North-eastern Hill Krait ( Bungarus bungaroides Cantor, 1839 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Bungarus bungaroides (Cantor, 1839)
Regional Names: 
English: 
Eastern Himalaya Krait
Photographs: 
Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh
Distribution: 
Found in moderate to high elevations of whole of Eastern Himalayas from Nepal to Brahmaputra Valley of Tibet, Bhutan and north-eastern India to northern Myanmar. In India it has been recorded from West Bengal to Arunachal Pradesh along Himalayas. Also found in Bhutan, China, Myanmay, Nepal and Tibet.
Venom Type: 
Neurotoxic
Family: 
Characteristics for identification: 

Usually 1-1.5 m long, hatchlings about 30 cm. Shiny black, brownish black or grey body and tail with very narrow white or yellowish rings. Light rings often much obscured in large adults, less than one scale wide on body but extending completely across belly where they are broader. Tail tip pointed. Fifteen rows of scales across back, scales along vertebral ridge much larger than bordering scales. Scales on lower side of tail divided.

Description: 

Total length- 140 cm (Male), 100 cm (Female)

Dorsal -
Body slender with shiny smooth scales, vertebral scales larger than adjacent dorsals and of hexagonal shaped. Dorsal color black or blackish-brown with series of white or yellow cross bands. These bands may be faint or absent on neck.

Ventral -
Belly color brownish or light grayish-blue with dorsal bands continues in broader form or distinct transverse bars.

Head -
Head not much depressed with a rounded snout, slightly broader than neck. Upper lip color dark brownish or similar to rest of the head i. e. dark blackish-brown. A white line runs across the snout behind nostrils, one curved line starts from frontal and ends on the angle of mouth and one short line behind eyes to posterior of lip. These head markings may be absent or indistinct in adult stage. Moderate eyes with rounded pupil.

Tail -
Shorter than typical range and ends with a pointed tip. Bands clearly present above and below.

Scalation
Dorsal: 
Smooth scales in 15 rows throughout the body.
Ventral: 
220-237.
Sub Caudal: 
44-51; normally divided anteriorly or may be undivided but scales near tip are always divided.
Diet: 
Feeds on other snakes, rodents and frogs.
Bite symptoms: 

In the absence of studies on the venom of B. bungaroides it should be expected that it is similar to other krait venoms in causing progressive paralysis of the peripheral nervous system, leading to respiratory paralysis and death due to asphyxia, and possibly systemic muscle damage with myoglobinuria, acute renal failure and hyperkalaemia. Thus, both neurotoxic and myotoxic envenoming and their complications should be anticipated when treating a patient bitten by this snake.

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