VENOM: Very mild - no known danger
PREVALENCE: Somewhat common
ACTIVE PERIOD: Active at night
KEY ID FEATURES: Light tan to grey body with dark brown spots, long tail with slender neck
BEHAVIOR: Largely arboreal, will move into 'S' position and bite defensively but prone to calm down over time
SIZE: Small - 40-60cm
OTHER: Rear fanged and technically venomous but not known to be dangerous to humans
QUICK ASSESSMENT 0-10
IMPORTANT: Many snakes have significant variance in coloration and pattern even within the same species. There can also be extreme differences in appearance from juveniles to adults so it is important to never assume you have properly identified a snake.
Usually tan body with dark brown spots, sometimes lighter grey still with dark brown spots. Head usually displays two broad strips running front to back. Large gold eyes with vertical pupils. Many spotted cat snakes are largely arboreal and have long thin necks with exceptionally long thin tails. Head can flatten slightly when defensive appearing similar to vipers. Black and white spotted belly and a peaked keel shaped back. As a technically rear fanged snake they are mildly venomous but there are no known cases of serious envenomation.
The Many Spotted Cat Snake is a largely arboreal snake and as such is prone to seek out high ground when confronted. They also commonly display initial aggressive behavior by positioning their front half into a defensive 'S' position. They will strike with largely false bites and occasionally real hits, but their diminutive size renders any genuine bite relatively harmless. Many Spotted Cat Snakes are also prone to calming down shortly after displaying their initially aggressive behavior. (Click here if the video block does not load:https://youtu.be/IaonhbylZUI)
Due to their largely arboreal nature Many Spotted Cat Snakes are generally found in forested areas, often close to some water source. They have also been observed hanging from branches over water possibly hunting for fish or amphibians. During the day they hide in hollow logs or under ledges closer to the ground.
NO SNAKE SHOULD EVER BE HANDLED BY ANYONE BUT EXPERTS: The Many Spotted Cat Snake is a relatively uniquely patterned snake and is difficult to mistake with other species especially when considering their arboreal behaviors. However, it does bear a resemblance to the very uncommon Pointed-scaled Pit Viper which is highly venomous and bites readily.