Beddome’s Keelback : Amphiesma beddomei

Snakes of World

Beddome’s Keelback, also known as Amphiesma beddomei, is a non-venomous species of snake. It does not have venom glands and is not considered dangerous to humans.


Beddome’s Keelback is a medium-sized snake species, with an average length of around 50-70 cm (20-28 inches). It has a slender, cylindrical body shape and a pointed head. The eyes are large and round, with round pupils.


The scales of Beddome’s Keelback are smooth and shiny. The dorsal scales are arranged in 15 rows, and there are 142-155 ventral scales and 30-45 subcaudal scales. The anal scale is divided, and there are 8 supralabials and 10-11 infralabials.

Beddome’s Keelback (Amphiesma beddomei) has a distinct scalation pattern that can help identify the species. Here are some details about its scalation:

  1. Dorsal Scales: The snake has smooth dorsal scales arranged in 19 rows at midbody. The scales are slightly keeled towards the tail.
  2. Ventrals: The ventral scales are smooth and shiny, and the number of ventrals varies between 142-152.
  3. Subcaudals: The subcaudals are paired, and the number of subcaudals varies between 60-70.
  4. Anal Plate: The anal plate is divided.
  5. Head Scales: The head of the Beddome’s Keelback is slightly elongated, and the head scales are small and smooth, with a single loreal scale.
  6. Eye Scales: The snake has a large eye with a round pupil. The eye scales are small, with a single preocular and two postocular scales.
  7. Other Scales: The snake has 7-8 upper labials, with the fourth and fifth contacting the eye. It also has 9-10 lower labials.

Overall, Beddome’s Keelback has a smooth and shiny appearance with a unique scalation pattern. The slight keel on the dorsal scales towards the tail and the presence of a single loreal scale can help distinguish it from other keelback species. The number of scales may vary slightly between individuals, but the overall pattern remains consistent.


Beddome’s Keelback has a distinctive appearance, with a light brown or grey color on its back and sides, with a series of dark brown or black stripes running down the length of the body. The belly is yellow or cream-colored. The scales are smooth and shiny, giving the snake a sleek appearance.

Natural History:

Beddome’s Keelback is primarily active during the day and feeds on small prey such as frogs, lizards, and rodents.


Beddome’s Keelback is found in the Western Ghats of southern India, primarily in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It is most commonly found near water sources, such as ponds, streams, and marshes, but can also be found in agricultural areas and forests.


Beddome’s Keelback is a relatively docile species of snake and is not aggressive towards humans. It will usually try to escape when confronted but may become defensive and try to bite if it feels threatened. This species is often seen swimming in water sources or basking in the sun on rocks or logs.


Little is known about the reproductive biology of Beddome’s Keelback, but it is believed to be oviparous, laying eggs rather than giving birth to live young.

Location and Conservation:

Beddome’s Keelback is found in the Western Ghats of southern India, primarily in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It is not considered to be under threat and is listed as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Beddome’s Keelback is a unique and interesting species found in the Western Ghats of southern India. Its distinctive appearance and behavior make it a fascinating creature to study, and its non-venomous nature makes it safe for humans to interact with. The protection of its habitat is crucial for the conservation of this species and the maintenance of biodiversity in the region.

Author: user

Leave a Reply