The size of E. carinatus ranges between 38 and 80 cm. in total length (body + tail), but usually no more than 60 cm. Head distinct from neck, snout very short and rounded. The nostril between three shields, and head covered with small keeled scales, among which an enlarged supraocular is sometimes present. There are 9-14 interocular scales across the top of the head and 14-21 circumorbital scales. 1-3 rows of scales separate the eye from the supralabials. There are 10-12 supralabials, the fourth usually largest, and 10-13 sublabials.