How to differentiate the dangerous Banded Krait from the harmless Laotian Wolf Snake
In the book “Snakes and other reptiles of Thailand” by Cox et al., there is a picture of the Laotian Wolf Snake (Lycodon laoensis). The specimen pictured has whitish cross bars, while in reality most specimens have bright yellow cross bars. The result is that when people see a black and yellow snake, they think they see the dangerous Banded Krait (Bungarus fasciatus) and freak out, while in many cases they see a small (up to 50-60 cm) harmless Laotian Wolf Snake (see picture below). The Banded Krait is large (up to 2 m) with a triangular body, and the yellow bands are as broad as the black bands. The Black bands of the Laotian Wolf Snake are 3-4 times broader than the yellow cross bars.
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Text & Photo: Eric Danell
The Laotian Wolf Snake as seen outside Dokmai Garden