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The buff striped keelback is diurnal, and although mostly seen on land, it can readily take to water. It has long rear teeth for catching frogs and toads. The buff striped keelback is nonvenomous and totally harmless. When alarmed, it inflates its body causing the bright interscale colours to be exposed. Sometimes, the snake flattens and narrows its head to form a hood. This behaviour sometimes causes the species to be mistaken by laypersons for a baby cobra.
The buff striped keelback inhabits river banks, marshy areas and wetlands but is also commonly found in fields, open countrysides and overgrown grassy patches during the monsoon season.