U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

January 1999


Published in Journal of Herpetology, Vol. 33, NO. 2, pp. 336-339, 1999. Copyright 1999 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. Permission to use.


The brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) is a nocturnal, primarily arboreal, rear-fanged colubrid native to parts of Australasia (Savidge, 1987; Greene, 1989). Throughout their range, brown tree snakes eat a variety of prey including lizards, rats, and birds (Greene, 1989; Shine, 1991; Rodda, 1992; Rodda et al., in press). Brown tree snakes on Guam have a wide diet consisting mainly of lizards and lizard eggs, but a variety of other items were found in snake stomachs, including odd items such as cooked spareribs (Savidge, 1988). Savidge (1988) noted an ontogenetic shift in Guam brown tree snake diets; small snakes consumed lizards and lizard eggs and larger snakes consumed birds, bird eggs, and mammals.