Kashmir rock agama | Laudakia tuberculata Gray, 1827

Kashmir rock agama | Laudakia tuberculata Gray, 1827   Kashmir rock agama is a species of lizard that belong to family agamidae which i...

Banded Krait| Bungarus fasciatus Schneider, 1801

B ungarus is a genus of venomous species of snakes belonged to family Elapidae: The Kraits; distributed throughout the South and Southe...


Bungarus is a genus of venomous species of snakes belonged to family Elapidae: The Kraits; distributed throughout the South and Southeast Asia. Currently which includes about 15 species (B. andamanensis; B. bungaroides; B. caeruleus; B. candidus; B. ceylonicus;   B. fasciatus; B. flaviceps; B. lividus; B. magnimaculatus; B. multicinctus; B. niger; B. persicus; B. sindanus; B. slowinskii and B. walli). Out of all, seven species (B. andamanensis; B. caeruleus; B. fasciatus; B. lividus; B. niger; B. bungaroides and B. walli) are found in India. The average length of Kraits, range within 3.3 ft. to 4.10 ft., however individuals of about 6ft. have also been reported.
Kraits are ophiophagous in nature, prey mainly on other species of snakes including both venomous non venomous and are cannibalistic also (feed on other kraits).  Sometimes may take mice and other small lizards.

Bungarus fasciatus (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

All of the species of genus Bungarus are nocturnal. These snakes generally do not show aggressiveness during the daylight but at nights they become more active. When provoked theses snakes become very aggressive. They are slightly timid and often hide their heads making coil of their bodies for protection. Kraits are oviparous species of snakes, where females of these species place a clutch of 12 to 14 eggs in heaps of leaf litter and stays their until the eggs hatch.
Genus Bungarus contains some species which are among the most venomous land snakes in the world. They have extremely strong neurotoxic venom which persuades muscle paralysis. This venom contains bungarotoxins which affects the capability of neuron endings to accurately discharge the element that sends signals to the next neuron, following over excitation, cramps, tremors & spasms, finally leading to paralysis.
Banded Krait| Bungarus fasciatus Schneider, 1801
The Banded krait (Bungarus fasciatus Schneider, 1801) is a species of elapid family of snakes. It is one of the largest kraits in Bungarus genra having maximum length of around 6 feet’s. It is dispersed on the Indian subcontinent and in the Southeast Asia.
The species can be easily identified by its triangular body cross section having alternate black and yellow cross bands over the specimen’s body and by its large hexagonal vertebral shields running along its body. The head of specimens is broad and somewhat depressed, eyes are black. The banded Krait has arrow like yellow markings on its head otherwise the head is completely black having yellow lips, lores, chin, and throat. The maximum length of banded krait measured till date is 2.25 m long, but usually the length acknowledged is 1.8 m. The anal shield is undivided with single sub-caudal. The tail in this species is small which ends like a fingertip, which is normally being one-tenth the total body length.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum:
Chordata
Class:
Reptilia
Order:
Squamata
Suborder:
Serpentes
Family:
Elapidae
Genus:
Bungarus
species:
fasciatus
Binomial name
Bungarus fasciatus (Schneider, 1801)
Conservation status
Least concern

The head of species is not distinct from the neck. Eyes are small and black. The head has complete scalation. Besides, there is no loreal scale. However the dorsal scales are smooth. The mid-dorsal row is enlarged. The fangs are short, the tail is relatively small, and the subcaudals are not divided except in B. bungaroides.  Dorsal scales of the banded krait is in 15 longitudinal rows at midbody; middorsal row of scales (vertebral) are strongly enlarged, tail is blunt towards the end; distinctive vertebral crest down the back created by the neural processes of the vertebrae; ventral’s are 200–234 in count; subcaudals are 23–39; pattern of black and yellow bands is acknowledged which encircles the body. Maximum total body length recorded is 6.9 ft but said to be rare over 5.9 ft.

