Thai National Parks

Reptiles of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Red cat snake

Binomial name: Boiga nigriceps (Albert Charles Lewis Günther, 1863)

The black-headed cat snake (Boiga nigriceps) gets its name from the greenish to blackish colouration of its head. Neonates and juveniles do not exhibit this dark colour on the head until adulthood. The body colour ranges from brown to orange and red to black. The ventrals are yellowish below the neck and white for the rest. They are large snakes; adults may attain a total length of 1.7 m frac=2. They are quite aggressive and hardy in nature.


Indonesia, Borneo, Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand


The black-headed cat snake is arboreal, but frequently comes down to the ground in search of prey. They occupy lowland and mid-elevation tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia.


The black-headed cat snake feeds on lizards, frogs, birds, small mammals and other snakes in the wild.

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Scientific classification

Boiga nigriceps

Common names

  • German: Schwarzköpfige Nachtbaumnatter
  • English: Red cat snake, Black-headed cat snake
  • Thai: งูต้องไฟ


  • Boiga nigriceps brevicauda (Malcolm Arthur Smith, 1926) - Indonesia (Siberut, Sipora)
  • Boiga nigriceps nigriceps (Albert Charles Lewis Günther, 1863) - Thailand, China (Guangxi), Indonesia, Malaysia


  • Boiga nigriceps brevicaudata, Nikolai L. Orlov & Sergei A. Ryabov (2002)
  • Boiga nigriceps, Merel J. Cox et al. (1998)
  • Boiga nigriceps, Ulrich Manthey & Wolfgang Grossmann (1997)
  • Boiga nigriceps, Michael Wilmer Forbes Tweedie (1950)
  • Boiga nigriceps brevicauda, Malcolm Arthur Smith (1926)
  • Dipsadomorphus nigriceps, Franz Werner (1913)
  • Boiga nigriceps, Thomas Barbour (1912)
  • Dipsadomorphus nigriceps, George Albert Boulenger (1896)
  • Dipsas hoffmanseggii, Wilhelm Karl Hartwich Peters (1867)
  • Dipsas nigriceps, Albert Charles Lewis Günther (1863)

Red cat snake is found in following locations in Thailand

Please note that this non-official list is not complete nor necessarily accurate. This list is a summary of checklists from other websites, blogs, publications, photo/videos published on various websites or our own findings. We appreciate your contributions with photo proof.

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Boiga nigriceps

Boiga nigriceps

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Boiga nigriceps (young)

Boiga nigriceps (young)

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Range map of Boiga nigriceps in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are generated automatically based on very limited data we have about the protected sites, the data is not necessarily accurate. Please help us to improve our range maps by sharing your findings/knowledge.