Lesser Black Krait ( Bungarus lividus Cantor, 1839 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Bungarus lividus (Cantor, 1839)
Photographs: 
Distribution: 
Found in North-east India from West Bengal's northern parts (Darjeeling, Jalpaigudi) to as east as Arunachal Pradesh. The precise distribution of this species is not clear because of its very close looking with Black Krait (Bungarus niger). As of now we consider these two species to be sympatric to each other in their most of range with Lesser Black Krait to be found in limited recorded localities. Also found in Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
Venom Type: 
Neurotoxic
Family: 
Characteristics for identification: 

Morphologically it looks very close to Greater Black Krait (Bungarus niger). Both species are known for patternless uniform black body with yellowish underside. Apart from scale counts, both species can be differentiated by checking vertebral scale shape and size. In B. lividus they are not much distinct than adjacent scales and significantly narrower than most of the Krait species. While in Great Black Krait they are significantly larger than adjacent scales and of hexagonal shape. 

Description: 

Average length- 70cm.
Maximum length- 102cm.

Dorsal -
Body slender with shiny smooth scales, vertebral scales indistinct or not larger than adjacent scales unlike other Kraits. This character is not found in any other Bungarus (Krait) of Indian subcontinent. Body color jet black or black mixed with red, brown or blue without any band or marking.

Ventral -
Belly color milky white or yellowish-white. Edge of ventral scales with reddish or brownish tint which extends up to first few rows of side dorsal scales. Subcaudal scales undivided.

Head -
Head moderately depressed with a rounded snout, slightly broader than neck. Upper lip color yellowish-brown. Moderate eyes with rounded pupil; looks entirely black in live state.

Tail -
Shorter than typical range and ends with a pointed tip.

Scalation
Head: 
7 supralabials, 3rd & 4th in contact with eyes; preocular 1, in contact with posterior nasal hence loreal absent; postocular 2; temporal 1+2.
Dorsal: 
Smooth scales in 15 rows throughout; vertebral scales not broader than length in vertebra; almost similarly shaped like adjacent scales.
Ventral: 
209-221; anal undivided.
Sub Caudal: 
35-43; undivided.
Diet: 
Feeds on rodents and other snakes.
Bite symptoms: 

The venom of B. lividus has not been studied yet. Envenoming by this species in Nepal has caused burning sensation at the bite site and over the whole body, abdominal pain, vomiting, slurred speech, ptosis, and progressive generalized neuromuscular paralysis leading to respiratory distress and death. Neurotoxic and possibly myotoxic envenoming and their complications should be anticipated when treating a patient bitten by this snake.

Threats: 
Direct and most potent threats are killing done by humans due to its venomous nature and road kills. Loss of forests around Himalayan region can be one of the indirect threat.
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