Mangrove cat snakes are one of the biggest species of cat snakes. They are snakes of tropical regions and are also known as the gold-ringed cat snake. They have distinctive small, yellow stripes on a black body and rear fangs.
These snakes are considered mildly venomous and are fierce tempered. Their short rear fangs can deliver mild venom that is not dangerous to humans. Mangrove snakes are proved to be one of the hardest to capture snakes because of their slim body that are brilliantly camouflaged in their brightly sunlit, leafy habitat.
Mangrove snakes have unique patterning of thin golden yellow rings on a black background. The scales around the mouth are yellow with black edges and the underbelly is blackish-blue. These snakes have a short triangular head, distinct from their neck. They are considered ‘rear-fanged’ snakes, a grooved tooth on either side of the rear mouth area allows these snakes to utilise their venom.
These snakes very rarely leave the trees and come to the ground. They climb trees with incredible speed. On the ground they travel rapidly in a straight line but invariably seek to reach the nearest high point and quickly arrange themselves in rings. They usually curl up and spend the day motionless. These snakes will grasp branches with the lower 1/3 of their body, leaving the upper part of themselves coiled and ready to strike. These snakes are skilled swimmers.
Females lay between four to 12 eggs to a clutch. It takes three to four months to hatch. Hatchlings are about 30 to 40 centimetres long.
Mangrove snakes are five to six feet. They may grow to length of about eight feet.
These snakes feed on small mammals, lizards, frogs, snakes and fish.
Mangrove snakes are found throughout Indonesia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Borneo, Philippine, and Malaysia. They live in coastal mangrove swamps and humid forests, usually near water.
These snakes have lifespan of over 12 years.