Red-necked Keelback : Rhabdophis subminiatus

Snakes of World

The Red-necked Keelback, also known as Rhabdophis subminiatus, is a venomous species of snake. It has venom glands located behind the eyes that produce a toxic venom. Bites from this species can be potentially dangerous to humans and should be treated promptly.The Red-necked 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 Red-necked Keelback are smooth and shiny. The dorsal scales are arranged in 17 rows, and there are 148-167 ventral scales and 54-72 subcaudal scales. The anal scale is divided, and there are 8 supralabials and 10-11 infralabials. The Red-necked Keelback, Rhabdophis subminiatus, 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 Rhabdophis subminiatus are keeled, which gives them a distinct texture.


The Red-necked Keelback has a distinctive appearance, with a light brown or olive color on its back and sides, with a series of dark brown or black crossbars. The neck and throat are bright red or orange, giving the snake its common name. The belly is yellow or cream-colored. The scales are smooth and shiny, giving the snake a sleek appearance.

Natural History:

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


The Red-necked Keelback is found throughout Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It is most commonly found near water sources, such as ponds, streams, and marshes.


The Red-necked 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 Red-necked Keelback, but it is believed to be oviparous, laying eggs rather than giving birth to live young.

Location and Conservation:

The Red-necked Keelback is found throughout Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. 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 Red-necked Keelback is a unique and interesting species found throughout Southeast Asia. Its distinctive appearance and behavior make it a fascinating creature to study, and its venomous nature makes it important to be cautious when encountering this species. 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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