Night Tiger

IMG_7068d.jpg

The brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) is a medium-sized rear-fanged colubrid with substantial color variation depending on its locality – brown, pale yellow, orange, striped brown/white and red/yellow. The red and yellow morph occurs here in the Top End and has earned the common name “night tiger” from its conspicuous color pattern. Boiga irregularis is a nocturnal hunter feeding primarily on birds and small mammals, but occasionally reptiles and frogs. In Guam this species is invasive and responsible for plummeting bird populations.

The head of Boiga is very similar to cat-eyed snakes (Leptodeira spp.) in the New World, but its overall morphology looks somewhat like a cross between a blunt-headed vine snake (Imantodes spp.) and Leptodeira. As arboreal snakes they are capable of supporting their entire body weight by less than one third of their body length, maneuvering with ease across very thin perches. Also, the night tiger’s pupils can independently dilate to adapt to different light conditions, something I noticed after shining my head torch on the snake. Snakes like this Boiga irregularis as well as water pythons (Liasis fuscus) and slaty-greys (Stegonotus cucullatus) can often be found crossing the road at night. Drive slowly and brakes for snakes!

Photographed after disturbance [4]

24480502058_5a32562c65_k.jpg
IMG_7090.jpg
26576527059_8f77913392_k.jpg
38320898972_ee76f67276_k.jpg
26576560289_2871be6af1_k.jpg
37637778654_ec4676f0d4_k.jpg
IMG_7157d.jpg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
close-alt close collapse comment ellipsis expand gallery heart lock menu next pinned previous reply search share star