Equipment for a Green Headed Blue Eyed Catsnake (Boiga cyanea)
Vivarium: Exo Terra PT2614 Glass Terrarium 90x45x60cm 36x18x24 inch (WxDxH).
Or Vivarium AX36 (L915mm x D406mm x H1216mm.
Lighting: Lights for viewing only for PT-2614 Compact Fluorescent Terrarium Canopy PT-2227 and one bulb PT-2190 Repto Glo 2.0 Compact and one PT-2124 Night Glo Moonlight lamp for night time viewing.
For the AX36 two Arcadia ADH lamp holders & one PT-2104 Neodymium bulb 40w and one PT-2124 Night Glo Lamp for day and night time viewing.
Heating: PT-2047 Ceramic Heat Emitter 150watt & PT-2054 Glow light reflector for the terrarium.
For the AX36: PT-2047 Ceramic Heat Emitter 150watt and ceramic guard.
Pulse proportional Thermostat.
Substrate: Orchid bark or Moss
Décor: PT-2804 X-large water Dish, PT-3040 – PT3052 mix of 4-6+ plants, Vines 4 PT-3082 they need plenty of vines and branches to climb. Bark Cave large.
Boiga cyanea has a very large distribution; it can be found from Northern India all the way to China where it can be found in Kambodscha, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and in parts of the Malay Peninsula.
Boiga cyanea occurs in many different habitats found both at sea level and all the way up into the highlands up to 2100m. It is almost completely arboreal and can be found in small low shrubs, as well as the much taller trees. They are frequently found in close proximity to water and often in or around planted fields. Their coloration gives them excellent camouflage making them very difficult to find. These beautiful snakes are nocturnal hunters and spend most of the daylight hours curled up in a tree hole or entwined on branches or in the forks of tree branches. When active at night they are extremely fast and eagerly hunt down small lizards, small birds and possible small rodents.
Boiga cyanea reaches 90-150cm when adult, though specimens of 2m are not unknown. Its adult coloration is a beautiful green with a bluish cast to it. The belly is white to a light yellow. The eyes are a blue turquoise with catlike elliptical (vertical) pupils. Hence the common name of "Green Headed Blue Eyed Catsnake". Juveniles are totally different the body from the neck to the tail is red-brown, the head is emerald green, the lips edged yellow, and the inside of the mouth is black. The eyes are large and seem to stick out at the side of the head and the brightest blue. It takes them from 8-14 months to go from the juvenile colouring to the adult going through greyish-red body coloration.
The poison of Boiga cyanea resembles that of other Boigas, though it is usually much weaker than say that of the better known Boiga dendrophila. A bite from Boiga cyanea is normally of no problem to adult humans and is no worse then a bee or wasp sting. It can be dangerous if the person bitten has an allergic reaction to the bite. Boiga cyanea has very small teeth that are right in the back of the throat that you would not normally come into contact with.
Boiga cyanea does best in as natural as possible vivarium. This should have plenty of branches for climbing with some hiding places; I find two or three tennis balls with a 2" hole placed around the vivarium works well. They require a temperature of 26-32°C with a nightly drop to 22-24°C. In their natural habitat they are used to a reasonably high humidity so the Vivarium should be in the 60-90% humidity. I have found that this Boiga loves being sprayed with lukewarm water at night when they are active and will drink the water droplets from the walls or plants in the vivarium. I always keep a bowl of water on a small spider heat mat sealed in a plastic bag, which keeps the humidity high. I have also noticed the Boiga bathing and drinking from this bowl.
Boiga cyanea naturally feed on frogs, toads, smaller rodents and also on small birds. In the vivarium it is easier to feed them on small mice. Hatchlings will take pinkie mice though they may have to be assisted by teasing them with the pinkies and making them snap at them. I have had little problem in getting them to feed, though I have found it better to feed in the evenings by hiding the defrost mouse in the branches for them to hunt. With difficult feeders I have found that scenting with a lizard or chick helps, you can also scent with chicken broth or stock.
A male and female of as near the same size is required, as they are known to be cannibalistic. Also a laying box of moist peat vermiculite or moss is needed for the female to lay her eggs. Eggs are laid approximately 42-50 days after mating and lay 7-14 eggs. The eggs measure 40mm x 25mm when laid. The eggs hatch out in approximately 85 days at 28°C.
Some people have had low hatch rates when the young have not managed to break out of the eggs. The reason for this is that they have been feeding their Boiga on mice and the egg shells have been too thick for the young to be able to break out. Feeding mostly chick bits I have had high hatch rates of 80% +.
I have found these snakes to be very calm animals though I have had mine since they were hatchlings. I have also heard that they can be very aggressive snakes and will go into attack mode at the drop of a hat. I free handle my snakes as they are so calm and have never shown any aggressiveness even when I have lifted them out of the vivarium and did not notice the milky eyes as they were getting ready to shed.