Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Cobrada Capello

Cobra da Capello (Portuguese, hooded snake), usually abbreviated to cobra (Naja tripudians), a very venomous snake of the family Elapidae, from India, and some of the islands of the Eastern Archipelago. There are several varieties, and the length of large specimens is from five feet to six feet, with a maximum girth of about six inches. The general colour on the upper surface is a uniform brown (which may be light or dark), bluish-white below. These snakes have the power of extending the anterior ribs, and thus dilating the skin of the neck so as to form a kind of hood. In one variety there are dark markings, something like a pair of eye-glasses on the hood, and in another these are reduced to one or more eye-like spots. A cobra, with erected head and dilated hood ready to strike presents a very menacing appearance, but, fortunately, these reptiles are not aggressive, and rarely attack man unless disturbed. Their bite is usually fatal to man, and medical treatment is rarely effectual. Stone heaps, holes in masonry and in the ground, and the roofs of native huts are their favourite haunts, though they climb well, and can swim rapidly. They are most active by night, and feed on mice and rats, birds, and their eggs, small reptiles and insects. The cobra plays an important part in Hindu mythology, and is the serpent usually chosen by charmers for their performances. The Egyptian cobra (N. haje) is a closely-allied species, as is also the Ring Hals snake (Naja or Sepedon haemachates).