Definition of keelback in English:

keelback

Line breaks: keel|back
Pronunciation: /ˈkiːlbak
 
/

noun

  • A harmless Australian snake which lives close to water, where it feeds exclusively on frogs and the cane toad, whose venom it is immune to.
    • Amphiesma mairii, family Colubridae
    More example sentences
    • The narrow bands of speckled scales which adorn the body and tail are also a typical keelback pattern.
    • The keelbacks living in fields are gentle little snakes.
    • We recommend that the red-necked keelback be considered a dangerous animal and the public be discouraged from keeping it as a pet.

Origin

so named because each scale on the back has a keel.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day maelstrom
Pronunciation: ˈmeɪlstrəm
noun
a powerful whirlpool in the sea