Arabian cobra Naja haje arabicus

Arabian cobra Naja haje arabicus

Postby damiensharjah » Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:28 pm

Here are a few striking colour varieties of the Arabian cobra.

Below is the most common varient


Image

And then things start getting pretty. This is an orange juvenile with a black head and tail from the Yemen Saudi border.

Image

Another orange one, but with a yellow head, from Taif, Saudi Arabia

Image

And lastly a kind of flourescent green/yellow adult from Wadi Thurrabah, Saudi Arabia

Image
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Postby Georgen » Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:48 pm

thats amazing colors!i would love to see if you have more!
thanks for sharing! :)
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Postby damiensharjah » Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:52 pm

Nice profile picture. Do you keep Cerastes gasparetti? (I'm assuming that's an Arabian horned viper).

I actually tried to upload more pics but there was an error reading. I've got a few other colours including yellow and pitch black.
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Postby Georgen » Sat Feb 16, 2008 3:56 pm

thanks!
try upload them here
I keep Cerastes cerastes but yeah to the foto looks like gasparetti but its Cerastes cerastes ;-)
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Postby Bushviper » Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:59 pm

Damien why do they look so emaciated? Times must be hard for them. They are stunning though. As pretty as Cape cobras.

Are all the neonates this orange with the dark head?

If you just look at the head of the flourescent one it looks like a rinkhals.
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Postby damiensharjah » Sat Feb 16, 2008 7:50 pm

Emaciated??? :-?

These guys are all in very, very good nick and very well fed. They are much more slender than most other cobras, and extremely arboreal. Quite reminiscent of Capes actually, but more petite.

The babies are usually just a slightly duller version of what their adult colour will be. The orange one with the yellow head is an adult of about 130cm. The juvie with the Orange body and black head was about 60cm when the pic was taken. I'd estimate the yellow/green one at about 1.5m or so but was not a captive spec. The biggest on record is 210cm which is a dark mustard in the middle turning mahogany towards the black head and tail. He lives here in the collection.

Yes they do have a rhinkhaly sort of look to them
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Postby Bushviper » Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:15 am

Sorry They just look a lot skinnier than the cobras we are used to down this way. I would imagine a desert species to have built up more fat reserves for the lean times. The flourescent one especially has skin folding over on his sides.

To think the babies are going to get brighter when they get older is amazing. That baby one will be a stunner then.

How common are these snakes?
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Postby damiensharjah » Sun Feb 17, 2008 7:59 am

The flourescent one was wild, and it was early spring, so I'm guessing he needed to beef up a bit after the cold winter. The orange one with the yellow head is a bit dull in this pic as he was pre-shed. He's usually quite satiny.

Strangely they are not desert snakes at all and are in no way arid-adapted (bit of a bugger living in Arabia and all). Their distribution follows the Afro-tropical belt, which has reasonably high rainfall and generally very cold winters. The landscape throughout much of their range is reminiscent of the Limpopo escarpment. They also like altitude and are most common above 1000m ASL. You seldom find them far from permanent water and they feed heavily on toads.

In certain areas they are fairly common, but ironically, in these areas (like Sana'a and Ta'iz, in Yemen) they all tend to be dull brown. In the North of their range (Saudi Arabia), they are locally more scarce, but highly vairable, where just about anything goes. :cool:
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Postby froot » Sun Feb 17, 2008 12:10 pm

They remind me of Naja nivea, the variable colouring and their heads look similar. Thanks Damien, great pics.
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Postby herpaworld » Sun Feb 17, 2008 3:00 pm

Damien,

i am speechless, i really like this coloration. thats actually the first pics of haje arabica i´ve seen so far.. i am in love!

can you export from Saudi-Arabia?
if so, i would love to get my hand on some of this Najas.


thanks for the Pics
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Postby damiensharjah » Sun Feb 17, 2008 6:45 pm

Hi Mario.

They do get exported but you're speaking to the wrong guy. I'm employed in a sense, to make collecting them in the wild as difficult as possible :(

I've never seen them in the international market, even though I keep tabs on what is where (Mostly checking shiments of Uromastyx species and veiled chameleons), so I guess there are pre-arranged buyers in Europe etc. I think the Pasteur institute in France has them. Other than that it's only us and Sana'a zoo (from time to time as they come in). :)

I doubt that my employers would be too keen on us shipping surplus cb's any time soon.
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Postby damiensharjah » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:57 pm

Image

This is a more common yellow colour.
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Postby mania » Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:06 pm

Awesome cobras. Whats the venom like compaired to the cape cobra?
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Postby damiensharjah » Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:19 pm

I know the Saudi Arabian National Guard Antivenom Producers have published a few things but it's a little obuse to be honest. They are a subspecies of the Egyptian cobra, and bites have presented in a similar fashion to North African cases. I doubt if the bite is anywhere as bad as a Cape cobra. That said though, the Atractaspis from here are positively deadly, whereas their closest African allies are not as bad.

I hopefully will not be able to document this first-hand. :shock:
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Postby Pythonodipsas » Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:44 pm

Wow! Simply Awesome animals Damien!! The colouration is so variable.

Is Naja haje arabicus still classed as a valid subspecies? I thought it was reverted back and now considered as a race of Naja haje. I think this happened to Naja haje legionis as well?
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