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Hill Keelback
Non Venomous
Snakes Of India
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Family: Colubridae
Genus: Amphiesma
Common name: Hill Keelback, Wynad Keelback
Scientific name: Amphiesma monticola (Jerdon, 1853)
Species: A. monticola
Adults: 0.35m
Maximum: 578mm (23in)
Region: Western Ghats in India Goa to South Kerala.
Description: Adults are small and slender and found in leaf litter in forest habitats. The head is reddish. The body is brownish with a greenish gloss, while some individuals are bright green.
This species has 19 keeled dorsal scale rows at midbody, 133-144 ventrals. The anal scale is divided, and it has 78-92 subcaudals, which are also divided. There are 8 supralabials with the 3rd, 4th and 5th touching the eye. There is one preocular scale.
Eye large, its diameter more than its distance from the nostril; rostral just visible from above; suture between the internasals shorter than that between the prefrontals; frontal considerably longer than its distance from the end of the snout, as long as the parietals; loreal as long as deep, or deeper than long; one preocular; three postoculars; temporals 2 + 2; upper labials 8, third, fourth, and fifth entering the eye; 5 lower labials in contact with the anterior chin shields, which are a little shorter than the posterior chin shields.
Scales in 19 rows, strongly keeled, except for those in the outer row which are smooth or feebly keeled. Ventrals 134-142; anal divided; subcaudals 80-92.
Green above, with black crossbands divided on each side by a pale spot; a white line across the head behind the eyes, and a white dot on each side of the frontal; preoculars, postoculars, and labials 3 to 6, all white; lower parts white.
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