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How to differentiate the dangerous Banded Krait from the harmless Laotian Wolf Snake

May 19, 2010

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.

Read about Dokmai Garden’s work with endangered orchids!

Text & Photo: Eric Danell

The Laotian Wolf Snake as seen outside Dokmai Garden

2 Comments leave one →
  1. valeriomezzanotti permalink
    June 2, 2015 11:34 PM

    I’ve just found one in my bathroom, how I make it go away? What keeps them away?

    • July 27, 2015 5:51 PM


      With ‘one’, do you mean wolf snake or krait? Both species are active at night so at that time they probably leave the bathroom to feed. Take the opportunity to plug any hole that may allow the entrance. You may even consider keeping a flat stone on top of the shower drainage hole.

      Do not encounter a krait at night, it will be very aggressive.

      Take care, Eric

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