Boiga kraepelini

(Square-headed) Cat Snake

大 頭蛇

保育等級: 非保育類


Colubridae, subfamily Boiginae
160 cm
This snake is long and thin; total length up to 160 cm. There are 15-25 (21 at mid-body) rows of scales, which are smooth (and oblique anteriorly). Head, with rounded snout, is twice the width of the neck and distinctly separated from neck; body is highly slender and laterally compressed; tail is long. Eye is very large, bulging from head; iris is dirty yellow to yellow copper, dappled with coarse diffuse black, and pupil is elliptical, black, and surrounded by ring of dirty yellow. Tongue is flesh-colored and darkened by scattered flecks of black, with fork tips lighter than stem. Fangs at the end of upper jaw are enlarged and grooved. Upper head is brown to copper brown, usually with a dull rusty lateral stripe extending from eye to corner of mouth and may with extra designs of dull rusty among dorsal shields. The labials are lighter in color. Upper body and tail are usually amber or brown to copper brown, with irregular cross bands of brown to diffuse black along the vertebral line. The cross bands are more prominent in anterior third of body. Ventral head is white to light gray, with diffuse light brown. Ventral body is usually uniform in color, light to yellow gray and mixed with white to give marbled effect. The light areas on ventral scales arrange to form longitudinal line near latero-ventral junction. Anal scale is divided and subcaudals are paired.
There are color variations in this species that are particularly marked in immature snakes. Although most specimens are sand-colored to mustard-bronze with slightly darker dorsal patterns, a few individuals are light to dark with prominent dorsal designs of dark brown or chocolate, often rimmed with golden-yellow lines.
這日夜兼行的後溝牙蛇類(見附註(1)) 見附註通常棲息在山區林間。大頭蛇擁有典型的細長型樹棲身材,這樣的身材使得牠的頭非常突顯,牠還有大眼睛與用來纏繞樹枝的有力尾巴。雖說牠主要棲息在樹上,但偶爾還是會有需要穿越道路的時候,細長的身體無法躲避很多大頭蛇就這樣死在來往的車下。牠已小型鳥類與蜥蜴為主食,偶爾也會捕食鳥蛋。卵生蛇類。母蛇於夏季產下一窩 5-14 枚的卵,每枚卵的尺寸約為 4x1.7cm。大頭蛇生性暴躁、易怒,受到威脅時往往會盤陣擺出類似蝮蛇類毒蛇的攻擊姿態。
英文通用名稱 "Cat Snake" 指這類的蛇有跟貓一樣的瞳孔。
Boiga: 紀念發表了三個種(原擺在Dipsas屬,後來被改放至新屬Boiga)的德國爬蟲學家 Heinrich Boie (1784-1827)。
kraepelini: 紀念曾在德國自然史博物館任職的 Karl Kraepelin (1848-1915), 任職時間為 1889-1914。
(1) ""Opisthoglyphous" "(有後溝牙的蛇)指的是上顎後方進化出增大的牙齒方便更穩固的咬住獵物的蛇種,類似無溝槽(無毒牙)的蛇類,但是有微毒。後溝牙會隨著蛇嘴的閉合而斜上向上顎方向收入溝槽,並不會垂直往下導致戳傷自己。白話一點又稱 "rear-fanged snakes""". (Source)