Banded karait 

Banded Karait, also known as the Common Karait, is a highly venomous snake species found in India. It is a small and slender snake, but its venom can be fatal to humans if left untreated. In this article, we will explore the features, venom, habitat, and other characteristics of the Banded Karait.

NameBanded Karait
Scientific NameBungarus fasciatus
ColourBlack with yellowish or white bands
Length70-90 cm
HabitatGrasslands, agricultural fields, scrub forests, and wetlands
Toxicity LevelHighly venomous
Indian states where it’s foundFound throughout India, except for the high altitude regions
IUCN statusLeast Concern


The Banded Karait has a distinct appearance that makes it easily recognizable. It is a small snake, typically growing up to a length of 60 cm. Its body is slender, with a distinct triangular head. The Banded Karait has a black body with yellowish-white bands or stripes, which gives it a striking appearance. It has a relatively slow speed, and its weight ranges between 30-60 grams.

Type of venom

The Banded Karait is one of the most venomous snakes found in India. Its venom is a potent neurotoxin that can cause respiratory paralysis and death if left untreated. The venom of the Banded Karait contains neurotoxins that attack the nervous system of the prey or predator, leading to muscle paralysis, including the muscles involved in breathing. In humans, the venom can cause respiratory failure and lead to death if not treated immediately.

Habitat and food

The Banded Karait is found in various habitats, including grasslands, dry deciduous forests, and scrublands. It is a nocturnal hunter, and its primary diet consists of small rodents, lizards, and frogs.

Where is it found in India? The Banded Karait is found in different parts of India, including the central, northern, and eastern regions. It is most commonly found in states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, and West Bengal.

Importance to ecosystem

The Banded Karait is an essential species in the ecosystem as it plays a vital role in controlling rodent populations. As a predator of rodents, the Banded Karait helps to keep their numbers in check, which can be beneficial for farmers and other ecosystems. The Banded Karait’s venom is also used for research and medical purposes, which makes it an important species in the study of venoms and the development of new anti-venom treatments.

IUCN status

The Banded Karait is classified as a species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Although the Banded Karait is found in different parts of India, there is no significant threat to its population. However, habitat destruction and fragmentation, along with indiscriminate killing, can affect the species’ long-term survival.

In conclusion, the Banded Karait is a fascinating species that plays a vital role in the ecosystem. Its venom is potent, and its appearance is striking, making it an intriguing species to study. While it is a venomous snake, it is not typically aggressive towards humans and should be left alone if encountered in the wild.

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