The Red-tailed Green Ratsnake (Gonyosoma oxycephalum) is a species of snake found in Southeast Asia. It is a thin snake with powerful and rough scales on its belly, ideal for climbing and moving in trees. It has smaller, smooth scales on its back.

As its name indicates, the snake has a green body with a red tail (usually brownish), and it also has a dark line horizontally across its eye. On the sides of its black tongue there may be a blue colour.

The red-tailed green ratsnake lives and spends its life in the trees and in cavities in trees. It seldom descends to the ground. It feeds almost exclusively on birds, but in captivity it can be trained to feed on small mammals . The female can reach a length of up to 2.4 m (almost 8 feet), while the male is generally a little bit smaller. Its average life span is 15 years. It reaches sexually maturity at the age of 4 years, and its eggs have a hatching time from 13 to 16 weeks. The female lays on average between 3 and 8 eggs usually between September and January and the hatchlings are about 45 cm (18 inches) long.

When the snake is stressed, it may inflate a bag of air in its neck, making it appear larger in size.

In captivity, it has quite the 'attitude' and may strike at or bite an unwary handler.


Type locality Indonesia: Java (Boie, 1827)


  • Boie, F. 1827 Bemerkungen über Merrem's Versuch eines Systems der Amphibien, 1. Lieferung: Ophidier. Isis van Oken, Jena, 20: 508-566.
  • Boulenger,G.A. 1894 On the herpetological fauna of Palawan and Balabac. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (6) 14: 81-90
  • Dowling, Herndon G. 1958 A taxonomic study of the ratsnakes VI. Validation of the genera Gonyosoma Wagler and Elaphe Fitzinger Copeia 1958 (1): 29-40
  • Gray, J. E. 1849 Description of three new genera and species of snakes. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (2) 4: 246-248

External linksEdit

de:Spitzkopfnatter fr:Gonyosoma oxycephalum nl:Maleisische boomslang ja:ホソツラナメラ no:Tresnok

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