Black Spitting Cobra caught an Asian Toad

Black Spitting Cobra.

“This Black Spitting Cobra (Naja sumatrana), possibly a juvenile, as it seemed less than a meter in length, was found slithering by the roadside at Mount Pleasant on 22 April 2018 at 09:15am. A rather active little one I thought, but it did not come across my mind that it could be in hunting mode (see video below).

“That went on for about 10min until the cobra found its way into a burrow. A couple of minutes later, I heard a ‘pop’ sound, at which I believed, it may have caught a prey within the burrow.

“Swiftly, I got the camera in video mode (see video above). It took a mere 2-3min for the cobra to ingest the ?frog/toad. Shortly after its meal, the cobra went on in search of more food in the burrow, I guessed.

Dr Leong Tzi Ming had a look at the video and added:

“With careful observation of this amphibian, you would be able to observe numerous tubercles on its back, arms and legs. There is also very reduced webbing between the toes. Therefore, the cobra’s prey is the Asian Toad (Bufo melanostictus). It is interesting to note how the cobra is not bothered by the potentially poisonous paratoid secretions of the toad. But perhaps the venom of the cobra had acted so fast that the toad did not even have a chance to secrete this defensive fluid.

“Another excellent documentation of this snake’s diet diversity!

“Hooray for citizen science!”

Ong Ei Leen & Dr Leong Tzi Ming
Singapore
22nd April 2019

This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behaviour through photography and videography to a wider audience.

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