Name: Many-Banded Krait (Bungarus multicinctus)
Other names: Taiwanese krait, Chinese krait
Higher classification: Indian krait
Classification and Taxonomy:
Distribution: This species is found throughout 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. It may also be found in Thailand.
Habitat: Although it can be found in elevations up to about 1,500 m (4,900 ft), it is far more commonly found in humid lowland areas, and most often observed in subtropical, marshy regions of its range. It is also frequently found in shrublands, woodlands, agricultural fields, and mangroves, often adjacent to water, such as rivers, streams, rice paddies, and ditches. It may also sometimes be found in villages and suburban areas. It is able to survive in other habitats also.
Behavior: The snake is nocturnal, and may be more defensive at night. It is, however, a timid and placid species of snake. In the daytime, it hides under stones or in holes. The snake appears from April and retreats into hibernation in November. It is considered to be more defensive than the Banded krait (Bungarus fasciatus), thrashing about as it is handled.
Diet: Unlike other Bungarus species, who are primarily snake-eaters, the many-banded krait usually feeds on fish, but it is also preys on other species of snakes, including members of its own species. This species also feeds on rodents, eels, frogs, and occasionally lizards.
Reproduction: There is limited information on the reproductive habits of this snake. Like many elapids, many-banded kraits are oviparous. Mating occurs between the months of August and September. Females usually deposit 3–15 eggs, although up to 20 eggs can be produced. The eggs are deposited in late spring or early summer, usually in the month of June. Eggs usually hatch about a month and a half later. The hatchlings are around 25 centimetres (9.8 in) in length.
Venom: The venom of the many-banded krait consists of both pre- and postsynaptic neurotoxins (known as α-bungarotoxins and β-bungarotoxins, among others). By weight, almost half of the protein content of the venom is composed of β-bungarotoxins.
Dymadex's blogs on reptiles and amphibians. Reptiles are tetrapod animals characterized by scaly skin. Amphibians are ectothermic, tetrapod vertebrates characterized by smooth skin.
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