The Many-banded krait is a highly venomous snake found in Asia. It is a medium to large-sized snake with the slender and moderately compressed body. Its scales are smooth and glossy, with a noticeably distinct vertebral ridge. The color of the snake is black to dark bluish-black with approximately 21-30 white or creamy white cross bands along the entire length of its upper body. The tail is short and pointed, which is also black in color with alternating white cross bands. The belly of the snake is usually white in color but could be an off white or creamy white. The head is primarily black in color, is broad and oval in shape, but flat and slightly distinct from the body. The eyes are small and black in color. The pupils are black, thus making them hardly noticeable as they blend in with the rest of the eyes. The fangs are small, fixed and are located in the interior of the upper jaw. Juveniles of this species usually have whitish blotches on the lower side of their heads.
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Many-banded kraits are found in much of central and southern China and Southeast Asia. They occur in Taiwan (including the Archipelagos of Matsu and Kinmen), in the central and southern regions of China (in the provinces of Hainan, Anhui, Sichuan, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Hubei, Yunnan, Guizhou, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, and Fujian), Hong Kong, Myanmar (Burma), Laos, and northern Vietnam. They may also be found in Thailand. These snakes prefer lowland areas, and mostly inhabit subtropical, marshy regions throughout their range. They are also frequently found in shrublands, woodlands, agricultural fields, and mangroves, often adjacent to water, such as rivers, streams, rice paddies, and ditches. They may also sometimes be found in villages and suburban areas.
Many-banded kraits are solitary creatures. They are nocturnal and may be more defensive at night. They are timid and placid snakes, however, if threatened they may strike from multiple directions and usually do so without warning signs. During the day, Many-banded kraits usually hide under stones or in holes. They are active from April and retreat into hibernation in November.
These snakes are carnivores. They feed mainly on fish, but also prey on other species of snakes, including members of their own species. Many-banded kraits also eat rodents, eels, frogs, and occasionally lizards.
Many-banded kraits are oviparous which means that they lay eggs. Mating occurs between the months of August and September. Females usually deposit 3-15 eggs, although up to 20 eggs can also be produced. The eggs are laid in late spring or early summer, usually in the month of June. Eggs usually hatch about a month and a half later and baby snakes measure around 25 cm (9.8 in) in length.
Many-banded kraits are threatened by habitat loss due to deforestation. In some parts of their range, these snakes also suffer from overcollection for medicinal use.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Many-banded krait total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing.