Description: Uniformly olive, brown, or green with ringlike crossbands of black.
Characteristics: Although it is the largest venomous snake in the world and it has a disposition to go with this honor, it causes relatively few bites on humans. It appears to have a degree of intelligence. It avoids attacking another venomous snake for fear of being bitten. It feeds exclusively on harmless species. The female builds a nest then deposits her eggs. Lying close by, she guards the nest and is highly aggressive toward anything that closely approaches the nest. The venom is a powerful neurotoxin. Without medical aid, death is certain for its victims.
Habitat: Dense jungle and cultivated fields.
Length: Average 3.5 meters (12 feet), maximum 5.5 meters (18 feet).
Distribution: South and southeast Asia, particularly Thailand, southern China, Malaysia Peninsula, and the Philippines (Figure E-31).
Figure E-31. King Cobra Habitat