Ranawana’s golden cat snake is the sixth Boiga species to be discovered that is endemic to Sri Lanka (2). Members of this genus are commonly known as ‘cat snakes’ or ‘cat-eyed snakes’, and are typically thin, long-bodied snakes with large heads and large eyes, varying greatly in colour and pattern (3). This mildly venomous species (2) is yellowish-orange, darker above and paler below, flecked with intermittent dark scales on the upper surface.
Very little is known about the biology of Ranawana’s golden cat snake, other than that, like other cat snakes, it is nocturnal(5). Cat snakes are primarily arboreal, nocturnal snakes that prey on various species of lizards, birds and rodents (3). Boiga species are oviparous (egg-laying) (3).
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
A category used in taxonomy, which is below ‘family’ and above ‘species’. A genus tends to contain species that have characteristics in common. The genus forms the first part of a ‘binomial’ Latin species name; the second part is the specific name.
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