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13 Astonishing Facts About Many Banded Krait

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Introduction

The banded krait (Bungarus fasciatus) is a fascinating species of venomous snake found throughout Southeast Asia. Though shy and reclusive, the banded krait packs a dangerous bite that makes it one of the most venomous snakes on Earth.

Read on below to discover 13 astonishing facts about this mystical serpent!

Facts About the Banded Krait

1. Recognizable black and gold bands

The banded krait lives up to its name with distinctive alternating bands of black and vibrant gold running the length of its body. These colorful bands set the banded krait apart from other krait species in Southeast Asia.

2. Triangular body shape

The banded krait has a distinct triangular shape when viewed in cross-section. This three-sided silhouette allows the banded krait to climb branches and vines with ease.

3. Size matters

Reaching lengths over 7 feet, the banded krait is one of the longest venomous snakes in the world. Most adults range between 5-6 feet long.

4. Deadly neurotoxic venom

The banded krait’s venom contains powerful neurotoxins that attack the nervous system. This can lead to paralysis, respiratory failure, and even death if left untreated.

5. Highly venomous but usually docile

Despite having lethal venom, the banded krait is typically docile and reluctant to bite when encountered. It usually tries to escape rather than defend itself.

6. Nocturnal hunter

The banded krait spends most daylight hours hiding in vegetation or underground burrows. At night it emerges to actively hunt small mammals, birds, eggs, frogs, fish and other snakes.

7. Rodent control

Banded kraits often reside near rice fields and human settlements, helping to control populations of rats and mice that can damage crops and spread disease.

8. Unique threat display

To warn perceived threats, the banded krait flattens its neck into a narrow hood and hisses loudly. If further provoked, it may strike out and inflict multiple rapid bites.

9. Specialized predators

Animals like the king cobra and mongoose have evolved a resistance to krait venom, allowing them to feed on banded kraits without ill effects.

10. Ancient myths

In Thai folklore, the banded krait was created by the gods to patrol the underwater crystal palaces of dragon princes while they slumbered.

11. Unique mating

During mating season, female banded kraits release pheromones that attract males from far and wide. This courtship can involve elaborate rituals of circling and pressing bodies together.

12. Oviparous reproduction

Like 70% of snakes, the banded krait is oviparous, meaning females lay clutches of 12-20 leathery eggs in hidden nesting sites. The hatchlings emerge 3-4 months later.

13. Long lifespan

In captivity, banded kraits have been documented to exceed 20 years of age. Lifespans in the wild are likely shorter due to predators and environmental hazards.

Conclusion

With its flamboyant bands, massive length, and lethal venom, the banded krait leads a mysterious life in the jungles of Southeast Asia. These shy serpents keep mostly out of sight but still play a vital role in controlling pest species. Their unique threat displays and courtship rituals add to the banded krait’s intrigue. Though dangerous if provoked, the banded krait remains an iconic and astonishing reptile!


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