Coordinated by


Front fanged Elapid Snakes

Family: Elapidae

The following includes only those species which are likely to be able to cause medically significant envenoming.


Naja kaouthia

Monocellate or monocled cobra

The monocellate cobra is common and can cause severe/lethal envenoming characterised by both local bite site tissue damage, with potential development of necrosis, and/or systemic flaccid paralysis (post-synaptic). This species is listed as a non-spitting cobra, but in western India there are specimens of this species that do effectively spit venom and it is unclear if Burmese specimens have this capability.

For significant bites specific antivenom provided as early as possible is appropriate treatment.

Naja mandalayensis

Burmese spitting cobra

There is little clinical data on envenoming by this species, but based on experience with closely related species of Asian spitting cobras, the bite site is likely to be both painful, swollen and develop significant tissue injury with necrosis in some cases. Systemic envenoming is possible, particularly flaccid paralysis (post-synaptic), but paralysis, as with other Asian spitting cobras, may be uncommon.

No specific antivenom is available, but antivenom against some other SE Asian spitting cobras might be effective against systemic effects, though antivenom may be less effective against local tissue damage/necrosis.

Ophiophagus hannah

King cobra or hamadryad

King cobras are the largest (longest) of all venomous snakes and can cause severe/lethal envenoming characterised by both local bite site effects, including necrosis in some cases, plus rapid development of severe flaccid paralysis. They do not spit venom.

Treatment is a combination of support of vital systems plus adequate volumes of specific antivenom.