Thai National Parks

Reptiles of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Green cat snake

Thai: งูเขียวบอน, ngu khiaow bon

Binomial name: Boiga cyanea, André Marie Constant Duméril, Gabriel Bibron & Auguste Duméril, 1854

Boiga cyanea is a Colubrid snake species found in South Asia, China and South-east Asia.

Description & Identification

Physical Structure: Medium to large in length, slightly compressed, medium bodied snake with a moderately long tail. Head distinct from narrow neck with a rounded snout. Eyes large in size with vertically elliptical pupils. Dorsal scales smooth with single or double apical pits. Ventrals with a feeble lateral keels.Dorsal scale count usually 21 - 21 ( 23 ) - 15. Its long prehensile tail makes it purely arboreal.

Color Pattern: Dorsal color uniform green or green mixed with grayish or bluish. Belly color greenish or yellowish white. Top of the head usually similar to dorsal color or sometimes of brownish tint. Upper lip color yellowish; most of head scaled margined with black. Eyes golden brown. Hatchlings are reddish brown with a green head. The color of the hatchlings starts to change after 8–9 months of age.

Length: Maximum: 190 cm. Common: 115 cm. (SVL. 87 cm.) (Ratio-).

Distribution

The green cat snake found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China (Yunnan- part), India (Sikkim, Darjeeling & Jalpaiguri, West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands), Laos, Malaysia (West), Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand (incl. Phuket) and Vietnam.

Habit & Habitat

Habitat: Terrestrial & arboreal; inhabits primary and secondary forests, including montane zones, and can also be found at sea level in coastal forests.

Habit: Nocturnal. Occasionally seen on the ground searching for prey. Very mild disposition, sluggish, and makes no attempt to escape when approached or when handled. Difficult to provoke into striking. By day stays coiled up amongst tree branches, but by night actively hunts for prey.

Diet: Carnivorous; feeds mainly on lizards. Also takes frogs, birds, rodents and also other snakes. This rear fanged & mildly venomous snake can paralyze small prey. If threatened, it will become hostile and posture with a wide open mouth.

Reproduction: Oviparous; Eggs are laid approximately 42–50 days after mating and lays 7-14 eggs from late Winters to late Summers; incubation period approximately 85 days.

Human uses

Found in pet trade. Play rolls on eco-system by eating various types of creatures and otherwise.

Threat to humans

Belongs to the rearfanged snakes and mildly venomous and cause neurotoxic venom effect, but usually be counted as harmless to humans as they are not very aggressive. If provoked may cause bite.

Advice: Bites by this species not expected to cause medically significant effects and the only risk, probably small, local secondary infection. Patients presenting with bites by these snakes do not require medical attention, other than to check for infection and ensure tetanus immune status. Patients should be advised to return if local symptoms develop, suggesting secondary infection. Bites unlikely to cause more than mild to moderate local swelling & pain, occasionally local bruising, paresthesia/numbness, erythema or bleeding, but no necrosis and no systemic effects. While most cases will be minor, not requiring admission, some cases will be more severe, requiring admission and treatment, so assess carefully before early discharge.

IUCN threat status

Not Evaluated (NE).

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Reptilia
Order
Squamata
Suborder
Serpentes
Family
Colubridae
Genus
Boiga
Species
Boiga cyanea

Common names

  • German:
    • Grüne Katzennatter
    • Grüne Nachtbaumnatter
  • English: Green cat snake
  • Thai: งูเขียวบอน, ngu khiaow bon

Synonyms

  • Boiga cyanea, Van Stanley Bartholomew Wallach et al. (2014)
  • Boiga cyanea, Jelmer Groen (2008)
  • Boiga cyanea, Merel J. Cox et al. (1998)
  • Boiga cyanea, Ulrich Manthey & Wolfgang Grossmann (1997)
  • Boiga cyanea, Ludwig Trutnau (1986)
  • Boiga cyanea, Malcolm Arthur Smith (1943)
  • Boiga cyanea, Frank Wall (1924)
  • Dipsadomorphus cyanea, Evans (1905)
  • Dipsadomorphus cyanea, George Albert Boulenger (1896)
  • Dipsas cyanea, George Albert Boulenger (1890)
  • Dipsas hexagonata, John Anderson (1871)
  • Dipsas hexagonatus, Ferdinand Stoliczka (1870)
  • Dipsas bubalina, Albert Charles Lewis Günther (1864)
  • Dipsas hexagonatus, Edward Blyth (1856)
  • Dipsas nigromarginata, Edward Blyth (1854)
  • Triglyphodon cyaneum, André Marie Constant Duméril & Gabriel Bibron (1854)
Distribution map of Green cat snake, Boiga cyanea in Thailand
  • Ban Na San District, Surat Thani
  • Dan Sai District, Loei
  • Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
  • Kaeng Tana National Park
  • Kantang District, Trang
  • Khao Khitchakut District, Chanthaburi
  • Khao Lak - Lam Ru National Park
  • Khao Luang National Park
  • Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Sok National Park
  • Khao Tha Petch Wildlife Conservation and Developme
  • Khao Yai National Park
  • Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khueang Nai District, Ubon Ratchathani
  • Ko Lanta District, Krabi
  • Ko Pha-ngan District, Surat Thani
  • Ko Samui District, Surat Thani
  • Kra Buri District, Ranong
  • Mae Ngao National Park
  • Mueang Krabi District, Krabi
  • Mueang Phuket District, Phuket
  • Na Haeo District, Loei
  • Namtok Phlio National Park
  • Phu Khiao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Phu Phan District, Sakon Nakhon
  • Phu Suan Sai National Park
  • Phu Toei National Park
  • Phu Wiang District, Khon Kaen
  • Phu Wua Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Phuket Province
  • Sakaerat Environmental Research Station
  • Thalang District, Phuket
  • Umphang District, Tak
  • Watthana Nakhon District, Sa Kaeo

Range map of Boiga cyanea in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits and Parinya Pawangkhanant for their help with many range data.

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