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Sarawak Keelback
   
   

Family : NATRICIDAE
Species : Amphiesma sarawacense
Maximum Size : 78 cm

The Sarawak Keelback (or Sarawak Mountain Keelback) inhabits hill and lower montane forest at elevations ranging from 640 to 1700 metres.

It is diurnal and fully terrestrial in habits, preferring forest stream habitats. It feeds on frogs and frog spawn.

The body is moderately slender, and the elongated head slightly wider than the body. The eyes are moderately large.

The body is dark olive (sometimes blackish)  to medium brown above, adorned with numerous  bands. Each band is dark brown in the middle part, and buff on the flanks, thereby creating a chequered pattern. The lip scales are pale - either creamy yellow or orange. The underside is chequered black and yellow/white.

This species occurs in highland areas of Peninsular Malaysia (e.g. Cameron Highlands) and Borneo.


Fig 1 : Specimen found early morning at Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo at around 1700 metres elevation.

Fig 2 : Close-up of the elongate head and typical patterning.  The eye scales are opaque : this snake is probably preparing to shed its skin.

Fig 3 : Close-up of the chequered style of barring along the back.

All photos thanks to Remco Hofland.

Thanks to Evan Quah for assistance in identification.


References : H12, H14





 

 

Fig 1
 
ゥ  Remco Hofland
Fig 2
 
ゥ  Remco Hofland
Fig 3
 
ゥ  Remco Hofland