Equatorial Spitting Cobra (Naja sumatrana), also known as Black Spitting Cobra, is a highly venomous snake. it will raise the front portion of its body when provoked. At the same time, it will flatten its neck and hiss loudly. As a last resort the cobra will aim a fine spray of venom from its fangs towards the eyes of the provocateur.
The cobra feeds on small animals like rats, frogs, toads, lizards, birds and also other snakes. This video clip, documented by Jeremiah Loei at HortiPark some years ago, shows the cobra in the process of swallowing a frog. The cobra would have injected venom into the prey before swallowing it.
Herpetologist Dr Leong Tzi Ming has this to say: “With my eyes on the amphibian’s thighs, I notice that it has relatively smooth skin, and there is also extensive webbing between the toes, which indicate that the prey is most likely to be a frog rather than a toad. It is also interesting to note that the cobra is unperturbed by the Weaver Ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) biting its back, while it is swallowing its prey. Excellent documentation of a rarely observed predation event by a relatively common serpent species.”
Jeremiah Loei & Dr Leong Tzi Ming
14th April 2019
Baker, N. & K. Lim (eds.). 2008. Wild animals of Singapore: A photographic guide to mammals, reptiles, amphibians and freshwater fishes. Vertebrate Study Group, Nature Society (Singapore). 180 pp.