Saturday, July 7, 2012

Philippine Cobra

The Philippine cobra (Naja philippinensis) also called northern Philippine cobra, is a stocky, highly venomous spitting cobra native to the northern regions of the Philippines. The Philippine cobra is called ulupong in Tagalog and agwason in Cebuano-Bisaya.

The Philippine cobra is a stocky snake of medium length with long cervical ribs capable of expanding, so when threatened, a hood can be formed. The average length of this species is 1.0 metre (3.3 ft). The species can grow to lengths of 1.6 metres (5.2 ft) However, subpopulations of the species, particularly specimens from Mindoro Island, are said to attain lengths of 2 metres (6.6 ft), but these are unconfirmed claims. If true, however, 2 m would be very rare and would be considered the absolute maximum for this species. The head is elliptical, depressed, slightly distinct from neck with a short, rounded snout and large nostrils. The eyes are moderate in size with dark brown and round pupils, typical of other cobra species and similar to other elapids in general. It has a fairly stocky build for an elapid, and adult snakes are uniformly light to medium brown, while the juveniles tend to be a darker brown in color. They have 23-27 scale rows around the neck and 21 just above the middle part of the body; 182-193 ventrals, 36-49 subcaudals, and basal pairs are sometimes undivided.

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