The Indian Gamma
Local Names : Gujarati Kodiyo sap; Marathi Manjr.
The Indian Gamma (Boiga trigonata) is also known as cat snake. It is a small snake with a compressed body and neck distinctly constricted. Its eyes are large with mustard yellow iris and vertical pupil. It is usually yellowish brown, sandy or fawn and is spotted with darker shades. At the dorsal side there are Y -shaped marks meeting at the center and resemble arrowheads. Its belly is white and on its lateral side there are brown spots.
The Indian Gamma or the Cat Snake is a nocturnal snake usually encountered on the move at night. In coils itself in bushes into a little heap and does not stretch out its body as other snakes do. It is very common in evergreen and deciduous forests. It is an excellent climber and can jump from heights to the ground. If it is caught by the tail, it climbs up its own body and bites. When caught by the neck, it ejects an evil smelling stream of yellow and white secretion from its anal gland. This snake has fangs in the back of the mouth. The secretion that comes from its parotid gland is toxic and fatal to lizards and highly toxic to mice. It's a very brave snake and acts very offensively on the least provocation. Its striking posture is characteristic. The head and fore body are erected well off the ground and the latter thrown into a figure of eight loop, the head being poised in the middle. Prior to striking, the erected part is swayed forwards and backwards the whole body inflated and deflated and the tail vibrated briskly.
The Indian Gamma or the Cat Snake feeds on almost anything it can capture but has a strong liking for lizards particularly the Garden lizards. It kills small birds, mammals and lizards by constriction.
The Ceylon Cat Snake (Boiga ceylonensis )
The species name of the Ceylon cat snake is ceylonensis. It is dirty whitish or buff, powdered or marbled with brown color. In its traits, it resembles the Indian Gamma but is more arboreal and eats larger prey as bats, pigeons and poultry.
|More Articles in Indian Reptiles (78)|