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Boiga is a large genus of mildly venomous, rear-fanged, colubrid snakes typically known as the cat-eyed snakes or just cat snakes. They are primarily found throughout southeast Asia, India and Australia, but due to their extremely hardy nature and adaptability have spread to many other suitable habitats around the world. There are 33 recognized species in the genus.Template:Citation needed

Species Edit

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Description & Behaviour Edit

Cat snakes are typically thin, long-bodied snakes with large heads and large eyes. They vary greatly in pattern and color. Many species have banding, but some are spotted and some are solid colored. Colors are normally black, brown, or green with white or yellow accents.Template:Citation needed

They are primarily arboreal, nocturnal snakes that prey on various species of lizards, birds, and rodents. Their venom toxicity varies from species to species, but is not generally considered to be life threatening to humans. Boiga species are oviparous.Template:Citation needed

In captivity Edit

Boiga dendrophila is by far the most common species in captivity, but Boiga cynea and Boiga nigriceps are also found. Others are not commonly available. They are hardy and adaptable and tend to do well in captivity after the initial period of stress from the importation process is passed. They are not bred commonly in captivity, so most specimens available are wild caught, and thus are prone to heavy internal parasite load. Adjusting them to a rodent only diet can be difficult for the inexperienced reptile keeper.Template:Citation needed

Invasive species Edit

Boiga irregularis in particular has been federally banned in the United States because of its effect by accidentally being introduced to the island of Guam. Some time during the 1950s, these snakes (or possibly a single female with eggs) reached the island, possibly having hidden in imported plant pots. The island of Guam lacks native snakes or predators that can deal with snakes the size and aggressiveness of Boiga irregularis. As a result, they have bred unchecked as an invasive species, and began consuming the island's bird life in extreme numbers. Currently, dozens of bird species have been completely eradicated from the island, many species that were found nowhere else on earth, and the snake has reached astonishing population densities, reported to be as high as 15,000 snakes per square mile. In addition to devouring the native fauna, this species will routinely crawl into power transformers, and, unfortunately for all involved, this typically results in both an electrocuted snake and substantial blackouts.Template:Citation needed

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References Edit

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External links Edit

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