Banded Krait

Bungarus fasciatus



The Yellow Banded Krait

An optically outstanding snake and most common krait in Southeast Asia is the Banded Krait. Her body is ribboned with black-and-yellow stripes all over her body. Kraits are highly poisonous, potentially fatal and part of the viper family of snakes. The banded krait (also yellow banded krait) appears everywhere north of the Wallace Line up to greater parts of south China until Hongkong, and to the west it's habitat stretches until India, Nepal and Buthan.

'Banded Krait' by Asienreisender

A banded krait on the street around Chiang Khong, north Thailand. Images and photocomposition by Asienreisender, 8/2011

Males are longer than females and can reach a length of 1.80m and more; the longest measured banded krait had a length of 2.25m. The body shape is triangled. Unlike common vipers, the poison teeth of the banded krait are not movable.

The banded krait lives preferably in the lowlands and lower hillands. Open surroundings like grassland, savannah and fields are their habitat, together with light forests or forest edges. Seldom it appears in swamplands and river deltas. The highest recorded appearance of a specimen was in 2,300m.

These serpents like to live close to human settlements like villages. Their hideouts are abandoned termite mounds and rodent holes in the vicinity of water. They also hide in drains.

'A Banded Krait in Snake House, Sihanoukville' by Asienreisender

A banded krait, seen in 'Snake House', a restaurant with a larger attached privat zoo in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Image by Asienreisender, 4/2014

These snakes are nocturnal and avoids open sunlight. When opposed to it, it's heading towards shadowed places or hiding it's head under it's coiled body. At daytime they are lazy and even under provocation usually not aggressive. However, at nighttime they become active and are dangerous. They are also more active when it rains.

The poisonous effect of a bite depends very much on the venomous dose which has been injected into the human blood circulation. The dose given varies considerably. Effects are stomach pain, vomiting, dizziness and diarrhoea. A high dose can cause respiratory failure and death due to suffocation.

The serpents diet are rodents, frogs, fish, lizards and other snakes.

Wall-Painting of a Banded Krait
'Painting of a Banded Krait at the Walls of Dusit Zoo in Bangkok' by Asienreisender

Painting of a banded krait at the outer walls of Dusit Zoo, Bangkok. Image by Asienreisender, 8/2015



This article is based on the book 'Snakes and other Reptiles in Thailand and Southeast Asia' and some websites. I saw some of the banded kraits mostly killed on the roads of Thailand or in zoos like Snake House. Sometimes, a good talk with a connoisseur of a certain topic provides me with facts, ideas, inspirations and innovations and/or reveals a mistake.