Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Reed, David Howard

Author's Keywords

Naja kaouthia; Demography; Life history; Reproduction; Elapidae; Harvesting




Naja kaouthia is a significant species because it feeds primarily on agricultural pests, causes human mortality, and is commercially exploited. Understanding the life history and demography of harvested populations is essential to providing guidelines for proper management. This study was conducted within two rice fields in central Thailand. I found that all age classes of N. kaouthia primarily prey on rats. Prey size increases ontogenetically with snake size. Besides rats and mice, first year snakes feed on frogs. Adults add snakes, lizards, fish, birds, and bird's eggs. Young cobras grow significantly faster than older cobras and the growth rate did not differ between sexes. Mean clutch size was 23.5±10 eggs. Using capture-mark-recapture techniques, I estimated survival rate of first year snakes to be 0.48±0.06, while adults had survival rates of 0.93±0.02. Estimated population densities were 768± 168 individuals of first year snakes and 96±48 adults per km2. Females were encountered more frequently during the egg-laying season. Temporal overlap between the reproductive period and harvesting season may increase the threat to harvested populations.