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Many-banded krait

Basic information:

Chinese name:银环蛇
Latin name: Bungarus multicinctus 
English name: Many-banded krait



The Many-banded krait is a medium to large-sized snake, averaging about 1 to 1.5 meters (3.3 to 4.9 ft) in length with a maximum of 1.85 meters (6.1 ft).This snake has black with alternating and clear-cut black and white crossbands throughout the body, with the black bands being wider than the white bands. The body has a high vertebral ridge. Juveniles usually have a white mark on their heads.


Geographic range

It is found in Taiwan, mainland China, Burma, Laos and Northern Vietnam, and Con Dao Islands Vietnam.This species can be found in elevations up to about 1,300 metres (4,300 ft), though they are more commonly found in low areas, especially in shrubland, woodland, agricultural fields and mangroves.



The venom of the many-banded krait consists of both pre- and post-synaptic neurotoxins (known as α-bungarotoxins and β-bungarotoxins, among others). The average venom yield from specimens kept on snake farms is about 4.6 mg—18.4 mg per bite. The venom is highly toxic with LD50 values of 0.09 mg/kg—0.108 mg/kg SC, 0.113 mg/kg IV and 0.08 mg/kg IP on mice. Based on several LD50 studies, the many-banded krait is among the most venomous land snake in the world.

The local symptoms of victims bitten by the Many-banded krait are usually neither serious swelling nor pain, the victims merely feel slightly itchy and numb. Systemic symptoms occur, in general, one to four hours after being bitten by this snake. Symptoms may include discomfort in the chest, general ache, weak feeling in limbs, ataxia, glossolysis, loss of voice, swallowing paralysis, tunnel vision, and difficult breathing. In case of serious bite, suppression of breathing may occur, leading to death.
The untreated mortality rate caused by the bites of this species is estimated to be 20-30%.

In 2001 a snake of this species was responsible for the death of herpetologist Joseph Bruno Slowinski.


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