Caye Bernier

Caye Bernier

Published: 02 Oct 2023


Beddome’s Keelback, also known as the Banded Keelback (Rhabdophis beddomei), is a fascinating snake species that inhabits the rocky hills and grasslands of Southeast Asia. Named after Colonel Richard Henry Beddome, a British army officer and naturalist, this enigmatic snake is known for its distinct banded patterns and unique behaviors.

In this article, we will delve into 17 intriguing facts about Beddome’s Keelback, shedding light on its physical characteristics, habitat, diet, breeding habits, and more. Whether you are a reptile enthusiast, a wildlife lover, or simply curious about the wonders of the animal kingdom, these facts will surely captivate your interest and expand your knowledge about this elusive snake species.

Table of Contents

A Rare Species

Beddome’s Keelback is categorized as a rare and elusive snake species, making it a prized sighting for herpetologists and snake enthusiasts.

Named After an Eminent Naturalist

The snake is named in honor of Richard Henry Beddome, a renowned British army officer and naturalist who extensively explored the flora and fauna of southern India during the 19th century.

Arboreal Habits

Unlike most snake species, Beddome’s Keelback displays remarkable arboreal tendencies, often observed climbing trees and shrubs in search of prey.

Unusual Coloration

The snake exhibits a distinct coloration pattern, featuring a dark brown or black dorsal surface with characteristic bright yellow or orange bands along its body, making it visually striking.

Semi-Aquatic Lifestyle

Beddome’s Keelback is predominantly a semi-aquatic snake, commonly found near water bodies like streams, marshes, and ponds.

Diet consists of Frogssss

This snake species primarily feeds on frogs, carved out as its main dietary preference.

Venomous or Non-Venomous?

Beddome’s Keelback is a non-venomous snake species, posing no threat to humans. It relies on constriction to subdue its prey.

Mysterious Behavior

Not much is known about the behavioral patterns and reproductive habits of Beddome’s Keelback due to its elusive nature, adding to its enigmatic appeal.

Conservation Status

As an endemic species to the Western Ghats, Beddome’s Keelback is recognized as a vulnerable species due to habitat loss and fragmentation caused by human activities.

Widespread Distribution

Despite its rarity, Beddome’s Keelback is known to have a widespread distribution across the Western Ghats, covering states like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Maharashtra.

Expert Swimmers

These snakes are adept swimmers, using their keeled scales and muscular body to navigate through water with ease.

Secretive Nature

Beddome’s Keelback is notoriously elusive and often difficult to spot in the wild, as it prefers to retreat into dense vegetation when disturbed.

Nocturnal Lifestyle

Most active during the night, Beddome’s Keelback comes to life under the cover of darkness, utilizing its sharp senses to hunt for prey.

Camouflaging Abilities

The snake is adept at blending into its surroundings due to its coloration and patterning, allowing it to remain hidden from potential predators.

Life in the Canopy

Beddome’s Keelback is known for its ability to traverse the treetops, often observed basking or hunting in the branches of tall trees.

Important Role in the Ecosystem

As a predator of frogs and other small aquatic creatures, Beddome’s Keelback plays a crucial ecological role in maintaining a balanced ecosystem within its habitat.

Breeding Mysteries

The reproductive behavior and specific mating habits of Beddome’s Keelback remain relatively unknown, adding to the mysteries surrounding this intriguing snake.

These 17 enigmatic facts about Beddome’s Keelback shed light on some of the captivating aspects of this elusive and unique snake species. With its vibrant coloration, arboreal habits, and semi-aquatic lifestyle, the Beddome’s Keelback continues to fascinate researchers and nature enthusiasts alike.


In conclusion, Beddome’s Keelback is a fascinating reptile that possesses several enigmatic qualities. From its unique appearance and behavior to its intriguing conservation status, there is much to learn and appreciate about this species.

As we continue to study and understand more about Beddome’s Keelback, we deepen our appreciation for the incredible diversity of the animal kingdom. By protecting and preserving these creatures and their habitats, we can ensure their continued existence for future generations to marvel at.


Q: Where can Beddome’s Keelback be found?

A: Beddome’s Keelback is primarily found in the Western Ghats region of India.

Q: Are Beddome’s Keelbacks venomous?

A: Yes, Beddome’s Keelbacks are mildly venomous, but their venom is not considered dangerous to humans.

Q: How big do Beddome’s Keelbacks grow?

A: Adult Beddome’s Keelbacks typically measure around 60 centimeters in length.

Q: What do Beddome’s Keelbacks eat?

A: These snakes primarily feed on small fish, amphibians, and invertebrates.

Q: How do Beddome’s Keelbacks reproduce?

A: They are oviparous, laying eggs that hatch after an incubation period.

Q: Are Beddome’s Keelbacks endangered?

A: Yes, Beddome’s Keelbacks are listed as a critically endangered species due to habitat loss and fragmentation.

Q: Can Beddome’s Keelbacks be kept as pets?

A: It is not advisable to keep Beddome’s Keelbacks as pets, as they require specific environmental conditions and diets.

Q: How can I contribute to the conservation of Beddome’s Keelbacks?

A: Supporting local conservation organizations, spreading awareness, and promoting responsible environmental practices can all make a positive impact on their conservation efforts.