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King Cobra vs. Cobra: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 11, 2023
King Cobra is a large venomous snake known for its size and hood, native to Southeast Asia and India. Cobra is a group of venomous snakes known for their hoods and found in Africa and Asia.

Key Differences

The King Cobra is the world's longest venomous snake, reaching lengths of up to 18 feet, whereas cobras generally are much shorter, with most species averaging around 4 to 8 feet in length.
King Cobras are distinguished by their diet, primarily feeding on other snakes, including other venomous snakes, while cobras have a more varied diet including small mammals, birds, and eggs.
The King Cobra's hood is narrower and longer compared to the broader hoods of other cobras, giving it a distinctive appearance when it spreads its hood.
King Cobras are known for their intelligence and high levels of awareness, and they exhibit unique behaviors like building nests for their eggs, which is not common among other cobra species.
Both King Cobras and other cobras are culturally significant, featuring prominently in folklore and rituals, but the King Cobra often holds a particularly revered status due to its size and perceived power.

Comparison Chart

Average Length

Up to 18 feet
4 to 8 feet


Primarily other snakes
Small mammals, birds, eggs

Hood Shape

Narrower and longer
Broader and more rounded

Unique Behaviors

Building nests for eggs
Lacking such complex behaviors

Cultural Significance

Revered for size and power
Significant but varies by species

King Cobra and Cobra Definitions

King Cobra

Native to forests in India and Southeast Asia.
King cobras are a significant part of Asian jungle ecosystems.


Eats a variety of prey including mammals and birds.
The cobra caught a small rodent for its meal.

King Cobra

Distinguished by its long, narrow hood.
The king cobra displayed its impressive hood.


A venomous snake known for its hood.
The cobra spread its hood as a warning.

King Cobra

A snake species known for eating other snakes.
A king cobra was seen hunting a smaller cobra.


Includes several species found in Africa and Asia.
Cobras are diverse, with species like the Egyptian cobra.

King Cobra

The world's longest venomous snake.
The king cobra can reach lengths of up to 18 feet.


Symbolic in many cultures for its hood and posture.
The cobra is revered in many African and Asian cultures.

King Cobra

Exhibits unique behaviors like nest building.
A king cobra was observed building a nest for its eggs.


Some species known for spitting venom.
The spitting cobra can accurately project venom at threats.


Any of various venomous elapid snakes, especially of the genus Naja, that are native to Asia and Africa and are capable of expanding the skin of the neck to form a flattened hood.


Leather made from the skin of one of these snakes.


Any of various venomous snakes of the family Elapidae.


A type of lanyard knot, thought to resemble a snake in its shape.


See Copra.


The cobra de capello.


Venomous Asiatic and African elapid snakes that can expand the skin of the neck into a hood


Are king cobras more dangerous than other cobras?

They have more venom, but danger depends on the situation and species.

What is a cobra?

A group of venomous snakes known for their hoods, found in Africa and Asia.

What do cobras typically eat?

Small mammals, birds, and eggs.

How long can a king cobra grow?

Up to 18 feet.

Do king cobras build nests?

Yes, they are unique among snakes for this behavior.

Are cobras found in deserts?

Some species, like the Egyptian cobra, inhabit arid areas.

Can all cobras spread their hoods?

Yes, it's a common trait among cobras.

Can cobras spit venom?

Some species, like the spitting cobra, can.

Can cobras climb trees?

Some species are adept at tree climbing.

How do king cobras mate?

They engage in a ritual dance and wrestling match.

What is a king cobra?

The world's longest venomous snake, native to Asia.

Is the king cobra's venom the most toxic?

Not the most toxic, but they deliver a large amount in a single bite.

Are cobras worshipped in any culture?

Yes, particularly in India and parts of Africa.

Can king cobras swim?

Yes, they are proficient swimmers.

Do king cobras hibernate?

They can become less active in cooler temperatures.

How fast can cobras move?

They can move quickly but are not the fastest snakes.

Are all cobras equally venomous?

No, venom potency varies among species.

What is the lifespan of a king cobra?

About 20 years in the wild.

What is the habitat of a king cobra?

Forests in Southeast Asia and India.

Do cobras have natural predators?

Yes, including mongoose and birds of prey.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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