6 Difference Between King Cobra and Indian Cobra (With Table)

King cobra and Indian cobra are all species of cobra. King cobra is the largest among them all. The number of cobra species ranges from 28 to 270 species. Cobra is a venomous snake from the family Elapidae. They possess a hood or have the ability to raise the upper part of their body.

So, what is the difference between king cobra and Indian cobra? A king cobra is big in body size while the Indian cobra is comparatively small in body size.

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Comparison Table (King cobra vs Indian Cobra)

Characteristics King Cobra Indian Cobra
Size It is the largest cobra species. It is comparatively small in body size.
Habitat It lives in dense highland forests and areas that have streams and rivers as it is an excellent swimmer. They live in tree hollows, termite mounds, rock piles, and small mammal dens.
Behavior They are shy and reclusive animals. They are terrestrial animals and when threatened, they raise their head or hood.
What they feed on They feed on other snakes. They feed on rodents, frogs, and lizards.
Reproduction The male mates with females then the females lay 10 to 25 eggs The females lay 10 to 30 eggs in rat holes or termite mounds and guard them.
Lifespan They live up to 20 years. They live between 17 to 23 years.
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What is a King Cobra?

King cobra is the largest venomous snake in the world. They are generally slender but they weigh above 20kg. Male king cobras are longer and weigh more than their female counterparts. Among other snake species, the male is usually smaller.

When it is threatened, it will hiss, rear up and flatten its neck in the hood. They are yellow, green, black, or brown in color. They live in dense forests and prefer near rivers or streams as they are excellent swimmers.

They are shy and reclusive animals. They try their best to avoid any human presence. They mainly feed on other snakes. When food is scarce, they feed on other animals such as lizards. They swallow the whole prey beginning with the head. The food is then digested by very strong acids in the stomach as they do not chew the food.

What is an Indian Cobra?

The Indian cobra is among the largest venomous snakes in the world. It is revered in Indian mythology and culture. They are tremendous in color throughout their range. The underside of this species can be red, yellow, grey, tan brown, or black in color. They can be identified with their colorful hood which they expand when threatened.

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They live in holes in embarkments, tree holes, termite mounds, rock piles, and small mammal dens. When threatened, they raise the front of their bodies and expand their distinctive hood. The venom of young Indian cobras has been used as a substance of abuse in India.

The males mate with females then females are allowed to lay eggs in rat holes or termite mounds and guard them during the incubation period until they hatch. They are independent the moment they are given birth as they have fully developed venom glands. They majorly feed on rodents, frogs, and lizards.

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Main Differences between King Cobra and Indian Cobra

  1. King cobra is bigger while Indian cobra is comparatively smaller in body size.
  2. King cobra produces venom that is highly toxic while Indian cobra produces venom that is less toxic.
  3. King cobra can swim while Indian cobra is generally a terrestrial animal.
  4. King cobra feed on other snakes while Indian cobra feed on rodents, frogs, and lizards.
  5. King cobra is a shy and reclusive animal while Indian cobra is aggressive and when threatened they raise, their head.
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Similarities between King Cobra and Indian Cobra

  1. They both belong to the same family.
  2. They are both carnivores.
  3. They both produce toxic venom.
  4. They both raise their head when threatened.
  5. They both swallow the whole prey.

In Conclusion

King cobra and Indian cobra are among the biggest cobras in the world. They are both carnivores and they capture their prey, they swallow it whole and, in the stomach, they are a strong acid that enables them to digest their prey. The main feature that makes king cobra different from Indian cobra is the size.

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