Himalayan Mountain Keelback : Amphiesma platyceps

Snakes of World

The Himalayan Mountain Keelback, also known as Amphiesma platyceps, is a non-venomous species of snake. It does not have venom glands and is not considered dangerous to humans. The Himalayan Mountain Keelback is a medium-sized species of snake, with an average length of around 60-80 cm (24-32 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 Himalayan Mountain Keelback are smooth and shiny. The dorsal scales are arranged in 15 rows, and there are 155-167 ventral scales and 50-70 subcaudal scales. The anal scale is divided, and there are 8 supralabials and 10-11 infralabials. The Himalayan Mountain Keelback, Amphiesma platyceps, has the following scalation:

  • Dorsal scales: 15 rows at mid-body, keeled
  • Ventral scales: Smooth and undivided
  • Anal scale: Single
  • Subcaudal scales: Divided

The scales of Amphiesma platyceps are keeled, which gives them a distinct texture.


The Himalayan Mountain Keelback has a distinctive appearance, with a brown or grey color on its back and sides, with a series of dark brown or black blotches 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:

The Himalayan Mountain Keelback is primarily active during the day and feeds on small prey such as frogs, lizards, and rodents.


The Himalayan Mountain Keelback is found in the Himalayan regions of India, Nepal, and Bhutan. It is most commonly found in mountainous areas, at elevations between 1,000 and 2,500 meters. It is often found near water sources, such as streams and rivers.


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

Location and Conservation:

The Himalayan Mountain Keelback is found in the Himalayan regions of India, Nepal, and Bhutan. 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 Himalayan Mountain Keelback is a unique and interesting species found in the Himalayan regions of South Asia. 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.

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