Species of Thailand

Blue krait

Bungarus candidus, Carolus Linnaeus, 1758

(In Thai: งูทับสมิงคลา, ngu thap saming khlaa)

Bungarus candidus, commonly known as the Malayan krait or blue krait, is a highly venomous species of snake. The blue krait is a member of the elapid family.

Description and Explanation

The Malayan krait may attain a total length of 108 cm (about 3.5 ft), with a tail 16 cm (6.3 in) long.

Dorsally, it has a pattern of 27-34 dark-brown, black, or bluish-black crossbands on the body and tail, which are narrowed and rounded on the sides. The first crossband is continuous with the dark color of the head. The dark crossbands are separated by broad, yellowish-white interspaces, which may be spotted with black. Ventrally, it is uniformly white.

An unbanded black phenotype also occurs in some populations e.g. Bali and reportedly in West and Central Java.

The smooth dorsal scales are arranged in 15 rows, with the vertebral row much enlarged. The ventrals number 195-237; the anal plate is entire; and the single (undivided) subcaudals are 37-56 in number.


It is found in southeast Asia from Indochina south to Java and Bali in Indonesia.


In mice, the IV for this species is 0.1 mg/kg. It has caused an untreated mortality rate of 60-70% on humans.

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Site notes

Currently B. wanghaotingi and B. candidus are morphologically indistinguishable. Hopefully a future phylogenetic study will clear it up, but it is not unlikely that there is simply no clear black and white way to ID these species in the field. The data we have collected for the range map is for the complex.

Scientific classification

Bungarus candidus

Common names

  • German: Blauer Krait
  • English: Blue krait
  • Thai:
    • งูทับสมิงคลา, ngu thap saming khlaa
    • งูปล้องเงิน (ใต้), ngu phong ngern (South Thailand)
    • งูทับทางขาว (อีสาน), ngu thap thaang khao (Isaan)
    • งูทำทาน (อีสาน), ngu tham thaan (Isaan)


  • Bungarus candidus, Van Stanley Bartholomew Wallach et al. (2014)
  • Bungarus candidus, Livigni (2013)
  • Bungarus candidus, Nguyen Van Sang et al. (2009)
  • Bungarus candidus, Merel J. Cox et al. (1998)
  • Bungarus candidus, Ulrich Manthey & Wolfgang Grossmann (1997)
  • Bungarus javanicus, Ulrich Kuch (1996)
  • Bungarus javanicus, Kenneth Welsh (1994)
  • Bungarus candidus, Kenneth Welsh (1994)
  • Bungarus candidus, Malcolm Arthur Smith (1943)
  • Bungarus javanicus, Felix Kopstein (1932)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Range Map

Distribution map of Blue krait, Bungarus candidus in Thailand
Range map of Bungarus candidus in Thailand