Checkered Keelback (_Xenochrophis piscator_) :
P.C: Arul C.V
A snake which is active both by day and night.They derive their name from the checkerboard pattern on their body. Scales are keeled (Gaps between each scale). Colors range from glossy green, olive brown, yellow, brown, gray or black with closely set spots or checks.
Head is triangular with with smooth and shiny scales and is broader than the neck. Tail is covered with highly keeled scales.
Perhaps the most plentiful snake. The checkered keelback can be found close to water bodies such as lakes, rivers, ponds, wells, sewer lines and and agricultural lands.
Aggressive when cornered or threatened. When excited, it flattens neck ribs and rears up. Sometimes mistaken for a cobra in this position.
Harmless to humans.
It feeds on fish, frogs, occasionally rodents and birds.
Checkered keelbacks are found Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, Thailand, West Malaysia, China, Taiwan, Indonesia and India (all over the country)
Oviparous. Lays up to 90 eggs from December- March in rat tunnels, holes in wells or field embankments and stays with them till they hatch in 60-70 days .
Road kills and intentional killing by people because of its wide range of colors and patterns which makes identification tough sometimes. Due to its aggressive behavior it can be confused with cobras. As it is well settled in urban areas, habitat destruction doesn't seem to be a serious threat for this species. In many parts of its range, it is consumed by few communities.
Look alikes :
Olive keelbacks .
Smooth scaled water snake.