Known as “AHIRAJ” in Chhattisgarh, it can be identified by alternative black/ pale brown and yellow/ white wide bands that are visible throughout the body. The body of this species is triangular in cross section due to its’ ridged spinal area. Head with ‘V’ mark, arms are spread towards body. Short blunt tail with rounded tip. Eyes are entirely black.Hexagonal vertebral scales are comparably larger than the adjacent scales.
Length: 5ft to maximum 7.5 ft.
Scales in 15: 15: 15 rows.Ventrals 200-236; anal entire; subcaudals 23-39, entire.Preocular 1; postoculars 2; loreal absent; temporal 1+2; supralabials 7 (3rd and 4th touching eye).
Habitat and Reproduction:
They are found in termite mound and rodent burrows close to water. Prefers open plain area. Eats mainly snakes (even Common Kraits), snake eggs, skinks, rats, and sometimes fish. Banded Kraits are oviparous and lay eggs. Females are known to lay 4-14 eggs (around April in West Bengal) and observed to stay with eggs during incubation. Very little is known about breeding behavior of this species.
Bite and Venom:
Venom of this species is less potent than common krait and cobras but have the records of killing human and bullock. Even after having this potentiality, its bites are very rare. The species is very shy and rarely does it bite, so injury cases are not common.
In India their presence is informed from West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam to Arunachal Pradesh. From Central India they are reported from Maharashtra (Gadchiroli district), Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. They are also recorded from Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Open plains are mostly preferred but can also be found in the hilly areas. Many times they reach human habitation. In Chhattisgarh people fromjashpur, mahasamund, Buster and Gariyaband district have numerous encounters with Banded krait. Also it is reported from Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and common part of China.
Its vibrant color and its venomous character make this species vulnerable to humans. Trade for their skin and road kills also poses serious threat to Banded Kraits.