The Buff striped keelback is a small nonvenomous colubrid snake. It is generally olive-brown to gray in color and has keeled scales on the dorsal surface of its body. Two yellow stripes along the length and to the sides of the spine are the distinctive feature of this snake. These stripes are diffuse at the head and are especially bright on the second half of its body. The sides of the head are yellow, and the head tapers to form a distinctive neck. The nape is red during the breeding season. The chin and throat are white or sometimes orange. There are black vertical markings in front of and behind the large eyes of this snake. Its eyes have large round pupils with golden flecks on the iris.
Buff striped keelbacks are found throughout South and Southeast Asia. They inhabit well-watered lowland plains and hills and often frequent cultivated areas.
Buff striped keelbacks are diurnal, and although mostly seen on land, they can readily take to the water. They lead a solitary life and typically aestivate during hot weather and appear at the end of summer. They are abundant during the rains. In north India, they hibernate 25 to 45 cm (about 10 to 18 inches) under the ground in soil, amongst grassroots. Buff striped keelbacks are totally harmless. When alarmed, these snakes inflate their body exposing the bright interscale colors. Sometimes, they flatten and narrow their head to form a hood. This behavior sometimes causes the species to be mistaken by laypersons for a baby cobra.
Buff striped keelbacks are oviparous (egg-laying) and breed during the aestivation period. Gravid females have been found from April to August and eggs are laid in underground holes from May to September. Females lay a clutch of 5 to 10 pure white eggs and remain with their clutch till the eggs hatch. The young snakes are 13 to 17 cm at birth and are able to hunt small frogs, tadpoles, fish, earthworms, and insects.
Buff striped keelbacks are common throughout their native range and don't face any major threats at present.
Presently, the Buff striped keelback is not included in the IUCN Red List and its conservation status has not been evaluated.