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Sri Lanka blossom krait
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Balanophis
Species: B. ceylonensis
Binomial name
Balanophis ceylonensis

Balanophis is a monotypic genus of the Colubridae family of snakes with the species Balanophis ceylonensis. It is endemic to island of Sri Lanka. The snake is commonly known as Sri Lanka blossom krait, or as Sri Lanka keelback and as මල් කරවලා (Mal Karawala) or නිහලුවා (nihaluwa) in Sinhala. It is a moderately venomous snake.


It is a poorly-known snake from wet and some parts of intermediate forests in the lowlands and midhills of Sri Lanka. Nuchal glands extends to anterior level of body.


Midbody scale rows 19. Ventrals 131-141. Subcaudals 40-54.


It is a slow-moving and when threatened, raised the anterior parts of body to expose the red patch on neck. Diet comprises frogs, while hatchlings are known to eat orthopterans.


Oviparous. About 7 eggs are produced at a time, measuring 19-22 × 9.5-13.2mm. Hatching in March to produce young ones measuring 102mm.


Head distinct from neck, eyes are large with round pupils. Dorsum is olive-brown in color, with black cross-bars that enclose a series of large yellow or red, black-edged spots, and interstitial skin is red.