Eastern Cat Snake ( Boiga gokool Gray, 1835 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Boiga gokool (Gray, 1835)
Regional Names: 
English: 
Arrow-back Tree Snake
Photographs: 
Distribution: 
In India its distribution is whole of North-east region eastwards to north Bengal (West Bengal).
Family: 
Characteristics for identification: 

Morphologically it can identified by checking Y shaped black markings on brown dorsal body, one large arrow shaped mark on the top of the head.

Description: 

Average length- 90cm.
Maximum length- 120cm.

Dorsal -
Laterally flattened long body. Scales smooth, long shaped and obliquely arranged. Top dosral scales along the vertebra larger than side scales. Dorsal color yellowish-brown or brown with asymmatrically arranged Y shape spots of black color, outlines with white. These spots are broadest on top and scarcly touches belly scales. Posterior body with faint markings.

Ventral -
Belly color white with series of blackish-brown spots on each side of ventral scales. Subcaudal scales paired in zig-zag manner.

Head -
Head triangular with rounded edge; clearly broader than neck. Upper lip color whitish and marked with black. One thick black streak runs behind eyes to posterior of lips. Top of the head with a dark color arrow shaped mark which is forked from middle. One triangular mark exist one the posterior gap of head arrow. Eyes large with vertically elliptical pupil.

Tail -
Long, thin and patternless tail ends with pointed tip.

Scalation
Head: 
Supralabial 8; 3rd to 5th in contact with eyes; loreal 1; preocular 1 or 2; not reaches to upper surface of head; postocular 2; temporal 2+3.
Dorsal: 
Smooth scales in 19/21: 19/21: 15/17 rows. Vertebrals distinctly larger than neighbouring scales.
Ventral: 
219-232; anal undivided.
Sub Caudal: 
87-103; paired.
Habitat: 
Distributed in low to moderate elevation hills (up tp 540mtr) of North-east region forests. Lives in alluvial grasslands, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous, secondary and degraded forests. Well confined in tea plantations, hill slops and gardens. Remain hidden in dense low bushes, thick grass, tree holes at low height etc.
Natural History: 
Activity nocturnal and mostly terrestrial but can be seen at low heights because it is capable in climbing with the help of rough surface. Behavior usually calm, non-offensive and avoids interaction with humans. On threatening throws much of fore body into tight loops with head above the ground and give mock attacks.
Diet: 
Feeds on lizards, field rodents, frogs, small birds etc.
Threats: 
Threats includes loss of grasslands and surrounding vegetation. Road kill mortality and killing due to misidentification are also observed in its range.
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