Mangrove Snake

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Is the Mangrove Snake right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: Gold-ringed Cat Snake

Scientific name: Boiga dendrophila spp.

The basics:
This large rear-fanged species is one of the world’s most strikingly-marked snakes…but unfortunately for pet-keepers, also among the most aggressive! While human fatalities from bites have not been reported, the Mangrove Snake is capable of delivering a large amount of venom, and serious bite reactions have occurred. A professional herpetologist should be consulted before one acquires this or any other Rear-Fanged Snake.

The huge range of the 10 subspecies extends from India, Thailand and Vietnam through Indonesia to Malaysia and the Philippines.

The Mangrove Snake is at home in lowland rainforests, marshes and mangrove swamps.

Appearance / health:
The Mangrove Snake reaches 1.8 – 2.4 meters (6-8 ft) in length. The jet-black body is marked with yellow bands, which in many populations are brilliant in intensity.

Zoo specimens remain ill-at-ease and susceptible to stress-related diseases and fungal skin infections. Mangrove Snakes produce watery waste products and require more upkeep than similarly-sized snakes.

Behavior / temperament:
Mangrove Snakes, even when captive-born, often do not acclimate well to captivity, remaining aggressive and difficult to work with.

Mangrove Snakes are active and require a cage measuring at least 6 x 4 feet. Cypress mulch or eucalyptus bark may be used as the substrate, and climbing and bathing facilities must be available. Ambient temperature range: 78-86 F; Basking temperature: 90-95 F.

Mangrove Snakes feed upon rodents, birds, lizards and frogs. Captives do well on a rodent-based diet.

Captive breeding in rare. Clutches may contain 4-20 eggs, which should be incubated in vermiculite at 80-82 F for 90 -120 days.

Written by Frank Indiviglio


lunatic colubrid


mild venom, bite, venomous species, extensive experience

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