Tawny cat-eyed snake, Boiga philippina

The Tawny cat-eyed snake or Philippine cat snake (Boiga philippina) is a member of the Colubridae family. Regularly found in the Philippines, this cat snake is a rear-fanged species.

Typical of most rear-fanged snakes, the tawny cat-eyed snake is mildly venomous. Its venom is slightly stronger than other snakes of this genus but symptoms such as local swelling subside after 2-3 days. There is no threat of death or more serious complications.

Measuring up to 7 feet in length, the tawny cat-eyed snake varies in colors from tan or light brown to orange. Yellow, black or brown markings are commonly found underneath the scales of its neck. These colors are shown when the snake “puffs up.” Its name comes from its large eyes and elliptical pupils.

Generally passive, the tawny cat-eyed snake can become extremely alarmed when threatened. Raising its head and expanding the scales on its neck give the illusion of being larger. Making a puffing noise and repeatedly striking, the snake fights off any threat.

The tawny cat-eyed snake feeds primarily on birds and their eggs. Its big appetite may sometimes need to be supplemented with frogs, lizards and small rodents.

Breeding takes place between November and January. The tawny cat-eyed snake is oviparous (egg laying). 6-14 eggs are laid per cycle.

Image Caption: Tawny-eyed cat snake in the defense posture. Credit: Gamblerboy/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)