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Venomous Animals - B

Balanophis ceylonensis
Bitis arietans
Bitis atropos
Bitis caudalis
Bitis cornuta
Bitis gabonica
Bitis heraldica
Bitis inornata
Bitis nasicornis
Bitis parviocula
Bitis peringueyi
Bitis rubida
Bitis schneideri
Bitis worthingtoni
Bitis xeropaga
Boiga blandingii
Boiga dendrophila
Boiga irregularis
Bothriechis aurifer
Bothriechis bicolor
Bothriechis lateralis
Bothriechis marchi
Bothriechis nigroviridis
Bothriechis rowleyi
Bothriechis schlegelii
Bothriechis supraciliaris
Bothriechis thalassinus
Bothriopsis albocarinata
Bothriopsis alticola
Bothriopsis bilineata
Bothriopsis chloromelas
Bothriopsis medusa
Bothriopsis oligolepis
Bothriopsis pulchra
Bothriopsis taeniata
Bothrocophias campbelli
Bothrocophias columbianus
Bothrocophias hyoprora
Bothrocophias microphthalmus
Bothrocophias myersi
Bothrops alcatraz
Bothrops alternatus
Bothrops ammodytoides
Bothrops andianus
Bothrops asper
Bothrops atrox
Bothrops barnetti
Bothrops brazili
Bothrops caribbaeus
Bothrops cotiara
Bothrops diporus
Bothrops erythromelas
Bothrops fonsecai
Bothrops insularis
Bothrops itapetiningae
Bothrops jararaca
Bothrops jararacussu
Bothrops jonathani
Bothrops lanceolatus
Bothrops leucurus
Bothrops lojanus
Bothrops lutzi
Bothrops marajoensis
Bothrops mattogrossensis
Bothrops moojeni
Bothrops muriciensis
Bothrops neuwiedi
Bothrops osbornei
Bothrops pauloensis
Bothrops pictus
Bothrops pirajai
Bothrops pubescens
Bothrops punctatus
Bothrops roedingeri
Bothrops sanctaecrucis
Bothrops venezuelensis
Boulengerina annulata
Boulengerina christyi
Bungarus andamanensis
Bungarus bungaroides
Bungarus caeruleus
Bungarus candidus
Bungarus ceylonicus
Bungarus fasciatus
Bungarus flaviceps
Bungarus lividus
Bungarus magnimaculatus
Bungarus multicinctus
Bungarus niger
Bungarus sindanus
Buthacus arenicola
Buthus occitanus
Buthus spp.

Bitis arietans

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bitis arietans arietans, B. a. somalica, B. lachesis, Echidna arietans, Vipera arietans

Common Names: Puff adder, Gemeine Puffotter

Description

Adults usually 60-100 cm long (max. 190 cm); thick, heavy body, color varies from bright yellow to light yellow, yellow-brown, orange-brown, light brown, or gray, usually patterned w/ darker chevrons. Belly yellowish-white to gray w/ black blotches. Head flat, much wider than neck; scales small, keeled, overlapping. Some males from highlands of eastern Africa brightly colored & patterned.

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Habitat

Most widely distributed venomous snake in Africa; encountered almost anywhere, at both low & high elevations, except for rain forests & extreme desert conditions. Found mainly in savannah or open grassland including areas w/ scattered scrubby bushes, from sea level to 3,500 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Both diurnal & nocturnal, often basks in early morning or late afternoon; terrestrial but may climb sturdy bushes to bask. Usually sluggish; relies on camouflage to escape detection. Bad-tempered & excitable; when disturbed, makes long deep hissing noise. May move rapidly, coil into "S-shape" & strike suddenly & swiftly, but does not hold on. Eats small rodents, birds, amphibians & sometimes other snakes.

Venom Characteristics

Many serious bites reported annually; only a small portion are fatal. Venom has potent cytotoxin, attacking tissue & blood cells. Symptoms often include extreme pain w/ swelling & large blisters in region of the bite.

Bitis atropos

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bitis atropos atropos, B. a. unicolor, Coluber atropos, Echidna atropos

Common Names: Mountain adder, Berg adder, Bergotter

Description

Small stout adder, adults average 30-40 cm. long (max. 60 cm); usually grayish-olive to dark-brown, w/ 2 rows of triangular black dorsal markings & lateral rows of square markings, rarely whole body drab brown. Head w/ dark arrow-shaped mark on top & 2 pale streaks along each side. Chin & throat pinkish or yellow, belly off-white, sometimes grey or black.

