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Bungarus multicinctus BLYTH, 1861

IUCN Red List - Bungarus multicinctus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaElapidae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesBungarus multicinctus multicinctus BLYTH 1861
Bungarus multicinctus wanghaotingi POPE 1928 
Common NamesE: Many-banded Krait
G: Vielgebänderter Krait
Chinese: 银环蛇 
SynonymBungarus multicinctus BLYTH 1861: 98
Bungarus semifasciatus GÜNTHER 1858: 221 (not of BOIE)
Bungarus semifasciatus — GÜNTHER 1864: 344
Bungarus caeruleus — STOLICZKA 1870 (fide SMITH 1943)
Bungarus semifasciatus — GÜNTHER 1888: 171
Bungarus candidus var. multicinctus — BOULENGER 1896: 369
Bungarus multicinctus — STEJNEGER 1907: 397
Bungarus candidus multicinctus — BOURRET 1936
Bungarus multicinctus — SMITH 1943: 416
Bungarus cf. multicinctus — CHAN-ARD et al. 1999: 209
Bungarus multicinctus — NGUYEN et al. 2009
Bungarus multicinctus — WANG et al. 2022

Bungarus multicinctus multicinctus BLYTH 1861
Bungarus multicinctus multicinctus — MELL 1929
Bungarus multicinctus multicinctus — WELCH 1994: 39
Bungarus multicinctus multicinctus — NGUYEN et al. 2009
Bungarus multicinctus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 130

Bungarus multicinctus wanghaotingi POPE 1928
Bungarus wanghaotingi POPE 1928: 3
Bungarus multicinctus wanghaotingi — MELL 1929
Bungarus multicinctus wanghaotingi — WELCH 1994: 39
Bungarus wanghaotingi — LEVITON et al. 2003
Bungarus multicinctus wanghaotingi — NGUYEN et al. 2009
Bungarus wanghaotingi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 130
Bungarus wanghaotingi — CHEN et al. 2021
Bungarus wanghaotingi — YUAN et al. 2022
Bungarus wanghaotingi — WANG et al. 2022 
DistributionTaiwan, S China (incl. Hong Kong, Hainan),
Myanmar (= Burma), Laos, N Vietnam (Hoa Binh), Thailand.

wanghaotingi: China (Hong Kong, Fujian), Myanmar (= Burma); Type locality: Yuankiang, China.

Type locality: Amoy  
TypesHolotype: lost (fide NGUYEN et al. 2009, Smith 1943 and Toriba 1993b)
Holotype: AMNH 35230 [wanghaotingi] 
DiagnosisDescription: The following description is based on 24 examined specimens from Southern China (Appendix 1): (1) narrow white dorsal crossbands 39.3 ± 4.7 (31–50), with each 1.4 ± 0.4 (1.0–2.0) vertebral scales long at midbody (Tables 1, 2, Figs 4A, B, 5A, B); (2) ventral body white scattered with dense brown pigment on adults (n = 19) (Fig. 3B), indistinct on some juveniles (Fig. 5B); (3) scales on neck and head of adults uniform black, scales on lateral neck behind parietals for immatures indistinctly edged with white (Fig. 6A); (4) moderately wide black bands on body (3–4 vertebral scales wide) intruding to ventrals for 1.2 to 2 times the width of outer dorsal scales (Fig. 7A); (5) ventral surface of tail with dense black bands and patches (Figs 4B, 5B); (6) posterior maxilla teeth four, distinctly curved backwards (Fig. 8E and Table 3); (7) fangs distinctly curved posteriorly (Fig. 8E); (8) prefrontal suture 1.5–2.5 (n = 17) times length of the internasal suture; (9) VEN 196–236 (n = 24), NSC 38–58 (n = 23).
B. multicinctus differs from B. candidus by having (1) more white bands on the body (31–50, n = 24 vs. 18–26, n = 19) that are narrower in length (1–2 times of length of vertebral scales on middle body vs. 3–5 times); (2) different adult ventral surface (dense brown pigment vs. immaculate white); (3) different coloration of scales on the temporal and lateral neck regions (uniform black in adults and dim white edged in immatures vs. stained white in adults and creamy white in juveniles); (4) shape of the spines on the hemipenis (blunt, papilla-like vs. large spines that are sharp and fangshaped); (5) and by the degree of keratinization of the hemipenial spines (tips of large spines not strongly keratinized, in shape of short bars, with a distinct boundary with the body of large spines vs. tips of large spines strongly keratinized, gradually wider towards base of large spines). (From Chen et al. 2021).

DIAGNOSTIC CHARACTERS (DIAGNOSIS) [wanghaotingi].— Dorsal scales in 15 longitudinal rows at midbody; sub-caudal scutes undivided throughout; middorsal row of scales (vertebrals) strongly enlarged, as broad as or broader than long; tail tapering, terminating in a point; ventrals 209–228, subcaudals
44–54 (fide Pope 1935:339, Smith 1943: 416). Belly uniformly white; dorsum with 20–31 light crossbands, crossbars narrower than black crossbars; 7–11 white crossbars on tail. Total length 1100 mm; tail length 145 mm. [after LEVITON 2003]

From B. multicinctus, B. wanghaotingi can be distinguished by the lower number of light cross bands on the body and tail (31–40 on the body and 9–17 on the tail in B. multicinctus, 20–31 and 7–11 respectively in B. wanghaotingi).

See also Table 2 in YUAN et al. 2022 for morphological traits in both B. wanghaotingi and B. multicinctus. 
CommentSynonymy partly after STEJNEGER 1907. Not listed by DAS (1996).


The “multicinctus-wanghaotingi” species group requires study; it is likely polytypic and several closely related though distinct species likely are hidden presently under the names multicinctus and wanghaotingi (LEVITON et al. 2003).

The boundaries demarcating B. candidus, B. multicinctus, and B. wanghaotingi, in Southern China and Northern Myanmar are particularly obscure, with multicinctus and wanghaotingi being difficult to distinguish morphologically (Yuan et al. 2022).

Distribution: possibly in Yunnan (China) but records from there are questionable (Wang et al. 2022).

Genome: Liu et al. 2023. 
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