Dictionary > Cobra


a genus of poisonous snakes of the subfamily elapinae of the family elapidae. There are six recognised species, all inhabiting africa except the asiatic (indian) cobra, naja naja. Some species spit their venom into the eyes of their enemies. So-called spitting cobras show a high degree of accuracy in aiming for the eyes. The ringhals, the most highly specialised of the spitting cobras, is limited to southern africa. Its spray destroys eye tissue and can cause blindness; its bite can cause death. (moore: poisonous snakes of the world, 1980, p80)

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