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Habitat

Different populations adapted to two diverse habitats: montane grasslands, even above the snowline, & in valleys near sea level. Usually found where it is cool & fairly wet for at least a large part of the year.

Activity and Behavior

Diurnal; seeks shelter in shallow rock crevices & beneath grass clumps. Hiss loudly & strike violently if approached; quick to strike. Mainly prey on rodents, birds, lizards, amphibians, & occasionally other snakes.

Venom Characteristics

Venom primarily neurotoxic, affecting eyes & other sensory functions. Eyes cannot focus, eyelids droop, & sense of taste & smell lost. Not known to cause respiratory distress. Pain & swelling at bite site common.

 


Bitis caudalis

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Vipera caudalis

Common Names: Horned adder, Gehornte Puffotter

Description

A short, stubby snake, adults average 30-40 cm long (max. 51.5 cm). Color extremely variable, in geographical areas, may be dark-reddish to grayish-brown to very light gray, buff, or pinkish. Usually a single, prominent horn above each eye, 21-31 midbody dorsal scale rows, & dorsal scales strongly keeled. Belly plain white or cream, may be tinged orange along its margins.

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Habitat

Usually found in rocky sparsely-vegetated brushland in semi-arid, or sandy desert areas. Common in arid regions of southwestern Africa, eastward through the Kalahari desert of Botswana to southwestern Zimbabwe, & north to southern Angola.

Activity and Behavior

May lay coiled up, half buried in sand; when disturbed, may hiss fiercely & strike violently. Nocturnal, usually buries all but its head & eyes in the sand. Females bear 4-19 live young, each about 13.5 cm long, in late summer (Feb.-Mar.). Eat mainly lizards, & occasionally amphibians or rodents.

Venom Characteristics

Very few bites & no human fatalities recorded. Venom primarily cytotoxic, w/ local swelling & intense pain & vomiting, little or no necrosis. Venom of this species is mildly anticoagulent & possibly the least potent of any species in this genus.

 


Bitis cornuta

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bitis cornuta albanica, B. c. cornuta, Cerastes cornuta, Cerastes lophophrys, Clotho cornuta, Cobra cornuta, Vipera cornuta, V. lophophris, V. lophophrys

Common Names: Many-horned adder, Hornsman, Buschelbrauenotter

Description

Small, stocky, terrestrial, grey & black adder, adults average 30-37.5 cm long (max. 50 cm); generally gray or reddish-brown; belly white to dirty-brownish w/ dark speckles. Head w/ symmetrical dark markings which may fuse to form arrowhead shape & a dark oblique streak from the eye to the angle of the mouth. Typically a series of doubled, pale-edged angular spots down its back. Usually have a tuft of horns above each eye.

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Habitat

FOund mainly in mountains or sandy plains, particularly in rocky, arid areas.

Activity and Behavior

Nocturnal, shelters in rock cracks or rodent burrows in rocky areas; may bury itself in loose sand. Active at dusk & early morning. When frightened or disturbed, will hiss loudly & strike w/ so much force that most of body leaves ground. Strikes at the least provocation. Ambushes small rodents, lizards & birds for food. About 5-12 live young (13-16 cm long)/ litter, usually born in Jan.-Apr.

Venom Characteristics

Venom primarily cytotoxic. Bites may cause pain, local swelling, & local necrosis. Few known bites of humans; no human fatalities recorded.

 


Bitis gabonica

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bitis gabonica gabonica, B. g. rhinoceros, B. rhinoceros, Cerastes nasicornis, Chlotho rhinoceros, Echidna gabonicus, E. rhinoceros, Urobelus gabonicus, Vipera rhinoceros

Common Names: Gaboon viper, Gaboon adder, Gabunviper

Description

Heavy, thick body, adults average 1.2-1.5 m long (max. 2.0 m), & weigh 8.5 kg. Head up to 12.5 cm wide, fangs up to 55 mm long, w/ 2 horn-like knobs on top of snout. Beautifully marked; w/ complex pattern of cream, purple, brown, & pink. Head white or cream above, w/ thin dark line down middle, an obvious dark-brown triangle from each eye down & backward to upper labials. Belly buff-colored w/ dark grey blotches. Has 28-41 midbody scale rows, most dorsal scales keeled.

