Shiny Black body with Milky White bands (paired or unpaired). Vertebral scales are Hexagonal in shape. On closer view they can be observed clearly. Subcaudal scales are undivided. (See also Common Wolf Snake, Lycodon aulicus http://www.indiansnakes.org/content/common-wolf-snake)
New born - 25-27cm.
Average length- 90-120cm.
Maximum length- 165cm.
Body slender with shiny smooth scales of black color range. Dorsal body jet black or black mixed with brown, grey, purple ting. Presence of milky white bands (paired or unpaired) on the dorsal body is the main visible feature of Common Krait. These bands starts from posterior of neck (most of the neck region looks patternless) scale in the form of elongated white patch on the back scale (along vertebra) and expands as true band on moving towards the mid-body. Specimens without bands also recorded from many parts of its range. The vertebral scales hexagonal in shape as in all Krait species and this is a definite identification feature of this snake and genus.
Belly milky white in juveniles and sub-adults while may turn yellowish-white in fully grown adults. Reddish, brown or bluish ting present on the edge of ventral scales which extends up to first few dorsal scales. Sub caudal scale color similar to rest of belly and unpaired which is also a main characteristic of Bungarus (Krait) genus and not found in any other Elapid of India.
Head depressed with rounded snout; slightly broader than the neck. Upper lip brownish or yellowish and preocular scale often bear yellowish-white patch. Small eyes appears entirely black. Tongue colour light red or pinkish.
Prehensile, shorter and ends with pointed tip. Typical white bands are present and more prominent than those found in forebody.
Bungarus caeruleus venom causes abdominal pain
and progressive paralysis of the peripheral nervous system, leading
to respiratory paralysis and death due to asphyxia. Early signs include
abdominal pain, headache, convulsions; paralysis usually starts with the
eyelids and other muscles of the face. Early assisted ventilation and airway
management are crucial and life-saving.