Green Keelback

Macropisthodon plumbicolor


Stout bodied with keeled scales. Scales on head are smooth, large and variable in size. Large eye has round pupil. Overall, bright or dull green coloration is mostly known for the species. Sometimes individuals can be found with faint irregular black cross-lines. Belly is grayish or glossy white. Young snakes have a bright yellow or rarely orange Ë shaped mark on neck and bordered on both sides by a dark blue-black area. Also green keelback have a black stripe from eye to angle of mouth. These markings are absent in adults.


Length: 1.6ft to maximum 3.13ft



Scales in 23 or 25:25 or 27:17 or 19 rows. India. Ventrals144-162; subcaudal paired: males 39-48, females 34-43. Sri Lanka. Ventrals (fide Taylor) 151-154; subcaudals paired: males 40-45, females 37-47. Common characters: anal usually divided; loreal often united with lower preocular; preoculars 2; postoculars 3 or 4; temporal 2+3; supralabials 7 (3rd and 4th touching eye).


Habitat and Reproduction

They are found in grass and low vegetation; also in gardens in towns and cities within range. Prefer toads to all other prey. Green keelbackis oviparous and lays eggs in a clutch of 8-14 in August-September (observed in Bangalore).



Non venomous in nature, very gentle and inoffensive but if frightened then may flatten neck and lift off the ground to alert the threat. They can flatten the whole body on the ground and show blue and/or white interscale coloration. They are not venomous so harmless to human but bite can be painful.



In India this species is distributed in the Central and Peninsular part. Commonly found in parts of Maharashtra. This species was recorded in Rajnandangao district in Chhattisgarh. Also have records from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. They are recorded up to 2000m from sea level.




Road killing and habitat loss made this species vulnerable. Often this species is mistaken as green pit viper and killed.

Important Tags

Green KeelbackColubridae Macropisthodon plumbicolor

Green Keelback
Scientific Name
Macropisthodon plumbicolor
Hara Dhoria
Venom Type
Look Like
Green pit viper


Bio-Diversity OF CG

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