Understand The Animals

Poisonous Snakes of India

Inputs from Arpit Deomurari


Krait-- Family: Elaphidae (Subfamily: Elapinae)

Kraits are found only in Asia. This snake is of special concern toman. It is deadly-about 10 times more deadly than the common cobra. It is active at night and relatively passive during their habitats. The krait has a tendency to seek shelter in sleeping bags, boots, and tents. Its venom is a powerful neurotoxin that causes respiratory failure.

Habitat: Open fields, human settlements, and dense jungle.

Length: Average 90 centimeters, maximum 1.5 meters.

Distribution: India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.


Some of the major differences between the two kinds of Kraits found in India are as under:

Common Krait

Banded Krait

A glossy, steely blue black to faded bluish grey krait the head is rounded and distinct from the neck

A sleek snake, it is conspicuous because of its yellow and black banded pattern. The head is round and distinct from the neck and the tail is blunt.

The Common krait occurs over most of India

Banded kraits are found mostly in eastern India

Kraits are confirmed nocturnal creatures, becoming sluggish during the day. The days are usually spent sleeping in rat holes

They are nocturnal snakes, with feeding habits similar to the Common krait. They kill their prey by envenomating as well as suffocating.

Most bites to humans occur at night, when villagers return to their homes from the neighbouring fields

Banded kraits are fairly common in their range, but because of their reclusive and nocturnal habits they are seldom sighted.

The females lay 8 12 eggs between March May. The eggs take about 3 months to hatch and the mother spends this entire period with them.

The female lays about 12 eggs around April. These take approximately 2 months to hatch.

Despite their short fangs these snakes have a bulldog's grip. Their venom is extremely toxic, inducing nerve paralysis. A dangerous feature is that there are no local symptoms, such as pain or swelling for several hours the onset may be sudden and rapid. Severe stomach and joint pains occur after 6 to 12 hrs. Krait venom is rated 6 to 8 times as toxic as that of a Cobra's.

Similar to the Common krait and very toxic. It induces nerve paralysis. However, the snakes are mild tempered and rarely bite. As a result very few deaths from its bite have been reported. No anti-venom for its bite is produced within India.

Common Krait found in almost all Wild Life Parks

Banded Krait found in the following Wild Life Parks

Buxa Tiger Reserve Hazaribagh Wildlife Sanctuary

Kaziranga National Park Simlipal National Park

Sunderbans National Park



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