The mangrove snake or gold-ringed 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; although moderate envenomations resulting in intense swelling have been reported, there has never been a confirmed fatality.
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.
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, they are 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 their nervous nature and the fact that a bite can cause pain and injury.)
- Boiga dendrophila occidentalis - Indonesia (Babi, Batu Archipelago, Nias, Sumatra)
- Boiga dendrophila annectens - Indonesia (Kalimantan); Brunei Darussalam; East Malaysia
- Boiga dendrophila dendrophila - Indonesia(Java); Borneo.
- Boiga dendrophila divergens - Philippine Islands (Luzon, Polillo)
- Boiga dendrophila gemmicincta - Indonesia (Sulawesi).
- Boiga dendrophila latifasciata - Philippine Islands (Mindanao)
- Boiga dendrophila levitoni - Panay (and probably other islands of the West Visayas region)
- Boiga dendrophila melanota: S Thailand, West Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia (Sumatra)
- Boiga dendrophila multicincta: Philippine Islands (Balabac, Palawan)
The venom of mangrove snakes is not considered life-threatening to humans, and they have been kept as pets.
- 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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