Thai National Parks

Snakes of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Black-headed cat snake

Boiga nigriceps, Albert Charles Lewis Günther, 1863

(In Thai: งูต้องไฟ, ngu tong fai)

Boiga nigriceps (black-headed cat snake) is a species of colubrid snake from South-East Asia. They are large snakes; adults may attain a total length of 1.75 m frac=2.

Description

It gets its name from the greenish to blackish coloration of its head. Neonates and juveniles do not exhibit this dark color on the head until adulthood. The body color ranges greatly from brown, orange, red, and even black. The ventral region of the snake is yellowish below the neck and white for the rest.

Subspecies

Two subspecies are recognized:

  • Boiga nigriceps nigriceps (Günther, 1863)
  • Boiga nigriceps brevicauda Smith, 1926

Distribution

Indonesia, Borneo, Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand.

Habitat

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.

Venom

Little is known about the black-headed cat snake's venom toxicity on humans, but it is thought to be comparable to the severity of a copperhead. This rear fanged colubrid's bite rarely results in adverse effects due to its poor venom delivery system. Luckily their fangs' positioning doesn't result in any significant envenomation.

Symptoms tend to stay localized to the envenomation site, limiting the victim to minor pain.

Diet

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

This article uses material from Wikipedia released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike Licence 3.0. Eventual photos shown in this page may or may not be from Wikipedia, please see the license details for photos in photo by-lines.

Scientific classification

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

Common names

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

Subspecies

  • Boiga nigriceps brevicauda, Malcolm Arthur Smith, 1926

    Range: Indonesia (Siberut, Sipora)

  • Boiga nigriceps nigriceps, Albert Charles Lewis Günther, 1863

    Range: Thailand, China (Guangxi), Indonesia, Malaysia

Synonyms

  • 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)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Range Map

Distribution map of Black-headed cat snake, Boiga nigriceps in Thailand
Range map of Boiga nigriceps in Thailand