SPECIES: XENOCHRIPHIS FLAVIPUNCTATUS
IUCN REDLIST: LEAST CONCERN
The Yellow spotted keelback can be found throughout Asia, in the Indian subcontinent, much of Southeast Asia in southern parts of China and Taiwan. The species is native to many countries including: Cambodia, China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Taiwan, Province of China, Thailand and Vietnam . This species occurs in slow rivers and streams, marshes, swamps, flooded rice fields, ponds, lakes, and ditches. Additionally, it can sometimes be found in the middle of urban areas.
These are large snakes with an average length of about 120 cm. Its eyes are large. The snake has an olive-brown background colouration with various black streaks and blotches and a row of small yellow or white dots down each side. Two black streaks come down and back from the eye. Juveniles have a characteristic yellow mark on their neck that fades with age. The snake is rear fanged so once grabbing its prey it will not let go and the prey cannot escape.
This snake in particular is primarily diurnal (come our during the day) and is a strong swimmer. The Yellow Spotted Keelback is not known to be venomous, however all keelbacks should be treated with caution since the toxicity of many species is unknown. In general, keelbacks species are not aggressive, however when hunting for food they are more instinctive s should be left alone.
The Yellow–Spotted Keelback is oviparous. Oviparous animals are animals that lay eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother. The snake’s father doesn’t involve himself with hatchlings.
ECOSYSTEM ROLE & HUMAN BENEFITS
This semi-aquatic species of Keelback feeds on fish and frogs and helps to control mouse and rat populations in the city – pest control. The Yellow spotted keelback juveniles are eaten by larger snakes and birds, supporting species higher in the food chain. In Asian countries they are a food source for locals and also used in traditional medicines.
Their ability to adapt to urbanized areas means they are not hugely affected by deforestation and habitat loss because they can adapt to this change. However exploitation of this species and the loss of it’s food source can in turn affect the Yellow spotted Keelback.
The Yellow-spotted Keelback will often swallow its prey immediately upon catching it, without constricting or using any other means to kill the prey. As a result, prey is sometimes swallowed live, and some sources report frogs still vocalizing from within the snake. The Yellow spotted keelback is the most common used snake in snake wine and sometimes the skin is stretched in the bottle as to appear like a cobra.
** This data set was written by Luke Anning of Bournemouth University, England and edited by Stephanie Young**
***Identification of these species has been made through, photographic documentation cross referenced with external specialists and identification books. Any errors in our database will be rectified upon notification, if you feel that we have misidentified any species please help us to improve our research through our contact us page. All people involved will be acknowledge in the website and reports***
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