Thai National Parks

Reptiles of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Red cat snake

Thai: งูต้องไฟ, ngu tong fai

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.

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.

Diet

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

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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:
    • Red cat snake
    • Black-headed 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)

Boiga nigriceps

Boiga nigriceps

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Thai National Parks

Boiga nigriceps (young)

Boiga nigriceps (young)

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Thai National Parks

Range map of Boiga nigriceps 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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