanna, often near permanent waterholes. Adult Mozambique spitting cobras are mostly nocturnal but can be found by day sun bathing close to their hiding spot. The species will often move around the savanna after rains.
The spitting cobra has a broad diet, including snakes, lizards, frogs, rodents and other small mammals. When disturbed, this cobra will rear up two thirds of its body and spray its venom with quick accuracy toward the victim’s eyes. Its poison takes effect instantaneously. It can cause inflammation or permanent blindness if not washed out immediately.