A glossy black, pale faded bluish grey or dark brownish-black (often with blue iridescence) with pairs of narrow white cross bands over the body and continued up to short tail tip. These narrow bands are invisible in the fore body or can be seen as vertebral spots. Eye is black. Hexagonal vertebral scales. Underside glossy white or yellowish. Tongue pinkish red. Young often marked throughout.
Scales in 15 : 15 : 15 rows. Ventrals 200-217 (234); anal undivided, subcaudals 33-52, entire. Preocular 1; postoculars 2; loreal absent; temporals 1+2; supralabials 7 (3rd and 4th touching eye).
Habitat and Reproduction:
They are found in termite mounds, rodent burrows, piles of brick and rubble, often found in farms and gardens near water. Eat snakes, rodents, lizards, and frogs. This species is known to be oviparous and female lays a clutch of 8 to 12 eggs in months of March to July and stay with them until they hatch. The eggs hatch after 60 days.
Bite and Venom:
This is one of the famous big four snakes of India. As a nocturnal species, they are active in night time. This is the reason that maximum bites by this snake only occurs in night. People living in areas of krait are advised to sleep on places above base. Its venom contains most powerful neurotoxins and hemotoxin. These venoms affect respiratory center, along with centers control the lips, tongue, throat, voice and phrenic nerves. Death occurs due to asphyxia through paralysis of respiratory center. This venom is considered one of the most deadly in the world.
This species is recorded from most of the mainland India up to 1700m, probability of absence above Assam part of North-East. Common Krait is distributed throughout Chhattisgarh from dense forests to human habitations. Apart from India common kraits are reported from Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Their venom is identified as significant threat to human life so that, it is mostly killed when encountered. Deforestation and road kills also pose threats to this species.