The Mangrove snake (Boiga dendrophila) can be commonly called the yellow-ringed cat Snake, gold-ringed cat snake or mangrove cat snake. That is a 9 subspecies recognized.
These rear-fanged colubrid snakes are found in southeast Asia, and believed to be somewhat venomous, and not considered dangerous to humans.
The mangrove snakes have been located in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia and Philippines.
They belong to the Boiga genus, the cat-eyed cat or snakes snakes, that this genus of the family Colubridae is constituted of more than 30 species. They’re one of the greatest cat snake species, averaging between 8 and 6 ft (1.8 to 2.4 m) in length.
The mangrove snake upper body is jet black and coated with thin yellow and evenly spaced stripes, occasionally these rings meet at the peak of the body. The chin and throat surface are bright yellow, and the interior of the mouth is whitish, similar to the cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus).
They have big eyes with vertical pupils much like those of cats, it’s clear where some of their ordinary names derive from.
Despite their shared name the mangrove snake occupies coastal both lowland forests and mangrove swamps found during their tropical and tropical selection. These snakes are available both near fresh or brackish water bodies.
All these snakes are mostly active at night by day they lie motionless on overhanging tree branches. The mangrove snake is also a very competent swimmer.
The mangrove snakes are sometimes misidentified and confused with the deadly Banded Krait (Bungarus fasciatus) in which their range overlaps.
How poisonous is a mangrove snake?
The mangrove snake is a rear-fanged species and believed only mildly venomous, and there has not been a confirmed human fatality.
Contrary to pit vipers or cobras rear-fanged snake venom delivery system doesn’t possess a highly improved venom receptor, duct system or venom fangs. The mangrove snake only contains slightly enlarged back teeth that must purify the skin to permit venom to go into the wound.
All these “fangs” have hooks and therefore are angled backward, which makes somewhat simpler for the venom to join the bite wound.
However, their fangs are also small making it challenging to deliver a sting on a human arm or leg, and inject. Sometimes to efficiently transfer the venom into even a small animal they actually have to chew in their prey.
Mild envenomations in people leading to skin discoloration swelling, bleeding that was powerful and wounds have been reported. A few specimens will readily bite and have an unpredictable character even though these appear to be snakes that are beatiful.
Like other venomous snakes there’s ongoing research of its venom. In the future it possibly utilised to produce therapies to cardiovascular disease or cancer, also one day can save lives.
What do Mangrove snake eat?
The snakes becomes busy at night descending into the floor in their basking overhanging branches to seek out.
They are opportunistic predators that feed on frogs, small birds and their eggs, fish, bats, rodents and at times feed on other snakes. Juvenile snakes prey largely on occasion and on frogs or lizards slugs. .
They use their venom to trap the prey, it is gentle venom might be harmless to people, but it’s extremely effective against the animals on.
Mangrove snake Reproduction
All these snakes are oviparous, which means that the mangrove snake is an egg layer species, females lay clutches averaging 4 to 15 eggs which hatch after an incubation period of about 12 weeks.
The hatchlings measure about 35 to 43 cm and resemble snakes in coloration and pattern.
Mangrove snake Species
Within this species like in several other snakes, there’s some debate about the actual number of subspecies, which range between 8 and 10 known subspecies.
Some researchers have recommended that specific subspecies be elevated to full species status, although other scientists think that more subspecies have to be recognized.
These would be the 9 subspecies generally recognized as being valid by scientists.
Boiga dendrophila dendrophila (F. Boie, 1827) — Found in Indonesia Java island.
Boiga dendrophila annectens (Boulenger, 1896) — Found in Indonesia Kalimantan region, Brunei and East Malaysia.
Boiga dendrophila divergens (Taylor, 1922) — Found in the Philippines Luzon and Polillo islands.
Boiga dendrophila gemmicincta (A.M.C. Duméril, Bibron & A.H.A. Duméril, 1854) — Located in Indonesian Sulawesi island.
Boiga dendrophila latifasciata (Boulenger, 1896) — Found in the Philippines Mindanao island.
Boiga dendrophila levitoni (Gaulke, Demegillo, G. Vogel, 2005) — Located at Panay island, and probably in other areas of the West Visayas region.
Boiga dendrophila melanota (Boulenger, 1896) — Located in southern Thailand, West Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesian Sumatra island.
Boiga dendrophila multicincta (Boulenger, 1896) — Found at Philippines Balabac island.
Boiga dendrophila occidentalis (Brongersma, 1934) — Found in Indonesia.
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