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Buff-striped Keelback

Common name of a non-aggressive and to humans non-venomous snake, which is known by the scientific names Amphiesma stolatum, Rhabdophis stolatus, Natrix stolatus, Tropidonotus stolatus, Coluber stolatus, and Elaps bilineatus. Though usually around 40 to 50 centimeters in length, this slender and rather small ground snake can grow up to about 90 centimeters long, with females being longer than the males, which only rarely reach 62 centimeters. There are several morphs, while the scale patterns might differ somewhat per individual. Generally, its body is olive-brown to gray in colour, with irregular dark blackish crossbars on the anterior part of the body, that are prominent near the head and fading out towards the posterior end, as well as two characteristic white, cream of buff stripes that run along the length of the body, to the sides of the spine. There are black vertical markings in front of and behind the large eyes, that have large round pupils with golden flecks on the iris. Its underside is pale cream and has small black spots scattered along both the margins and its forked tongue is black. Like all other Keelbacks, it has keeled scales, i.e. with a ridge at the center, on the dorsal surface of the body. The Buff-striped Keelback is found throughout South and Southeast Asia, and though common throughout its range, it is rarely seen. Its habitat consists of marshes, wetlands, irrigated agriculture, and other relatively open areas near water bodies, where it feeds on frogs and toads. During rainy season they may be found in fields. In Thai, it is called ngu laai saab dok yah (งูลายสาบดอกหญ้า). Also commonly known as White-striped Keelback and Striped Keelback. See also Red-necked Keelback and WILDLIFE PICTURES.