R. subminiatus has a greenish hue with red and yellow regions near the head. It grows to 70 to 90 cm (27.5 to 35.5 in) in total length (including tail).
Habitat and diet
Snakebite and Venom
Rhabdophis subminiatus is a rear-fanged species and was previously thought to be harmless. However, following one fatal and several near-fatal envenomations, the toxicity of its venom was investigated. As a result, it has recently been reclassified as a dangerous species. Rear-fanged snakes need to bite and hold on, or repeatedly bite, to have any effect on humans. A chewing action facilitates envenomation as the venom ducts open to fangs that are externally grooved (not hollow) and are posterior in the oral cavity.R. subminiatus has enlarged and non-grooved teeth. R. subminiatus has two enlarged teeth in the back of the snake’s jaw. Located in the upper jaw is a gland known as the Duvernoy's glands which produces an extremely venomous secretion.
Symptoms caused by venom
When the snake bites, the salivary venom mixture is not injected, but it flows into the punctures produced by the upper jaw’s rear teeth of R. subminiatus, which can penetrate the skin of humans. The venom from R. subminiatus has been responsible for internal hemorrhaging, including hemorrhaging of the brain. As well as nausea, coagulopathy, and even disseminated intravascular coagulation. Also, when the venom was tested on animals, renal failure was reported. Caution should be taken when dealing with patients who have been bitten by the red-necked keelback snake. There should be no further injury such as injections because this may cause excessive bleeding in the bite victim. Although most human bites from R. subminiatus are involved with the front teeth and do not cause adverse effects, rare bites from the rear fangs can be lethal.
The red-necked keelback can be found in the following areas of the world:
- Indonesia (Sumatra, Borneo, Java, Sulawesi ?)
- Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma
- West Malaysia, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal
- India (Assam, West Bengal [Jalpaiguri district], Sikkim; Arunachal Pradesh [Chimpu, Itanagar - Papum Pare district], Mizoram [Selesih, World Bank Road])
- China (Yunnan, Guangxi, Guangdong, Fujian, Hong Kong, Hainan)
The subspecies R. s. helleri can be found in the following locations:
- Hong Kong
- India (West Bengal-Jalpaiguri)
- People's Republic of China
- North Vietnam
- South Vietnam
- Wogan, G. & Chan-Ard, T. (2012). "Rhabdophis subminiatus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2012: e.T192116A2042128. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012-1.RLTS.T192116A2042128.en. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
- "Rhabdophis subminiatus ". The Reptile Database. www.reptile-database.org.
- Ferlan, I.; Ferlan, A.; King, T.; Russell, F.E. "Preliminary studies on the venom of the colubrid snake Rhabdophis subminatus (red-necked keelback)". Toxicon. 21 (4): 570–574. doi:10.1016/0041-0101(83)90137-x.
- Zotz, R.B.; Mebs, D.; Hirche, H.; Paar, D. "Hemostatic changes due to the venom gland extract of the red-necked keelback snake (Rhabdophis subminiatus)". Toxicon. 29 (12): 1501–1508. doi:10.1016/0041-0101(91)90006-d.
- Schmidt, KARL P. 1925 New reptiles and a new salamander from China. American Museum Novitates (157): 1-5. http://digitallibrary.amnh.org/dspace/handle/2246/9
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