Keelbacks are Colubrid snakes of the subfamily Natricinae, so named because their dorsal scales exhibit strong keeling. The family is notable for containing some of the very few colubrid snakes (particularly of the genus Rhabdophis) known to be dangerous to man. These snakes are distributing sea level to 1000m. These snakes can be found in Eastern Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Southern china, South land Asia, & Thailand also.
The body of the Checkered Keel Back snake is short, cylindrical and has a clear neck. Its head is slightly pointed. The eyes consist of a round pupils. Nostrils are narrow, directed slightly upwards. The tail is long. The female is longer in length than a male.
Diet consist frogs & fish. Some times even aquatic birds become their diet. They do not kill the prey.
They are both diurnal & nocturnal. It’s a water snake from the plains, abundant in water ways, such as flooded rice fields, ponds, lakes, marshes & rivers. They are very good swimmers. In dry hot conditions, they undergo aestivation in groups. In colder regions, it hibernates. They are known to be very aggressive. When threatened they attempt to bite, by flattening the head & the neck as Cobra. The bite may cause just wounds but it will not be toxic. They may also release an odor which has a bad smell.
Keel Back snakes are oviparous. The gestation period is 55-67 days. Females guard the clutches of 30-70 eggs & the incubation period is 37-51 days & sometimes it may be even 90 days. The eggs may be laid under a rock or in side a hole near a water body.
Some of them have such long teeth that it looks as if there are series of them.
The Checkered Keel Back snakes are non-venomous.
These snakes are found in various colours. Most are common having dorsally shiny olive-brown, yellow, brown or grey body. Black irregular spots are arranged in 5-6 rows along the body. The checkered pattern is more obvious in species found in down south of India. They may have a red or pink border. Posterior body spots are unclear. The head is olive brown in colour. 2 black strips run behind eyes to the upper lip and from postoculars to edge of the mouth. Neck consists of a black ring. Ventral body is yellow or white. Mid body is consisting of 19 rows of scales. Dorsal scales are strongly keeled.