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Experientia. 1991 Feb 15;47(2):205-9.

Asiatic cobras: systematics and snakebite.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.


The population affinities of the Asiatic cobras of the genus Naja are investigated, using multivariate analysis of a range of morphological characters. This complex, which was formerly thought to be monospecific, consists of at least eight full species. In some cases, species whose bites require different antivenoms occur sympatrically. The new understanding of the systematics of the Asiatic cobra complex calls for a reappraisal of cobra antivenom use in Asia, and for more research into venom composition.

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