Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Boiga dendrophila melanota (Boie, 1827)

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum/Division:Chordata
Class:Reptilia
Order:Squamata
Family:Colubridae
Genus:Boiga
Species:B. dendrophila
Sub-species:melanota
Common Names:Gold-ringed Cat Snake
Status:Rare

Description

Measuring up to 2.5 m, this is the biggest and most distinctive of the cat snakes found here. They are black with yellow stripes that do not meet over the back, thus not actually forming a ring, as suggested in its common name. Their throat and anterior ventral are also bright yellow. The body is large, robust and laterally compressed, with the head being distinct from the neck.

Read more about the Squamata order.
Read more about the Colubridae family.

Distribution

Southern Thailand (Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phattalung, Trang, Pattani and Narathiwat Provinces), Cambodia, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, eastern Sumatra, Pulau Belitung, western Sumatra.

Localities

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Central Catchment Nature Reserve, Lazarus Island, Pulau Tekong, St. John's Island, Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve

Locality Map

General Biology

Nocturnal and will forage in the trees, dense undergrowth, on the ground and along riverbanks. When at rest, they are arboreal and can often be found coiled on branches near or overhanging water. They are often found in mangroves which is why it is also commonly known as the Mangrove Snake, but it also inhabits lowland forests and even enters lowland mixed dipterocarp forests. They are mildly venomous.

Diet

Feeds on birds and their eggs, amphibians, lizards, other snakes and even small mammals like shrews and mousedeers.

Life Cycle

Oviparous, they lay 4–15 large eggs per clutch and incubate them over a period of 86 days. Hatchlings resemble the adults and measure about 350–430 mm.

Other Resources

Ecology Asia. 2012. Gold-ringed Cat Snake. http://www.ecologyasia.com/verts/snakes/gold-ringed_cat-snake.htm. (Accessed September 2012).

Uetz, P. (editor). The Reptile Database: Boiga dendrophila. http://reptile-database.reptarium.cz/species?genus=Boiga&species=dendrophila. (Accessed September 2012).

References

Chua, M.A.H. & K.K.P. Lim, 2011. Cat snakes Boiga spp. Pp. 272. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors), Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development. Editions Didier Millet, Singapore, 552 pp.

Cox, M. J., P.P. Van Dijk, J. Nabhitabhata & K. Thirakhupt, 2010. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. New Holland (Publishers) Ltd. 144 pp.

Das, I., 2010. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers (UK) Ltd. 376 pp.

Lim, K.K.P. & F.L.K. Lim, 2002. A Guide to the Amphibians & Reptiles of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 160 pp.

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