First report of leucism for the kraits Bungarus walli Wall, 1907 and B. niger Wall, 1908, with updates on their geographic distribution in Nepal (Serpentes, Elapidae)
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AbstractSix species of kraits, genus Bungarus, have been recorded in Nepal (e.g., Schleich and Kästle, 2002; Sharma et al., 2013), including B. bungaroides (Cantor, 1839), B. caeruleus (Schneider, 1801), B. fasciatus (Schneider, 1801), B. lividus Cantor, 1839, B. niger Wall, 1908, and B. walli Wall, 1907. These species occur from the lowland habitats of the Terai Plains along the Nepal-India border into habitats at intermediate elevations in the Siwalik Hills and into the Mahabharat Range (Joshi et al., 2019), extending in the case of B. caeruleus, the most commonly encountered krait in Nepal, up to elevations of at least 1525 m, and up to 1730 m in B. bungaroides (Schleich and Kästle, 2002; Sharma et al., 2013). All of these species appear to be of medical importance as a cause of snakebite mortality and morbidity (e.g., Bhetwal et al., 1998; Pandey, 2015). It is noteworthy that confirmed records of kraits in Nepal display a patchiness consistent with intermittent sampling: while some species probably have a countrywide distribution, records tend to exist primarily for areas of high human population concentration where sampling and the incidence of snakebite can be expected at greater frequency (e.g., B. caeruleus, B. fasciatus, B. lividus). On the other hand, some species cluster only in the southeasternmost extreme of the country (B. bungaroides, B. walli), and given their distribution in neighbouring countries, this sampling may reflect reality.
CitationDevkota, K., Mandal, D.N., Sah, G., O'Shea, M. and Kaiser, H. (2020) First report of leucism for the kraits Bungarus walli Wall, 1907 and B. niger Wall, 1908, with updates on their geographic distribution in Nepal (Serpentes, Elapidae), Herpetology Notes, 13, pp. 817-825.
PublisherSocietas Europaea Herpetologica
Description© 2020 The Authors. Published by Societas Europaea Herpetologica in Herpetology Notes. This is an open access article available under a Creative Commons licence. The published version can be accessed at the following link on the publisher’s website: https://www.biotaxa.org/hn/article/view/62989
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/