Bungarus fasciatus (Source:www.thailandsnakes.com)

The Bungarus fasciatus is distributed throughout the Indo-Chinese subregion, Malaysian peninsula, archipelago and the southern China. This species is commonly dispersed in Assam and Tripura of India and Bangladesh. Besides, it has been recorded from central India, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, southern China, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesian islands of Borneo, Bhutan, Nepal, Brunei Darussalam, Laos and Macau. In India, it has been reported from Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Northeast India, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh (Pilibhit District) and West Bengal.
The species can been found in a variety of habitats, ranging from garden to agricultural lands and forests. This snake is the inhabitant of termite mounds, rock crevices and rodent holes and often resides near human settlements (especially villages). It also prefers to live in open plains of the countryside. The banded krait has been reported at an altitude of 5000 feet from Myanmar. 
Banded krait is a terrestrial & nocturnal species shows activity at night and mainly hunts for other snakes. Normally docile during day and when approached they do not try to bite at first but will do accordingly if troubled or handled particularly at night. Usually they are slow and purposeful in their movement but they are competent enough moving quickly when fleeing. Attacking behavior is unpredictable with wild head movements and will be able to bite from any direction. When cornered normally it hides its head beneath its body and leaves its tail exposed as it appears like its minute head. Prefers hunting near water sources and will feed on small fishes, reptiles and amphibians as well as other snakes. The species is highly venomous having Pre & Post-synaptic neurotoxins and any bite must be treated.  Bite region show almost no local effects, minimal local effects may present after several hours of bite, likely nausea and general pain may occur past to full paralysis.
The species is oviparous and very little recorded on its breeding habits. In Myanmar a female was seen while incubating a clutch of eight eggs, out of which four eggs hatched in May. The Juveniles were ranged from 298 to 311 mm.
The Banded Krait was often mistaken with snake species such as Banded Wolf Snake, which is venom less species.

Bungarus fasciatus (Source: en.wikipedia.org)


