The Assam keelback (Herpetoreas pealii), commonly known as Peal's keelback, is a species of snake in the subfamily Natricinae of the family Colubridae. The species is endemic to Northeast India. It has recently been rediscovered after 129 years in Arunachal Pradesh.
The specific name, pealii, is in honor of Samuel E. Peal (died 1897), an ethnographer and tea planter in Assam, who collected the two specimens from which British zoologist William Lutley Sclater described this snake as a species new to science.
H. pealii may attain a total length of 50 cm (19⅝ inches), which includes a tail 12.5 cm (4⅞ inches) long.
Dorsally, it is dark brown. On each side are two light stripes, an upper narrow one, and a broader lower one, which is two scales wide. The top of the head is dark brown. The rostral, the upper labials, and the lower labials are yellow, blotched and edged with brown. The ventrals are very dark brown, marked with light yellow laterally. There is also a faint yellow stripe along the center of the ventrals, which becomes more distinct posteriorly.
- Das, A.; Gower, D. J.; Deepak, V. (2020). "Lost and found: rediscovery and systematics of the Northeast Indian snake Hebius pealii (Sclater, 1891)". Vertebrate Zoology. 70 (3): 305–318. doi:10.26049/VZ70-3-2020-04.
- Species Hebius pealii at The Reptile Database . www.reptile-database.org.
- 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. (Amphiesma pealii, p. 202).
- Boulenger GA (1893). Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume I., Containing the Families ... Colubridæ Aglyphæ, Part. London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiii + 448 pp. + Plates I-XXVIII. (Tropidonotus pealii, pp. 214-215).
- Sclater WL (1891). "Notes on the Collection of Snakes in the Indian Museum with descriptions of several new species". J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal 60: 230-250. (Tropidonotus pealii, new species, p. 241 + Plate VI, figures 4a, 4b, 4c).
- Smith MA (1943). The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-region. Reptilia and Amphibia. Vol. III.—Serpentes. London: Secretary of State for India. (Taylor and Francis, printers). xii + 583 pp. ("Natrix peali [sic]", p. 291).
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