Boiga dendrophila

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gold-ringed cat snake
Boiga dendrophila.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Genus: Boiga
Species: B. dendrophila
Binomial name
Boiga dendrophila
(Boie, 1827)

Dipsas dendrophila Boie, 1827
Triglyphodon dendrophilum Duméril & Bibron, 1854
Dipsadomorphus dendrophilus Boulenger, 1896

The gold-ringed cat snake or mangrove cat snake (Boiga dendrophila) is a species of rear-fanged colubrid. It is one of the biggest cat snake species, averaging 6–8 feet (1.8-2.4 m) in length. It is considered mildy-venomous, but moderate envenomations resulting in intense swelling have been reported, though there has never been a confirmed fatality.[1]

Mangrove Cat Snake from Singapore


Snout longer than eye; rostral more broad than deep, visible from above; internasals as long as or shorter than the prae-frontals; frontal as long as or slightly shorter than its distance from the tip of the snout; loreal as long as deep or more long; a praeocular extending to the upper surface of the head, not reaching the frontal; two postoculars; temporals 2 + 2 or 2 + 3; eight (nine) upper labials, third to fifth entering the eye; four or five lower labials in contact with the anterior chin-shields; latter as long as or longer than the posterior; anterior palatine teeth not much larger than the posterior. Scales in 21 (23) rows, vertebral row enlarged; ventrals 2O9-239; anal entire; subcaudals 89 no. Black above, with yellow transverse bands, continuous or not extending across the back; labials yellow, with black edges. Lower surface black or bluish, uniform or speckled with yellow; throat yellow. Total length 2310 mm.[2]


Mostly nocturnal, it is a potentially aggressive snake. Even captive bred specimens can be nervous and may strike repeatedly. Although many specimens will calm down and allow handling with appropriate safety equipment, they are normally easily stressed and may refuse food for extended periods of time if disturbed.


Indonesia (Bangka, Belitung, Borneo, Java, Sulawesi, Riau Archipelago, Sumatra), India, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippine Islands (Panay).


Boiga dendrophila divergens


Ironically, the mangrove snake is found more often in lowland rainforests than mangrove swamps, from which it is named.


The mangrove snake feeds on reptiles, birds, and small mammals in the wild.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Rooij, Nelly de. 1915. The reptiles of the Indo-Australian archipelago. Volume 2.Leiden.


  • Boie, F. 1827 Bemerkungen über Merrem's Versuch eines Systems der Amphibien, 1. Lieferung: Ophidier. Isis van Oken, Jena, 20: 508-566.
  • Brongersma,L.D. 1934 Contributions to Indo-Australian herpetology. Zool. Med. 17: 161-251
  • Ryabov, Sergei A. and Nikolai L. Orlov. 2002 Breeding of Black Mangrove Snake Boiga dendrophila gemmicincta (Duméril, Bibron et Duméril, 1854) (Serpentes: ColubridaColubrinae) from Sulawesi Island (Indonesia). Russ. J. Herpetol. 9 (1): 77-79

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