Banded Kukri

India is home to a diverse range of snakes, each with its unique features and characteristics. One such snake is the banded kukri snake, scientifically known as Oligodon fasciolatus. This species is a non-venomous, slender snake that is found across different regions of India. In this article, we will explore the features, habitat, distribution, and importance of banded kukri snakes in the Indian ecosystem.

NameIndian Banded Kukri Snake
Scientific NameOligodon arnensis
ColourDark brown or black with distinct yellow bands
LengthUp to 80 cm in length
HabitatForested areas, agricultural land and rocky hills
Food HabitsFeeds on lizards, frogs and small rodents
Indian StatesFound throughout India
IUCN statusLeast Concern


The banded kukri snake is a small-sized species of snake, with adults typically growing up to 50-60 cm in length. The species is characterized by a distinct brown or reddish-brown color on its dorsal side, with blackish cross-bands or stripes. The underside of the snake is white or cream-colored. Like many other snake species, the banded kukri snake has a slender body that is laterally compressed, allowing it to move through narrow spaces with ease.

In terms of speed and weight, the banded kukri snake is not particularly fast or heavy. However, its slender body and excellent maneuverability make it a swift and efficient predator.

Habitat and Food

The banded kukri snake is found across various habitats, including grasslands, shrublands, and forests. It is mostly found at lower altitudes and can often be seen around human settlements. The species feeds mainly on small vertebrates, including lizards, rodents, and frogs.

Where is it found in India

The banded kukri snake is found across various regions of India, including the Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats, and the Himalayas. It is also found in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal, among others.

Importance to Ecosystem

Snakes like the banded kukri snake play an essential role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. They help control the population of small animals like rodents and lizards, which can otherwise cause significant damage to crops and other vegetation. Additionally, they themselves serve as prey for larger predators, creating a vital link in the food chain.

IUCN Status

The banded kukri snake is classified as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This classification means that the species is not at immediate risk of extinction. However, like all snakes, it faces several threats, including habitat loss, poaching, and persecution by humans.


In conclusion, the banded kukri snake is a fascinating species of snake that is an integral part of the Indian ecosystem. Its unique features, adaptable habitat, and importance to the food chain make it an essential component of the natural world.

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