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Rhabdop submin 080217-4693 ipb.jpg
Rhabdophis subminiatus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Natricinae
Genus: Rhabdophis
Fitzinger, 1843

27, see text.

Rhabdophis is a genus of snakes in the subfamily Natricinae of the family Colubridae. Species in the genus Rhabdophis are generally called keelback snakes, and are found primarily in Southeast Asia.


While the term "poisonous snake" is often incorrectly used for a wide variety of venomous snakes, some species of Rhabdophis are in fact poisonous. Keelback snakes have glands that secrete poison they ingest from eating poisonous toads. While both venom and poison are toxins, a venom requires direct delivery, for instance subcutaneously through a snake bite, but can be ingested without harm. A poison can also be absorbed indirectly, e.g., by touch or through the digestive system.[1]


The following species are recognized as being valid.[2]

Nota bene: A binomial authority in parentheses indicates that the species was originally described in a genus other than Rhabdophis.


  1. ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/qi/7995002/QI-Quite-Interesting-facts-about-deadly-poisons.html
  2. ^ Genus Rhabdophis at The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database.org.
  3. ^ a b Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Rhabdophis barbouri, p. 16; R. swinhonis, p. 258).

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Fitzinger L (1843). Systema Reptilium, Fasciculus Primus, Amblyglossae. Vienna: Braumüller & Seidel. 106 pp. + indices. (Rhabdophis, new genus, p. 27). (in Latin).