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Bungarus fasciatus (Source)

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Lepidosauromorpha
Superordo: Lepidosauria
Ordo: Squamata
Subordo: Serpentes
Infraordo: Caenophidia
Superfamilia: Elapoidea

Familia: Elapidae
Genus: Bungarus
Species: Bungarus fasciatus

Bungarus fasciatus (Schneider, 1801)

Syntypes (2): ZMB 2771–72.

Type locality: Unknown; “Indien [= India]” fide ZMB catalogue; restricted to “Mansoor Cottah, Bengal, India” by Russell (1801: 53).

Pseudoboa fasciata Schneider, 1801: 283 [original combination]
Bungarus fasciatus — Cantor, 1847: 113 [subsequent combination]

Primary references

Schneider, J.G. 1801. Historiae Amphibiorum naturalis et literariae. Fasciculus secundus continens Crocodilos, Scincos, Chamaesauras, Boas, Pseudoboas, Elapes, Angues, Amphisbaenas et Caecilias. Friederici Frommanni: Jenae. 364 pp. BHL Reference page.


Uetz, P. & Hallermann, J. 2021. Bungarus fasciatus. The Reptile Database. Accessed on 19 May 2018.
Stuart, B., Nguyen, T.Q., Thy, N., Vogel, G., Wogan, G., Srinivasulu, C., Srinivasulu, B., Das, A., Thakur, S. & Mohapatra, P. 2013. IUCN: Bungarus fasciatus (Least Concern). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T192063A2034956. DOI: 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T192063A2034956.en

Vernacular names
বাংলা: শাঁখামুটি
English: Banded Krait
français: Bongare fascié
Bahasa Indonesia: Welang
日本語: マルオアマガサ
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ငန်းတော်ကျား
ไทย: งูสามเหลี่ยม, งูทับทาง
Türkçe: Pama

The banded krait (Bungarus fasciatus) is a species of elapid snake found on the Indian Subcontinent, in Southeast Asia, and in southern China.[1][2][3] It is the largest species of kraits, with a maximum length up to 2.7 m (8 ft 10 in).[4]

Although the banded krait is venomous and its bite may be deadly to humans, it is shy, primarily nocturnal, and not particularly aggressive so its overall risk to humans is low.


The banded krait is easily identified by its alternate black and yellow crossbands, its triangular body cross section, and the marked vertebral ridge consisting of enlarged vertebral shields along its body. The head is broad and depressed. The eyes are black. It has arrowhead-like yellow markings on its otherwise black head and has yellow lips, lores, chin, and throat.[5]

The longest banded krait measured was 2.25 m (7 ft 5 in) long, but normally the length encountered is 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in).[4]

The snake has an entire anal plate and single subcaudals. The tail is small, about one-tenth the length of the snake.[6]

The scientific name of the genus is derived from the Kannada/Telugu word 'bangara' in Kannada and 'bangarum' in Telugu, meaning "gold", referring to the yellow rings around its body.[5]
Distribution and habitat

The banded krait occurs in the whole of the Indo-Chinese subregion, the Malay peninsula and Indonesian archipelago, and southern China.[4] The species is common in the states of West Bengal, Odisha, Mizoram, Assam, Manipur and Tripura of India, Nepal and Bangladesh, but becomes progressively uncommon westwards in India.[5]

It has been recorded eastwards from central India through Bangladesh, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and southern China (including Hainan and Hong Kong), Philippines to Malaysia and the main Indonesian islands of Borneo (Java and Sumatra), as well as Singapore.

In India, it has been recorded from Andhra Pradesh,[7] Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra,[8] Northeast India, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal.[4] It has recently been recorded from Hassan District in Karnataka, Chalkari, Bokaro District, Jharkhand, Trivandrum, Kerala and Amalapadu, Srikakulam District, Andhra Pradesh[9]

Banded kraits may be seen in a variety of habitats, ranging from forests to agricultural lands. They inhabit termite mounds and rodent holes close to water, and often live near human settlement, especially villages, because of their supply of rodents and water. They prefer the open plains of the countryside. The banded krait has been found in Myanmar up to an altitude of 5000 feet.[4]

Banded kraits are shy, not typically seen, and are mainly nocturnal. When harassed, they will usually hide their heads under their coils, and do not generally attempt to bite,[3] though at night they are much more active and widely considered to be more dangerous then.

During the day, they lie up in grass, pits, or drains. The snakes are lethargic and sluggish even under provocation. They are most commonly seen in the rains.[5]

The banded krait feeds mainly on other snakes, but is also known to eat fish, frogs, skinks, and snake eggs. Among the snakes taken by banded kraits are:[5]

Sunbeam snake Xenopeltis unicolor
Rainbow water snake Enhydris enhydris[10]
Red-tailed pipe snake Cylindrophis ruffus[10]
Chequered keelback Fowlea piscator
Buff-striped keelback Amphiesma stolatum
Rat snake or dhaman Ptyas mucosus
Indo-Chinese rat snake Ptyas korros
Cat snake Boiga trigonata.
Russell's viper (Daboia russelii)

The prey is swallowed head first, after it has been rendered inactive by the venom.[5]
Breeding habits

Little is known of its breeding habits. In Myanmar, a female has been dug out while incubating a clutch of eight eggs, four of which hatched in May. Young have been recorded to measure 298 to 311 mm on hatching. The snake is believed to become adult in the third year of its life, at an approximate length of 914 mm.[11]

