Thai National Parks

Reptiles of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Red-necked keelback

Binomial name: Rhabdophis subminiatus (Hermann Schlegel, 1837)

Rhabdophis subminiatus, commonly called the red-necked keelback, is a species of venomous snake in the family Colubridae. The species is endemic to Asia.

Description

R. subminiatus has a greenish hue with red and yellow regions near the head. It grows to 70 to 90 cm round=0.5 in total length (including tail).

Habitat and diet

The red-necked keelback generally lives near ponds, where it consumes frogs and fish.

Snakebite and Venom

Rhabdophis subminiatus is a rear-fanged species and was previously thought to be harmless. However, following one fatal and several near-fatal envenomations, the toxicity of its venom was investigated. As a result, it has recently been reclassified as a dangerous species. Rear-fanged snakes need to bite and hold on, or repeatedly bite, to have any effect on humans. A chewing action facilitates envenomation as the venom ducts open to fangs that are externally grooved (not hollow) and are posterior in the oral cavity.R. subminiatus has enlarged and non-grooved teeth. R. subminiatus has two enlarged teeth in the back of the snake’s jaw. Located in the upper jaw is a gland known as the Duvernoy's glands which produces an extremely venomous secretion.

Symptoms caused by venom

When the snake bites, the salivary venom mixture is not injected, but it flows into the punctures produced by the upper jaw’s rear teeth of R. subminiatus, which can penetrate the skin of humans. The venom from R. subminiatus has been responsible for internal hemorrhaging, including hemorrhaging of the brain. As well as nausea, coagulopathy, and even disseminated intravascular coagulation. Also, when the venom was tested on animals, renal failure was reported. Caution should be taken when dealing with patients who have been bite by the red-necked keelback snake. There should be no further injury such as injections because this may cause excessive bleeding in the bite victim. Although most human bites from R. subminiatus are involved with the front teeth and do not cause adverse effects, rare bites from the rear fangs can be lethal.

Subspecies

Two subspecies are recognized as being valid, including the nominotypical subspecies.

  • Rhabdophis subminiatus helleri
  • Rhabdophis subminiatus subminiatus

The trinomial authority in parentheses indicates that the subspecies was originally described in a genus other than Rhabdophis.

Etymology

The subspecific name, helleri, is in honor of American zoologist Edmund Heller.

Geographic range

The red-necked keelback can be found in the following areas of the world:

  • Indonesia (Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Sulawesi ?)
  • Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma
  • West Malaysia, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal
  • India (Assam, West Bengal district, Sikkim; Arunachal Pradesh Itanagar - Papum Pare district, Mizoram a typo|Selesih}}, World Bank Road)
  • China (Yunnan, Guangxi, Guangdong, Fujian, Hong Kong, Hainan)

The subspecies R. s. helleri can be found in the following locations:

  • Bangladesh
  • Hong Kong
  • India (West Bengal-Jalpaiguri)
  • Laos
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • People's Republic of China
  • Thailand
  • North Vietnam
  • South Vietnam

This article uses material from the Wikipedia released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike Licence 3.0. Please see license details for photos in photo by-lines.

Site notes

This species has nuchal glands, one of very few species of snakes in the world which is both venomous and poisonous. The only other species in Thailand which has nuchal glands is Rhabdophis nigrocinctus in same genus.

Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Reptilia
Order
Squamata
Suborder
Serpentes
Family
Colubridae
Genus
Rhabdophis
Species
Rhabdophis subminiatus

Common names

  • German: Rothals-Wassernatter
  • English: Red-necked keelback
  • Thai: งูลายสาบคอแดง (Ngu lai sap kho daeng)

Subspecies

  • Rhabdophis subminiatus helleri (Karl Patterson Schmidt, 1925)
  • Rhabdophis subminiatus subminiatus (Hermann Schlegel, 1837)

Synonyms

  • Rhabdophis subminiatus, Van Stanley Bartholomew Wallach et al. (2014)
  • Rhabdophis subminiatus helleri, Nguyen Van Sang et al. (2009)
  • Rhabdophis subminiata, R. C. Sharma (2004)
  • Rhabdophis subminiatus, Merel J. Cox et al. (1998)
  • Rhabdophis subminiatus, Ulrich Manthey & Wolfgang Grossmann (1997)
  • Rhabdophis subminiatus helleri, Ermi Zhao et al. (1986)
  • Rhabdophis subminiatus subminiatus, Edward Harrison Taylor (1965)
  • Rhabdophis subminiata helleri, Edward Harrison Taylor (1965)
  • Rhabdophis subminiata, E. V. Malnate (1960)
  • Natrix subminiata, Malcolm Arthur Smith (1943)
  • Rhabdophis himalayanus laobaoensis, fide Malcolm Arthur Smith (1943)
  • Rhabdophis subminiatus subminiatus, René Léon Bourret (1936)
  • Rhabdophis subminiatus, René Léon Bourret (1936)
  • Natrix subminiata subminiata, R. Mell (1931)
  • ?Natrix subminiata hongkongensis, R. Mell (1931)
  • Natrix subminiata helleri, R. Mell (1931)
  • Rhabdophis subminiatus helleri, Karl Patterson Schmidt (1925)
  • Natrix helleri, Karl Patterson Schmidt (1925)
  • Natrix subminiata, Thomas Barbour (1912)
  • Tropidonotus subminiatus, Frank Wall (1908)
  • Pseudoxenodon intermedius, Axel Johan Einar Lönnberg (1899)
  • Tropidonotus subminiatus, George Albert Boulenger (1893)
  • ? Tropidonotus manadensis, Albert Charles Lewis Günther (fide Van Stanley Bartholomew Wallach) (1873)
  • Tropidonotus subminiatus, Albert Charles Lewis Günther (1858)
  • Amphiesma subminiatum, André Marie Constant Duméril & Gabriel Bibron (1854)
  • Rhabdophis subminiatus, Leopold Fitzinger (1843)
  • Tropidonotus subminiatus, Hermann Schlegel (1837)
  • Natrix subminiatus, Friedrich Boie (1827)

Red-necked keelback is found in following locations in Thailand

Please note that this non-official list is not complete nor necessarily accurate. This list is a summary of checklists from other websites, blogs, publications, photo/videos published on various websites or our own findings. We appreciate your contributions with photo proof.

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Red-necked keelback

Red-necked keelback

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Thai National Parks

Rhabdophis subminiatus

Rhabdophis subminiatus

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Thai National Parks

Rhabdophis subminiatus

Rhabdophis subminiatus

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Thai National Parks

Red-necked keelback

Red-necked keelback

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Thai National Parks

Distribution map of Red-necked keelback, Rhabdophis subminiatus in Thailand

Range map of Rhabdophis subminiatus in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are generated automatically based on very limited data we have about the protected sites, the data is not necessarily accurate. Please help us to improve our range maps by sharing your findings/knowledge.