Burmese krait

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Burmese krait
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Elapidae
Genus: Bungarus
Daudinl, 1803[2]
Species: B. magnimaculatus
Binomial name
Bungarus magnimaculatus
Wall & Evans, 1901[3]

The Burmese krait (Bungarus magnimaculatus), also known as the Spotted krait[4] or the Splendid krait[1] is a species of venomous snake of the genus Bungarus that is endemic to Myanmar.[5]

Description[edit]

The Burmese krait is a species that is medium in length, averaging approximately 1.1 m (3 ft 7 in) in length. Although some specimens may grow up to 1.3 to 1.45 m (4 ft 3 in to 4 ft 9 in) in length.[4][5] Like most kraits, they are slender snakes with short tapering tails measuring around 150 mm (5.9 in). The head is flat and slightly distinct from the neck. The eyes of this species are generally small to medium in size with black round pupils. Dorsal scales are smooth and glossy with the vertebral row enlarged and hexagonal. The body of this species is triangular shaped in cross-sections. The dorsum has anywhere from 11 to 14 broad, white crossbars, which are as wide as the black interspaces, while the centers of each of the scales is spotted with black. The belly of the Burmese krait is uniformly white in colour.[4][6]

Geographic range and habitat[edit]

Currently, this species is understood to be endemic to Myanmar.[5] It can be found in Mandalay, Sagaing, and Magway divisions of Myanmar.[6] It may also occur in adjacent areas of Yunnan Province in China, Thailand, Laos, Bangladesh and/or northeastern parts of India, but it is currently unknown from those areas and has not been observed in any of them.[1]

Habitat[edit]

The type locality of this species is Meiktila, in Upper Myanmar in the Mandalay Division which lies in seasonal dry forest; thus, this species is likely to occur throughout the central dry zone. It occurs in dry tropical lowland forest. Specimens have been located in disturbed habitats close to plantations and villages.[6] This species can be found from about sea level to elevations reaching 1,000 m (3,300 ft).[7]

Behaviour[edit]

This is a terrestrial species of snake that is active at night, being a nocturnal in nature. The disposition of this species is placid and shy, which often coils loosely and hides its head beneath its body when molested or threatened. It is very disinclined to bite unless it is provoked persistently.[4]

Prey[edit]

Burmese kraits prey predominantly on other species of snakes, but they still occasionally do take small mammals such as rats and mice, lizards, frogs and even fish.[4]

Venom[edit]

Very little is known about the venom of this species. Like other species of krait, the venom is potent and contains both pre-synaptic and post-synaptic neurotoxins. There is no known antivenom for bites by this species.[4] Bites of humans by this species are exceptionally rare, therefore no well-documented cases of human fatalities have been attributed to this species.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Wogan, G. & Vogel, G. (2011). "Bungarus magnimaculatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Bungarus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  3. ^ "Bungarus magnimaculatus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Bungarus magnimaculatus". Clinical Toxinology Resource. University of Adelaide, Australia. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Leviton, A.E.; Zug, G.R.; Vindum, J.J.; Wogan, G.O.U. (2008). Handbook to the dangerously venomous snakes of Myanmar. San Francisco: California Academy of Sciences. ISBN 978-0-94-022876-4. 
  6. ^ a b c Leviton, A.E.; Wogan, G.O.U.; Koo, M.S.; Zug, G.R.; Lucas, R.S.; Vindum, J.V. (2003). "The Dangerously Venomous Snakes of Myanmar Illustrated Checklist with Keys" (PDF). Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 54 (24): 407–462. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Bungarus magnimaculatus". Armed Forces Pest Management Board. United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 28 December 2014. 

External links[edit]