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LEXICON

 

 

Red-necked Keelback

Common name of a colourful snake, with the scientific designation Rhabdophis subminiatus. It is recognizable by the olive-greenish hue with yellow and red regions in the vicinity of its neck and throat. It has rather big, black eyes, with underneath a tear-like, black spot on a whitish patch. It grows to over a meter in length and typically dwells near rivers and pools, where it hunts for frogs. This rear-fanged species was previously thought to be harmless, but following a fatality due to its venomous bite, the toxicity of its poison was investigated and as a result it was re-classified as dangerous. Juveniles have a grey head with a black spot at the neck and, though the yellow and red colouring behind the neck is much brighter than with adults, their body colour is overall paler and rather greyish-green (fig.). Like all other Keelbacks, it has keeled scales, i.e. with a ridge at the center, on the dorsal surface of the body. In Thai, it is called ngu laai saab koh daeng (งูลายสาบคอแดง). See also Buff-striped Keelback and WILDLIFE PICTURES (1) and (2).