Boiga andamanensis

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Boiga andamanensis
Andaman cat snake VP.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Boiga
B. andamanensis
Binomial name
Boiga andamanensis
(Wall, 1909)[1]

Dipsadomorphus andamanensis Wall, 1909

Boiga andamanensis, the Andaman cat snake, is a species of mildly venomous colubrid snake found in the Andaman Islands.


The body is long, thin and laterally flattened, with smooth scales. The head is distinctly broader than the neck; eye large, has vertical pupil; tail long. Pale reddish or grayish brown dorsal back, uniform, or with a series of dark brown vertebral spots or thin cross-lines. Dark colour usually on scale edges. Markings most distinct on forebody. Top of head with faint, dark brown or black lines. Upper lip scales white, the last few with thin black back edges. Indistinct black line from behind eye to angle of mouth. Underside white or yellowish, usually with a series of black spots on each side. Juveniles and sub-adults similarly patterned, and usually dark orange above, paler below. Most scales on top of head vary in shape and size, and are distinctly larger than the upper body scales. Average adult length is approximately 0.85 metres (2.8 ft),[2] but it may grow to lengths of 1.49 metres (4.9 ft).[3]


Scales in 21:21:15 oblique rows, smooth; vertebral scales distinctly enlarged. Ventrals 255–269, strongly angulate laterally; anal entire; subcaudals 118–133, paired. Loreal 1; preocular 1, reaches upper surface of head, often touches frontal; postoculars 2, rarely 3; temporals 3+3 or 3+4; supralabials 8 (3rd to 5th touching eye).

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This species is endemic to the Andaman islands of India. It is a forest species and is also frequently found in thatched roofs of houses.[3]

Behavior and ecology[edit]

This species is nocturnal and arboreal. It is occasionally seen on the ground searching for prey. Generally has a mild disposition but has been observed to strike when approached. If provoked it will raise its forebody, coil into loops, often vibrating its tail and bites readily. It is a rear-fanged snake and has a mild venom which can paralyze small prey.[3] It preys mainly on geckos, small lizards (especially calotes lizards) and rodents but will occasionally eat tree frogs and bats.[2]


  1. ^ Uetz, Peter. "Boiga andamanensis (WALL, 1909)". The Reptile Database. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Boiga andamanensis". Clinical Toxinology Resource. University of Adelaide. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Whitaker, Captain, Romulus, Ashok (2004). Snakes of India, The Field Guide. India: Draco Books. p. 290. ISBN 81-901873-0-9.
  • Whitaker, Romulus and Ashok Captain 2004 Snakes of India. Draco Books, 500 pp.
  • Wall, F. 1909 Remarks on some forms of Dipsadomorphus. Rec. Ind. Mus. 3: 151-155