India is home to a rich variety of wildlife, including several species of snakes. One of the most interesting and commonly found snakes in India is the Checkered Keelback snake, scientifically known as Xenochrophis piscator. This snake species is known for its unique features, habitat, and importance to the ecosystem.
|Name||Indian Checkered Keelback snake|
|Scientific Name||Xenochrophis piscator|
|Colour||Black and yellow checkered pattern|
|Length||Average length of 3-4 feet|
|Habitat||Freshwater habitats such as ponds, marshes, and rice fields|
|Food Habits||Fish, frogs, and small reptiles|
|Indian States where it’s found||Almost all parts of India, including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala|
|IUCN status||Least Concern|
The Checkered Keelback snake is a non-venomous snake that has a slender and elongated body, making it agile and fast. It has a distinctive checkered pattern on its skin, with alternating black and yellow stripes. The average length of the Checkered Keelback snake is around 3-4 feet, and it weighs between 200-500 grams. They are relatively lightweight, which allows them to move quickly, and they can swim well due to their flattened and broadened tails.
Habitat and food
The Checkered Keelback snake is mainly found near freshwater habitats, such as ponds, marshes, and rice fields. They are typically found in the Indian subcontinent, including India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The Checkered Keelback snake is a diurnal snake species, which means it is most active during the day. Its diet mainly consists of fish, frogs, and small reptiles, making it a valuable predator that helps maintain the balance of the ecosystem.
Where is it found in India
The Checkered Keelback snake is widely distributed and can be found in almost all parts of India, from the Himalayan foothills to the southern tip of India. It is commonly found in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala, among others.
Importance to ecosystem
The Checkered Keelback snake is an essential species in the ecosystem as it helps control the population of several small animals like fish, frogs, and other reptiles. By preying on these animals, it helps maintain the food chain’s equilibrium, ensuring the survival of several species in the ecosystem. Moreover, the Checkered Keelback snake also helps control the spread of disease by consuming infected animals like rats and mice.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Checkered Keelback snake is classified as a species of “Least Concern” because of its widespread distribution and stable population. However, habitat loss due to human activities, such as deforestation and urbanization, can pose a threat to the snake’s survival.
The Checkered Keelback snake is a fascinating and valuable species in the Indian ecosystem. Its unique features, such as its checkered pattern and swimming ability, make it an interesting species to observe. Moreover, its role in controlling the population of small animals like fish and frogs helps maintain the balance of the ecosystem, making it an important predator. Protecting its natural habitat and ensuring its survival is crucial to maintaining the overall biodiversity of the country.