Tag Archives: cat snake

Green Cat Snake – Venomous – Not Dangerous

Adult green cat-eyed snake, Boiga cyanea found in Southern Thailand

Green Cat-eyed Snake – Boiga cyanea

Length: Up to 186 cm

Description: This is a long, slender green snake (งูเขียว) with a vertically compressed body (shallow vertebral ridge). It is overall green, with a blue tint to it. The eyes are large with vertical pupils. The chin and throat are blue-white. The inside of the mouth is black. Young snakes of this species are brown / red hued with a green head.

This snake is nocturnal and arboreal, but can often be found on the ground as well.

Range: Thailand-wide. Found in evergreen forests, but also found in housing developments. The first one of this species that I found was on my porch at midnight, using my motorbike to reach higher on the windows for geckos. When I followed it, it climbed a small tree and rested about 2.5 meters high until I left the area. Found in a variety of forest types up to 2,100 meters.

Habitat: Bushes and trees.  This snake is an excellent climber.

Active Time? Nocturnal.

Food: Geckos and other lizards appear to be its primary food source, but they will also eat small mammals, birds, eggs, other snakes, and frogs.

Defensive Behavior: I have not seen this snake strike often, they calm down with gentle handling very quickly. Usually they are very calm.

Venom Toxicity: Weak or none. Rear fanged, and the fangs are small and it is not easy for the snake to get a good grip to chew in the venom. That said, at least one instance of significant envenomation has been recorded. Don’t attempt to hand-hold a snake that is biting.

Offspring: Nothing known about this area.

Notes: These are great snakes for first time snake hobbyists to handle for a short time in the wild. If they are striking initially, they quickly calm down when held for a short time. There is a very real danger of misidentification of a small non-venomous B. cyanea with one of the venomous green vipers.

Scientific classification: Boiga cyanea

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Subfamily: Colubrinae
Genus: Boiga
Species: B. cyanea

Binomial name: Boiga cyanea
(Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854)

Video – Green Cat Snake found in Southern Thailand

Video – Green Cat Snake strikes at the camera (not expecting it)

#greensnake #งูเขียว

Night Herping in Southern Thailand – Video

Every few days when I either have some free time, or just reach a point in my snake herping addiction where I MUST GO, I romp around the forest in southern Thailand and try to find cool stuff.

This was a perfect Thailand night. The air was cool and there was even a breeze. The air was not thick and wet, and I wore a long-sleeved shirt and military issue cammies, socks, and running shoes – all things I NEVER wear in southern Thailand unless herping and trying not to be eaten by mosquitoes.

It was very dark on this night – and I think that was a reason for my success. It started out with a small snake slithering off the bank and into the water – very fast, and very small – maybe 8 inches long. In another 10 minutes i saw a 2 meter mangrove snake swimming across one of the small pools of water.

It was ALMOST within reach with my 40 inch tongs – but I just missed him twice. I grabbed slowly and didn’t want him to know I was grabbing at him. He didn’t pick up speed or alter his course – so I think he had no clue something was grabbing for him behind…

He went to the bank – covered with greenery, and just inched up in there and sat. I ran around the lake on the sidewalk and then very slowly crept down to spot he was. I just watched and waited for movement. Nothing. I waited 10 minutes. Nothing. I started pulling apart the vines and water plants that were hiding him. Very slowly. Nothing. I stayed for 10 minutes and pulled up everything around. Nothing. Apparently he slipped under the water and safely away. They are great underwater swimmers, and he must have known I was after him. Bummer. Still, it’s a great feeling to see a 2 meter long snake swimming in the pitch black night air.

I walked further… in 5 more minutes I saw another 2 meter mangrove snake climbing a wall and ready to ease itself into the water. I waited until his head went forward, just over the water, and grabbed with the tongs – GOT HIM.

Unfortunately I couldn’t film the snatch, and now I’m desperate for a GoPro video camera I can strap to my head. This DSLR stuff is for the birds while herping by myself. I asked two guys to come, and neither were interested. WTF! Irrational fears…

Anyway – you see a bit of the snake on video.

Later that night I saw about 4 nice leopard gecko looking geckos – catching 2 to show friends. They freeze when the flashlight is right on them – probably totally blind – and they are easy to grab.

I saw a couple of small owls.

I heard a heavy movement on the hill next to the water. I stopped and listened… it was HEAVY, breaking big twigs loudly. WTF? It had to see me – and yet, it was moving to me, not away.

Initially I thought – big monitor. But I heard no footsteps.

Then I guessed – big reticulated python or Burmese python. Maybe it was looking at me as a meal, or maybe didn’t see me – just saw the flashlight.

There are bears in Thailand – but probably not right there where I was. There are some wild cats – but I don’t think it would be stalking me.

Ok then – enjoy the video.

Snake ID Reader Submission – Oriental Whip Snake

Boiga cyanea - green cat snake on beach in Thailand
Boiga cyanea - green cat snake or Oriental Whip Snake - Ahaetulla prasina - photo credit: Geoff Deady

Geoff Deady sent this great photo of a snake on the beach in Chumphon to have identified.

I couldn’t figure it out for a while.

He said it was about a meter long and 2-3 fingers thick with a reddish tail.

The coloring of the top – and light yellow of the belly make me think – green cat snake (Boiga cyanea). However, if you look at the head it looks like Oriental Whip Snake – Ahaetulla prasina – yes? The thin neck is also more whip snakish – but, the green cat snakes also have a very thin neck near the head.

Green cat snakes have almost viper-like heads when looked at from above, but from the side – more like this. But maybe thicker.

Anyone else want to guess it’s a different snake?

Send your Thailand snake photos in and I’ll attempt to identify them. If I can’t – I’ll leave it to you to figure out.