The venom of the banded krait mainly contains neurotoxins (pre- and postsynaptic neurotoxins) with LD50 values of 2.4 mg/kg[12]–3.6 mg/kg[13][14] SC, 1.289 mg/kg IV and 1.55 mg/kg IP.[13][14] The quantity of venom delivered averages out at 20–114 mg.[13] Engelmann and Obst (1981) list the venom yield at 114 mg (dry weight).[15] The major clinical effects caused by the venom of this species include vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and dizziness. Severe envenomation can lead to respiratory failure and death may occur due to suffocation.[16] Banded krait venom can damage the kidneys if injected.[17]

A clinical toxicology study gives an untreated mortality rate of 1–10%, which may be because contact with humans is rare and when bites do occur, the rate of envenomation when biting defensively is thought to be very low.[3] Currently, polyvalent antivenoms are available in India and Indonesia.
Common names

Manipuri language - linkhak
Mizo language - chawnglei, tiangsir
Karbi language - maipam, rui-teron
Assamese language - xokha (শখা), xongkhosur (শংখচোৰ), gowala (গোৱালা), bandphora
Bengali - shankhini (শঙ্খিনী), shankhamooti shaanp (শাঁখামুঠি) and rajsap (king snake) in Birbhum District কুসাপা (রাজবংশি ভাষায়)
Burmese - ငန်းတော်ကျား ngān taw kyā
Hindi - ahiraaj saamp[6]
Indonesian - welang
Malayalam - manjavarayan (മഞ്ഞവരയൻ)
Marathi - patteri manyar, पट्टेरी मण्यार

agya manyar, sataranjya

Odia - rana (ରଣା)[5]
Tamil - kattu viriyan (கட்டுவிரியன்), yennai viriyan, yettadi viriyan
Telugu - katla paamu (కట్ల పాము) or bangaru paamu (బంగారు పాము) meaning the golden snake[5]
Tulu - kadambale
Thai - ngu sam liam, งูสามเหลี่ยม, meaning the triangular snake[4]
Vietnamese - rắn cạp nong
Nepali – नेपाली - गनगलि, गनग्वली, राजा साप वा सर्प gangali, gan gwali and Rajasaap (king of snakes) in Nepal
Maithili- मैथिली- गन गुआर


Banded krait captured in Binnaguri, North Bengal, India

Banded krait in Cat Tien National Park


Stuart, B.; Nguyen, T.Q.; Thy, N.; Vogel, G.; Wogan, G.; Srinivasulu, C.; Srinivasulu, B.; Das, A.; Thakur, S.; Mohapatra, P. (2013). "Bungarus fasciatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2013: e.T192063A2034956. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2013-1.RLTS.T192063A2034956.en. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
Bungarus fasciatus at the Reptile Database. Accessed 11 September 2021.
"Clinical Toxinology-Bungarus fasciatus". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2011-11-10.
Smith, Malcolm A. Fauna of British India...Vol III - Serpentes, pages 411 to 413
Daniels, J.C. (2002), Book of Indian Reptiles and Amphibians, pp. 134-135.
Boulenger, George A., (1890), The Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma, Reptilia and Batrachia. page 388.
Srinivasulu, C; D. Venkateshwarlu; M. Seetharamaraju (26 June 2009). "Rediscovery of the Banded Krait Bungarus fasciatus (Schneider 1801) (Serpentes: Elapidae) from Warangal District, Andhra Pradesh, India". Journal of Threatened Taxa. 1 (6): 353–354. doi:10.11609/jott.o1986.353-4.
Khaire, NeelimKumar (2008) [2006]. Snakes of Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka. Pune: Indian Herpetological Society. p. 40.[bare URL]
Knierim, Tyler., Barnes, Curt H., Hodges, Cameron., (2017), Natural History Note: Banded Krait (Bungarus fasciatus) diet. Herpetological Review 48(1):204 · March 2017
Evans, G.H. (1906):Breeding of the banded krait (Bungarus fasciatus) in Burma. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 16:519-520 as mentioned in Daniels, J.C. (2002), Book of Indian Reptiles and Amphibians References, ser no 28, pg 219.
Venom and toxin research group (1990). Snake of medical importance: Banded krait. Singapore. ISBN 9971-62-217-3.
"LD50". Archived from the original on 2012-02-01.
"LD50 menu".
Engelmann, Wolf-Eberhard (1981). Snakes: Biology, Behavior, and Relationship to Man. Leipzig; English version NY, USA: Leipzig Publishing; English version published by Exeter Books (1982). pp. 51. ISBN 0-89673-110-3.
Davidson, Terence. "IMMEDIATE First aid for bites by Kraits". Snakebites First Aid. University of California, San Diego. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 25 December 2011.

Sarkar, Naren; Basu, Souvik; Chandra, Preeti; Chowdhuri, Soumeek; Mukhopadhyay, Partha Pratim (2018-01-29). "Nephrotoxicity in krait bite: a rare case series of three fatalities in consecutive bites by a single snake". Egyptian Journal of Forensic Sciences. 8 (1): 12. doi:10.1186/s41935-018-0040-3. ISSN 2090-5939.

Boulenger, George A. (1890), The Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma, Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor and Francis, London.
Daniels, J.C. (2002), Book of Indian Reptiles and Amphibians. BNHS. Oxford University Press. Mumbai.
Knierim, Tyler., Barnes, Curt H., Hodges, Cameron (2017), Natural History Note: Banded Krait (Bungarus fasciatus) diet. Herpetological Review 48(1):204 · March 2017
Smith, Malcolm A. (1943), The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma including the whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-region, Reptilia and Amphibia. Vol I - Loricata and Testudines, Vol II-Sauria, Vol III-Serpentes. Taylor and Francis, London.
Whitaker, Romulus (2002), Common Indian Snakes: A Field Guide. Macmillan India Limited, ISBN 0-333-90198-3.


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