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Rhabdophis tigrinus

Tiger Keelback

Venomous 💀💀💀 Dangerous bite ref
Images automatically provided by Flickr & iNaturalist. Sporadic false assignment does occur.


These snakes are hesitant to strike, but they have a potent venom. In the 1970s they were considered being harmless and traded as pets, but a few severe and lethal bites later, they were reclassified as dangerous venomous snakes.


This snake is venomous and poisonous! In addition to its venom gland it has a nuchal gland to store toad toxin. A predator that grabs it by the neck will bite into the poison.
  • Length Adult

  • up to 170 cm ref
  • Length Newborn

  • 16 cm ref
  • Reproduction

  • oviparous ref
  • Pupil Shape (when closed!)

  • round (or oval) ref
  • Fangs

  • ref rear-fanged ref
  • Teeth/Fang Length

  • 2.3 mm ref

Altitude range

Vertical distribution

1500 meter above sea level (a.s.l.) ref

Subspecies & Common Names

Rhabdophis tigrinus  ENGLISH Japanese Garter Snake, Tiger Keelback, GERMAN Tiger Wassernatter, Tiger Wasserotter, Tigernatter, Tigerotter, JAPANESE Yamakagashi, KOREAN 꽃뱀, 유혈목이 ref
Rhabdophis tigrinus tigrinus ref
Rhabdophis tigrinus formosanus CHINESE 台灣赤煉蛇 (Táiwān Chì Liàn Shé), ENGLISH Asian Tiger Snake ref

Full Taxonomy

  • I. Superfamily Colubroidea

  • Colubrids, elapids and vipers
  • II. Family Colubridae

  • Colubrids
  • III. Subfamily Natricinae

  • Natricinae
  • IV. Genus Rhabdophis

  • Keelback snakes
  • V. Species Rhabdophis tigrinus

  • Tiger keelback
  • VI. snakeID

  • 3281
Look up complete taxonomic records of Rhabdophis tigrinus (including synonyms) at THE REPTILE DATABASE (by Peter Uetz et al).