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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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White-spotted Cat Snake

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4




Family : COLUBRIDAE   
Species : Boiga drapiezii
Maximum Size : 2.1metres

The White-spotted Cat Snake is a species of lowland rainforest, reportedly occurring up to elevations of 1100 metres. The species has also been sighted close to freshwater swamp forest habitat.

This snake has two colour forms. One form is predominantly green with faint bands of pale green with darker specks, or thin dark banding. The other form is predominantly brown with thick bands of orange and minor bands of white speckling. The ventral surface is pale yellow to white. Juveniles may exhibit black speckling on top of the head.

This species is one of the most slender of all Cat Snakes (Boiga spp.), with a laterally compressed body. The width of the bulbous head is two to three times that of the neck. The eyes are large, with vertical pupils. 

It appears to be almost exclusively arboreal, feeding on a variety of prey including large insects, lizards, tree frogs, birds eggs and hatchlings. The female is known to lay its clutch of eggs in arboreal termite nests.

As with other Cat Snakes the species is rear-fanged and mildly venomous, but is not known to be aggressive.

The White-spotted Cat Snake occurs in southern Myanmar, southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia,  Singapore, Sumatra, Java, Borneo and the southern Philippines.

In Singapore the species was recently rediscovered after not being seen for over 100 years.

Fig 1 : Adult specimen measuring 135 cm total length, Singapore.

Fig 2 : The neck is extremely slender, and the head rounded.

Fig 3 : Typical patterning of the brown form of the species.

Fig 4 : View of the head showing the blunt snout and the huge eyes.

References : H1, H3

Leong, T. M., Lim, K. K., & Baker, N. (2009). Rediscovery of the White-spotted cat snake Boiga drapiezii in Singapore (Reptilia: Serpentes: Colubridae). Nature in Singapore, 2, 487-493