Boiga dendrophila

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Boiga dendrophila
Mangrovennachtbaumnatter (Boiga dendrophila).JPG
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Boiga
B. dendrophila
Binomial name
Boiga dendrophila
(F. Boie, 1827)

Boiga dendrophila, commonly called the mangrove snake or the gold-ringed cat snake, is a species of rear-fanged snake in the family Colubridae. The species is endemic to southeast Asia. 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. Although moderate envenomations resulting in intense swelling have been reported, there has never been a confirmed fatality.[1]


B. dendrophila has the following characters: 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 209-239; anal entire; subcaudals 89. 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 (including tail) 231 cm (7 ft 7 in).[2]


Mostly nocturnal, B. dendrophila 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, it is normally easily stressed and may refuse food for extended periods of time if disturbed. Handling, of course, should involve safety precautions for the handler, due to the snake's nervous nature and the fact that a bite can cause pain and injury.[citation needed]

Geographic range[edit]

B. dendrophila is found in Cambodia, Indonesia (Bangka, Belitung, Borneo, Java, Riau Archipelago, Sulawesi, Sumatra), Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.[3]


Including the nominotypical subspecies, nine subspecies are recognized as being valid.[3]

Nota bene: A trinomial authority in parentheses indicates that the subspecies was originally described in a genus other than Boiga.

The subspecific name, levitoni, is in honor of American herpetologist Alan E. Leviton (born 1930).[4]


Despite one of its common names, mangrove snake, B. dendrophila is found more often in lowland rainforests than in the mangrove swamps from which its common name is derived.[citation needed]


B. dendrophila feeds on reptiles, birds, and small mammals in the wild.[citation needed]


The venom of B. dendrophila is not considered life-threatening to humans, and it has been kept as a pet.[citation needed]



  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-01-15. Retrieved 2012-11-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Rooij, Nelly de (1915). The Reptiles of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. II. Ophidia. Leiden: E.J. Brill Ltd. xiv + 334 pp. (Dipsadomorphus dendrophilus, pp. 197-198, Figure 76).
  3. ^ a b Species Boiga dendrophila at The Reptile Database .
  4. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Boiga dendrophila levitoni, p. 157).

Further reading[edit]

  • Boie F (1827). "Bemerkungen über Merrem's Versuch eines Systems der Amphibien, 1. Lieferung: Ophidier ". Isis van Oken, Jena 20: 508-566. (Dipsas dendrophila, p. 549). (in German and Latin).
  • Boulenger GA (1896). Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume III. Containing the Colubridæ (Opisthoglyphæ and Proteroglyphæ) ... London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiv + 727 pp. + Plates I-XXV. (Dipsadomorphus dendrophilus, pp. 70–71). (includes new variations: annectens, latifasciatus, melanotus, multicinctus).
  • Brongersma LD (1934). "Contributions to Indo-Australian herpetology". Zool. Med. 17: 161-251. (Boiga brongersma, p. 200).
  • Das I (2006). A Photographic Guide to Snakes and other Reptiles of Borneo. Sanibel Island, Florida: Ralph Curtis Books. 144 pp. ISBN 0-88359-061-1. (Boiga dendrophila, p. 22).
  • Ryabov, Sergei A.; Orlov, Nikolai L (2002). "Breeding of Black Mangrove Snake Boiga dendrophila gemmicincta (Duméril, Bibron et Duméril, 1854) (Serpentes: Colubridae: Colubrinae) from Sulawesi Island (Indonesia)". Russ. J. Herpetol. 9 (1): 77-79.