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Jasper Cat Snake
   
   

Family : COLUBRIDAE
Species : Boiga jaspidea
Maximum Size : 1.5 metres

This rather uncommon species inhabits lowland forest and swamp forest. It is arboreal and nocturnal, and feeds mainly on geckos, young birds, birds eggs and especially arboreal rodents.

Tweedie (1957) states that this species, in common with the White-spotted Cat Snake Boiga drapiezii, is known to lay its eggs in arboreal termite nests : this is probably to afford the developing eggs some protection from scavengers.

Dorsally this snake is reddish brown on both the body and top of the head, with scattered black and pink blotches, and ventrally it is white except for the front portion of the belly. Low on the flanks are scattered, irregular white patches. The throat and forward part of the belly is yellow.

The body is fairly slender, and laterally compressed. The head is somewhat larger than the body, and the huge eyes are probably the largest amongst all snakes of the Boiga genus.

The Jasper Cat Snake occurs in parts of Indochina (Vietnam), southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Borneo and Java.


Figs 1 and 2 : Typical specimen from Maxwell Hill (Bukit Larut), Perak, Peninsular Malaysia at an elevation of 1190 metres.  All photos thanks to Noel Thomas


References : H10, H12, H14

 

Fig 1
 
ゥ  Noel Thomas
  
Fig 2
 
ゥ  Noel Thomas