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Mozambique Spitting Cobra (Naja mossambica)

Classification: Dangerously Venomous

Other Names: Mosambiekse spoegkobra, M’fezi

The Mozambique Spitting Cobra occurs from southern KZN to Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Limpopo, North West, most of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, eastern and northern Botswana, northern Namibia and elsewhere further north.

The diet of this snake consists largely of frogs, small mammals, birds and snakes, including the Puff Adder. It is also known to eat insects.

It is active on overcast days, but more active at night, often ending up in houses where people are bitten while asleep. This snake accounts for the majority of serious snakebite cases in Southern Africa but fatalities are rare. It also ejects it venom and does not always spread a hood when doing so.

Its venom is potently cytotoxic causing pain, swelling, blisters and in many cases severe tissue damage. Antivenom is effective but needs to be administered sooner rather than later to prevent tissue damage.