Literature cited:
Ahsan, M.F. and Rahman, M.M. 2017. Status, distribution and threats of kraits (Squamata: Elapidae: Bungarus) in Bangladesh. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 9 (3): 9903–9910 - get paper here
Anwar, M. 2011. First record of banded krait (Bungarus fasciatus) from Pilibhit District, Uttar Pradesh, India. Taprobanica, 3 (2): 102-103.
Bhattarai, S., Chiranjibi, P., Pokheral, B. L. and Naresh, S. 2017. Herpetofauna of a Ramsar Site: Beeshazar and Associated Lakes, Chitwan National Park, Nepal. IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians, 24 (1): 17-29 - get paper here
Boulenger, G.A. 1890. The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor & Francis, London. - get paper here
Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. III. London (Taylor and Francis). - get paper here
Chan-ard, T., Grossmann, W., Gumprecht, A. and Schulz, K.D. 1999. Amphibians and reptiles of peninsular Malaysia and Thailand - an illustrated checklist [bilingual English and German]. Bushmaster Publications, W├╝rselen, Gemany. - get paper here
Daniels, J.C. 2002. Book of Indian Reptiles and Amphibians. BNHS. Oxford University Press. Mumbai.
Das, A. 2018. Notes on Snakes of the Genus Bungarus 2 (Serpentes: Elapidae) from Northeast India. in: C. Sivaperuman, K. Venkataraman (eds.), Indian Hotspots, Springer, pp: - get paper here
Das, A., Uttam, S., Murthy, B.H.C.K.., Santanu, D. and Sushil, K.D. 2009. A herpetofaunal inventory of Barail Wildlife Sanctuary and adjacent regions, Assam, north-eastern India. Hamadryad, 34 (1): 117 – 134
Das, I. and Palden, J. 2000. A herpetological collection from Bhutan, with new country records. Herpetological Review, 31 (4): 256-258 - get paper here
Evans, G.H. 1905. Breeding of the Banded Krait (Bungarus fasciatus) in Burma. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 16: 519-520 - get paper here
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” ,  pp 219.
Fellows, S. 2015. Species Diversity of Snakes in Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve. Entomology Ornithology  Herpetology,  4: 136. doi:10.4172/2161-0983.1000136 - get paper here
Grismer, L.L., Neang, T., Chav, T. and Grismer, J.L. 2008. Checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the Cardamom region of Southwestern Cambodia. Cambodian Journal of Natural History, (1): 12–28 - get paper here
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54414971
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banded_krait
https://www.hongkongsnakeid.com/banded-krait
https://www.thainationalparks.com/species/bungarus-fasciatus
Khaire, N.K. 2008. Snakes of Maharashtra,Goa and Karnataka. Pune, Indian Herpetological Society, pp. 40.
Kinnear, N.B. 1913. Banded Krait (Bungarus fasciatus) in Hydrabad State. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc., 22: 635 - get paper here
Knierim, T. Barnes, C.H.  and Hodges, C. 2017. Natural History Note: Banded Krait (Bungarus fasciatus) diet. Herpetological Review, 48(1):204
Mahony, S., Md. Kamrul, H., Md. Mofizul, K., Mushfiq, A. and Md. Kamal, H. 2009. A catalogue of amphibians and reptiles in the collection of Jahangir Nagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Hamadryad, 34 (1): 80 – 94 - get paper here
Majumder, J, Partha, P.B., Koushik, M., Chiranjib, D. and Basant, K.A. 2012. Documentation of herpetofaunal species richness in Tripura, northeast India, NeBIO, 3 (1): 60-70 - get paper here
Martin, S.J. 1913. Banded Krait (Bungarus fasciatus) in Oudh. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 22: 635 - get paper here
Pandey, D.P. 2018. New records of snakes from Chitwan National Park and vicinity, Central Nepal. Herpetology Notes, 11: 679-696 - get paper here
Purkayastha, J. 2018. Urban biodiversity: an insight into the terrestrial vertebrate diversity of Guwahati, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 10(10): 12299–12316; - get paper here
Purkayastha, J. Madhurima, D., and Saibal, S. 2011. Urban herpetofauna: a case study in Guwahati City of Assam, India. Herpetology Notes, 4: 195-202 - get paper here
Rahman, S.C., Rashid, S.M.A., Kanai, D. and Luca, L. 2013. Composition and structure of a snake assemblage in an altered tropical forest-plantation mosaic in Bangladesh. Amphibia-Reptilia, 34 (3): 41-50 - get paper here
Rooijen, J.V. and Myriam, V.R. 2007. The land snakes of the Santubong Peninsula, Sarawak, Borneo: A preliminary list of species with natural history notes. Russ. J. Herpetology, 14 (1):27-38 - get paper here
Sharma, R.C. 2004. Handbook on Indian Snakes. Akhil Books, New Delhi, India.
Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London.
Smith, Malcolm A. Fauna of British India. Vol. III - Serpentes, pages 411 to 413
Srinivasulu, C. Venkateshwarlu, D. and Seetharamaraju, M. 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 - get paper here
Srinivasulu, C. Venkateshwarlu, D. Seetharamaraju, M. 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. 
Stuart, B., Nguyen, T.Q., Thy, N., Vogel, G., Wogan, G., Srinivasulu, C., Srinivasulu, B., Das, A., Thakur, S. and Mohapatra, P. 2013. "Bungarus fasciatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2013: e.T192063A2034956. . Retrieved 09 November 2016
Wall, F. 1906. The poisonous snakes of India and how to recognize them, Part I. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 17: 51-72 [correction on p. 995] - get paper here
Wall, F. 1908. A popular treatise of the common Indian snakes. Part VIII. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 18: 711-735 - get paper here
Whitaker, R. 2002. Common Indian Snakes: A Field Guide. Macmillan Publisher, India
Whitaker, R. and Captain, A. 2004. Snakes of India. Draco Books, 500 pp., reprinted 2007 - get paper here

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PerSonaLife: Banded Krait| Bungarus fasciatus Schneider, 1801
Banded Krait| Bungarus fasciatus Schneider, 1801
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