Checkered Keelback : Xenochrophis piscator

Snakes of World

The Checkered Keelback, also known as Xenochrophis piscator, is a non-venomous species of snake. It does not produce any venom and is not considered to be dangerous to humans. The Checkered Keelback is a medium-sized species of snake, with an average length of around 60-70 cm (24-28 inches). It has a slender, cylindrical body shape and a pointed head. The eyes are large and round, with round pupils.


The scales of the Checkered Keelback are smooth and shiny. The dorsal scales are arranged in 15 rows, and there are 136-155 ventral scales and 54-77 subcaudal scales. The anal scale is divided, and there are 8 supralabials and 10-11 infralabials.

The Checkered Keelback, Xenochrophis piscator, has the following scalation:

  • Dorsal scales: 19 rows at mid-body, keeled
  • Ventral scales: Smooth and undivided
  • Anal scale: Single
  • Subcaudal scales: Divided

The scales of Xenochrophis piscator are keeled, which gives them a distinct texture.


The Checkered Keelback has a distinctive appearance, with a black or dark brown color on its back and sides, with a series of white or yellow crossbars. The belly is white or yellow. The scales are smooth and shiny, giving the snake a sleek appearance.

Natural History:

The Checkered Keelback is primarily active during the day and feeds on small prey such as fish, frogs, and small rodents. It is known for its aquatic nature and is often found in or near water sources.


The Checkered Keelback is found in a variety of habitats throughout Southeast Asia, including wetlands, rice fields, and agricultural areas. It is most commonly found near water sources, such as ponds, streams, and marshes.


The Checkered 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 the Checkered Keelback, but it is believed to be oviparous, laying eggs rather than giving birth to live young.

Location and Conservation:

The Checkered Keelback is found in parts of Southeast Asia, including India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Thailand. 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). The Checkered Keelback is a unique and interesting species found in Southeast Asia. Its distinctive appearance and behavior make it a fascinating creature to study, and its non-venomous nature makes it a valuable part of the local ecosystem. The protection of its habitat is crucial for the conservation of this species and the maintenance of biodiversity in the region.

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