Found predominantly in Southern and South-Western Cape, Orange Free State, Lesotho, Transkei, Kwazulu Natal, Swaziland and South-Eastern Transvaal. Small numbers have also been found on the Zimbabwe/Mozambique borders.
Colors do vary but are generally brown to browny-black on the top with irregular spotting/banding in lighter browns or creams.
Distinctive dark belly with two lighter stripes/bands round the neck.
Adults reach an average of 2ft 11" - 4ft but have been known to reach almost 5ft in length.
The Rinkhals is a true ‘spitter’ and can spray its venom up 8' from it
Short, pointed head with large black eyes.
The venom is neurotoxic.
Rinkhals’ usually aim at the face causing terrible pain, and possible blindness, if the venom comes in to contact with the eye.
Swelling around the bite wound.
Bruising in many cases.
Unlike other Cobras the Ringhals is Viviparous – gives birth to live young.
Average size of a new born is 6-7" in length.
Ringhals’ give birth to an average of 20 and 30 young at a time.
Young shed their skin within an hour of birth.
New born Ringhals’ have the same colorings and distinct bands round their neck as adults; they are also, from birth, able to rear up and spit venom.
Prefers to live in grasslands but easily adapts to conditions found at sea level and high altitudes.
Nocturnal – but known to bask in the sun during the day.
Diet is primarily toads but if these are short as a source of food they will also prey on small mammals and reptiles and other amphibians.
If cornered the Ringhals has the amazing ability to ‘play dead’; rolling on to its back, going completely limp, with it’s mouth open and tongue lolling out!