Tue Jul 13 14:47:34 UTC 2004

Valerie J Roebuck wrote:

> 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?
I would like to identify this snake with the common krait but one should
also consider the markings on the skin of some snake's which look
eye-like -- some snakes are said to be "spectacled" for this reason --
though the krait is black with white zigzag stripes.

> 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.  [snip] 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!
There seems to be a certain amount of leeway in nominations for the snake
with the highest fatality rate. I have found dozens of scientific websites
that give this dubious honour to the Russell's viper which is frequently
said to have killed more people than any other snake world-wide.

Best wishes,
Stephen Hodge

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list