Scientific Name : Atretium schistosum
Family : Colubridae
Tamil Name : Sethu kazhari
Description: Scales keeled. Uniform olive green or olive brown with two series of small black spots along the back, upperlip and underside is yellow, orange or white. Some have a red streak bordering the two colors.
Distribution and status: Common in peninsular India occasionally in the North in Uttar Pradesh and Orissa. Found up to 1,000 m above sea level.
Habitat This is a diurnal water snake found in ponds and tanks .It is common though sometimes called water Cobra, people are tolerant toward this well camouflaged snake
Habits: It can climb well. In still waters it stays with its head peeing out while the rest of the snake inside the mud in the water .It immerses into the mud when disturbed.
Food: Adults feed on tadpoles, fish, frogs and even mosquito larvae.
Life cycle :It lays 12-30 eggs from December through March. Adults grow up to 4.5 cm.A gentle snake but may flatten neck when alarmed.
Role in the environment: It plays a major role as predator in the water in the lake ecosystem. Increase of toxins in the water is reflected in the presence of this snake.
Photo source: Dr.J. Subramanean