Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Xenochrophis vittatus Linnaeus, 1758

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum/Division:Chordata
Class:Reptilia
Order:Squamata
Family:Natricidae
Genus:Xenochrophis
Species:X. vittatus
Common Names:Striped Keelback
Status:Exotic. Common.

Description

The Striped Keelback has a robust body. Its head is distinct from its neck. The dorsal part is black with four yellowish brown stripes extending from the neck to the tail while the ventral is white with a broad black band on each ventral scale. It can grow to a total length of 70 cm.

Read more about the Squamata order.
Read more about the Natricidae family.

Distribution

Sumatra, Pulau Weh, Pulau Bangka and Java. Introduced into Singapore.

Localities

In Singapore, it has been recorded in Jurong, Lim Chu Kang, and Neo Tiew.

Locality Map

General Biology

The Striped Keelback usually inhabits wet areas such as wetlands, ponds, and paddy fields. In Singapore, however, it is found in open fields and scrubland. This specdies was introduced into Singapore possibly in the mid-1980’s when it was first reported. Being non-venomous and mild-mannered, it is not uncommonly kept as pets by children in Indonesia. They are also reportedly being sold in the pet trade.

Diet

It feeds on frogs and fish.

Life Cycle

Oviparous; each clutch consist of 3–11 eggs.

Other Resources

Uetz, P. (editor). The Reptile Database: Xenochrophis vittatus. http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Xenochrophis&species=vittatus. (Accessed October 2012).

References

Baker, N. & K.K.P. Lim, 2008. Wild Animals of Singapore. A Photographic Guide to Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians and Freshwater Fishes. Draco Publishing and Distribution Pte Ltd and Nature Society (Singapore). 180 pp.

Das, I., 2010. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd. 376 pp.

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