Large Spotted Cat Snake ( Boiga multomaculata Boie, 1827 )

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Name
Scientific Name: 
Boiga multomaculata (Boie, 1827)
Regional Names: 
English: 
Many-spotted Cat Snake
Photographs: 
Distribution: 
Found is moderate to high elevations of North- India from Assam to Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland. Also found in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Family: 
Characteristics for identification: 

Morphologically it can be identified by checking grayish-brown body marked with large spot of oval shape. It is found in moderate to high elevations and assumed to be uncommon in Indian range.

Description: 

New born- 20cm.
Averge length- 100cm.
Maximum length- 187cm.

Dorsal -
Laterally flattened, long and thin body. Scales smooth, long shaped and obliquely arranged. Top dorsal scales along vertebra larger than side scales. Dorsal color grayish-brown entirely. Two series of asymmetrically arranged, large, more or less oval shaped, solid blackish or dark brown spots found in whole dorsal body. Another series of smaller but equally prominent spots found on side dorsals touching belly.

Ventral -
Belly grayish-brown or whitish with dark brown spots. Subcaudal scales paired in zig-zag manner.

Head -
Head triangular with rounded edge; clearly broader than neck. Ground color similar to dorsal body. A bold arrow shaped mark of dark brown found on the top of the head which starts from snout and covers whole of parietal region. A clear dark postocular streak starts from posterior of eyes and reaches to angle of mouth. Large eyes with vertical pupil.

Tail -
Long and thin tail typically like other arboreal snakes with pointed tip. Dorsal body patterns visibly present.

Scalation
Head: 
Preocular 1 or 2; does not reach to upper surface of head; temporal 2+2 or 2+3.
Dorsal: 
Smooth scales 19: 19:13/15 oblique rows. Vertebral scales enlarged.
Ventral: 
196-245; anal undivided.
Sub Caudal: 
72-109; paired.
Natural History: 
Large-spotted Cat Snake is nocturnal species and shows arboreal activity. Can be seen at low to moderate heights of dense shrubs. Behavior usually calm and non-offensive. On threatening it throws much of forebody into loops and gives mock attacks with wide open mouth. Tail flickering/jerking behavior is also notices many times. Female lays 4-8 eggs in narrow cavities, cracks of walls, tree holes, drier caves etc.
Diet: 
Feeds mainly on lizards, birds, frogs and other species. Cannibalism is observed many times.
Threats: 
Deforestation of high elevation wet forests will affect its population density. Road kills and killing due to misidentification with venomous snakes like Pit Vipers are other known threats.
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