Russell's Kukri Snake

Oligodon taeniolatus


Slender body with smooth scales. Neck is not prominent. Typical Ë� shaped mark is visible on head which is common in other kukri snakes too. There are few patterns of back colorations are available for the species. A) There are pale brown with a series of thin black cross-lines formed by black scale edges; often form four dark brown stripes from head to tail. There may be an additional cream colored stripe along mid back. B) A series of irregular may be with white edged spots; a large median one with smaller ones on each side. C) Large elongateorsquarish, dark brown, black-edged spots, sometimes looks like ‘8’. D) Large dark brown spots, edged with black, then white. Spots paired or alternate on opposite sides of vertebral line. Belly white or cream; edge of belly scales, basically the outer edges are observed with small dark brown or black spots.

Length: 1ft to maximum 1.91ft.


Scales in 15 rows at midbody. Ventrals: males 157-201, females 154-219, slightly angulate laterally; anal divided; subcaudals 27-59, paired. Supralabials 7 (3rd and 4th touching eye), rarely 6 or 8; loreal 1; preocular 1 (rarely a presubocular); temporal 1+2.

Habitat and Reproduction:

They are found in Sal forest and near human habitations.Climbs well.Eats reptiles and amphibian eggs.Mating occurs in the mid summers and female lays 3- 9 eggs in late June.


They flatten their body when threated, generally docile but can strike sidewise if provoked. This species is non-venomous, so does not pose any threat to human.


Distributionsare recorded from mainland India except Northeast, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and higher altitudinal ranges. This species is also recorded from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. They are limited to forest areas but can also be found near human habitations. Individuals of this species were recorded from areas of Dhawalpur range of Udanti-Sitanadi Tiger Reserve, Chhattisgarh.




Road killing and resemblance with vipers pose serious threat for Russell’s kukri snake. Deforestation and habitat loss also make this species vulnerable. 

Important Tags

Russellâs Kukri Snake Colubridae Oligodon taeniolatus

Russell's Kukri Snake
Scientific Name
Oligodon taeniolatus
Kukri Sanp
Venom Type
Look Like
Saw scaled viper and Common cat snake


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