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Brown tree snake
Boiga - Fitzinger, 1826

Pronunciation: boe-EE-gah
Etymology: possibly meaningless, but likely referring to Boa, another genus of snakes.

Taxonomic notes:

Some authors refer the Australian population to Boiga fusca: B. f. fusca in the east and B. f. ornata in the west.1
Work done in 2000 found no morphological basis for the recognition of two species, although the authors proposed the formal recognition of two subspecies: B. irregularis ornata for the strongly banded, western form; and B. irregularis irregularis for the solidly patterned form from everywhere else.2 These subspecies categorisations have not been widely accepted.

Notes: In Australia, this genus is represented by one widely distributed species found throughout northern and eastern Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia and the Solomon Islands.
Statistics: Reproductive modes:
Oviparous - 1 out of 1 Australian species

Size range:
Smallest Australian species: brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) at 140 cm
 Longest Australian species: brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) at up to 200 cm
Number of Australian species: 1

brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis)
Tully, Queensland
Photo © Stewart Macdonald
brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) distribution range map Boiga irregularis
Brown tree snake
Year described
(Merrem 1802)
A slender snake with a large, distinct head and bulbous eyes; pupils vertical. Colouration is typically brown to orange-brown with irregular dark bands in the east, or whitish with red to orange bands in the west.

  1. Storr, G. M.; Smith, L. A.; & Johnstone, R. E. (2002). Snakes of Western Australia. Western Australian Museum. 309 - search web for this book
  2. Whittier, J.; Macrokanis, C.; & Mason, R.T. (2000). Morphology of the brown tree snake, Boiga irregularis, with a comparison of native and extralimital populations. Australian Journal of Zoology, 48:357-367.
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