Rhabdophis subminiatus helleri (Schlegel, 1837)
Red-necked Keelback 紅脖游蛇

Rhabdophis subminiatus
Squamata 有鱗目
Serpentes 蛇亞目
Family Colubridae 游蛇科
Genus Rhabdophis 頸槽蛇屬
Species Rhabdophis subminiatus helleri
Other name -
Chinese name 紅脖頸槽蛇北方亞種, 紅脖頸槽蛇
Total length

Average 70 - 90 cm, may grow up to 110 cm.


Back olive-green with a conspicuous red patch on neck, which may have a black border in front of it.
Many black and yellow reticulations, which become visible when the snake inflates its neck and forebody.
Ventrals greenish grey or greenish yellow.
Hatchlings and juveniles have conspicuous grey head with protruding eyes and the red patch is heavily bordered with yellow and black at the front. Yellow and black border usually fades in adults.
Two irregular black streaks may also be present between eye and upper labials.
Two enlarged teeth in the posterior of upper jaw.
Scales moderately keeled.
Venomous and dangerous to humans but poisoning only occurs when the bitten by rear teeth and most bites involve only the front teeth.


Hilly and mountainous forest or shrublands, usually found in the proximity of water.
Present at all elevations, but is never found in large cultivated plains.


Both diurnal and nocturnal, but is more commonly seen by day.
Seldom found underneath objects. Often seen crossing paths and or hunting for toads inside catchwaters.
Not an aggressive species, but attention should be paid anyhow when approaching this snake.


Feeds well in captivity. Adults eat frogs and prefer toads in particular.
Juveniles also take tadpoles and to a much lesser extent fishes.


Oviparous. Lays eggs from mid-May to end of July.


A very widespread, common species that can be found throughout Hong Kong except on small islands.
Widely distributed in southern China, northern Thailand and Laos.

Conservation Status IUCN Redlist: NE (Not Evaluated)
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