Valerie J Roebuck vjroebuck at MACUNLIMITED.NET
Tue Jul 13 10:28:39 UTC 2004

At 1:40 am +0100 12/7/04, Stephen Hodge wrote:
>2. = common krait.  This identification is purely based on
>a guess at present, having eliminated the other three.

Has anyone had any thoughts on this yet?  Since none of the Indian
snakes spits venom in the eyes, I suppose Monier-Williams'
interpretation as 'poisoning by the mere look' might be right.  One's
own look, or the snake's?

One website on the 'top ten poisonous snakes' puts the common krait
(Bungarus caeruleus) at no. 2 (above the king cobra) and claims that
it has the highest fatality rate of any snake on record.  All sources
seem to remark on its tendency to take shelter in sleeping bags,
boots etc.

Not sure where they get the statistics from, but all this suggests
that the sight of this distinctive snake might indeed be enough to
give one quite a nasty turn!

Valerie J Roebuck
Manchester, UK

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