This species is widespread throughout Southeast Asia and parts of India, and is found mostly in forested areas. The king cobra can be highly aggressive and agile, and can deliver a large quantity of highly potent venom in a single bite. The belly is cream or pale yellow, and the scales are smooth. Juveniles are shiny black with narrow yellow bands (can be mistaken for a banded krait, but readily identified with its expanded hood). The head of a mature snake can be quite massive and bulky in appearance, though like all snakes, they can expand their jaws to swallow large prey items. It has proteroglyph dentition, meaning it has two short, fixed fangs in the front of the mouth which channel venom into the prey like hypodermic needles. It lives in dense highland forests, preferring areas dotted with lakes and streams. King cobra populations have dropped in some areas of its range because of the destruction of forests. It is listed as an Appendix II Animal within CITES.Behavior
King cobras, like other snakes, receive chemical information ("smell") via their forked tongues, which pick up scent particles and transfer them to a special sensory receptor (Jacobson's organ) located in the roof of its mouth. When the scent of a meal is detected, the snake flicks its tongue to gauge the prey's location (the twin forks of the tongue acting in stereo); it also uses its keen eyesight (king cobras are able to detect moving prey almost 100 m [300 feet] away), intelligence and sensitivity to earth-borne vibration to track its prey.