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Habitat

Generally found in tropical rain forests & immediate environs. Sometimes persist in deforested areas. Well camouflaged; blends in w/ leaf litter of forest floor. Widely distributed in central, eastern & southern Africa; w/ a subspecies noted for its long nasal horn restricted to western Africa.

Activity and Behavior

Nocturnal. May be found basking in patch of sunlight on forest floor, but more likely to be half-buried in leaf litter. Usually slow-moving & does not flee when approached. Makes very loud hissing noise when disturbed. Strikes only as last resort or if stepped on.

Venom Characteristics

Longest fangs of any snake species in the world, often 40 mm long (max. 55 mm), which enable it to inject massive amounts of potent cytotoxic venom deep into a victim. Venom also contains cardiotoxins that possess neurotoxic properties which may be more dangerous than the cytotoxins.

Bitis heraldica

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Vipera heraldica

Common Names: Bocage's horned adder, Angolan adder

Description

Small, rather stout, max. 40.5 cm. long, eyes & nostrils placed laterally w/ no horn-like scales above eyes, 27-31 midbody dorsal scale rows, dorsal scales keeled. Top of head has symmetrical irregular dark blotches which look like an heraldic design. Body light-brown w/ a dorsal row of 26-38 striking, roundish dark spots, bordered on flanks by a row of fainter dark spots. Belly creamy-white heavily marked w/ dark spots, tail w/ dark spots above, yellow-white (maybe grey spotted) below.

Habitat

Found only on rocky mountane slopes in western & northwestern Angola. For some generalized typical local habitats, See Bitis arietans.

Activity and Behavior

Very little is known about the biology of this species, but it is probably most closely related to the Desert Mountain Adder, Bitis xeropaga.

Venom Characteristics

Nothing known about venom or bite effects of this true viper. For generalized venom information & bite effects for this whole genus, See Bitis arietans.

Bitis inornata

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bitis inornata inornata, Chlotho atropos, Echidna inornata, Vipera inornata

Common Names: Plain mountain adder, Hornless adder

Description

Small, dull-brown, fat-bodied, adults average 20-30 cm. long (max. 35), w/ 27-30 midbody scale rows. Head rounded, w/ a low ridge above each eye w/o any horns. Background color dull brown to reddish brown; belly light brown & heavily speckled w/ darker brown on sides only.

Habitat

Known mainly from two isolated populations in the Cape Province of South Africa. Typically found in montane grassland where winter temperatures can be very cold.

Activity and Behavior

Hibernates in rodent burrows during cold months; most active in early morning & evening during warmer months. Prey is mainly lizards, occasionally small mammals. Seeks refuge under rock slabs or among grass tussocks. Usually bears 6-8 live young/ litter, 12.5-15.2 cm long (usually Feb.-Mar.). Seldom encountered by people.

Venom Characteristics

Venom likely cytotoxic; no bites of humans recorded. If its venom is like that of other small adders, it likely would cause pain, local swelling, & possibly necrosis.

 


Bitis nasicornis

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Cerastes nasicornis, Clotho nasicornis, Coluber nasicornis, Echidna nasicornis, Vipera hexacera, V. nasicornis

Common Names: Rhinoceros viper, River Jack, Nashomviper

Description

Large, stout, w/ a narrow flat triangular head w/ small keeled scales. Adults average 60-90 cm long (max. 150 cm), 31-43 midbody scale rows. Background color varies; patterned w/ various geometric shapes in pale blue, red, lemon yellow, green, purple, white, & jet black. Head blue or green w/ distinctive black arrow mark, belly dirty-white to dull green w/ lots of black & grey blotches.

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Habitat

Found mainly in rain forests, swamps, marshes, & floodplains; river, stream, & lake shores. Seldom goes into woodlands. Well camouflaged among fallen leaves of forest floor. Sometimes tolerated by Kenyan villagers as it resides in roofs of their huts.

Activity and Behavior

Mainly nocturnal, partially aquatic, climbs well; often basks in shrubs & trees. Usually lethargic & slow to strike even in self-defense. Makes loud hissing noise if provoked, but usually is reluctant to strike.

Venom Characteristics

Few bites of humans recorded; however, venom highly cytotoxic. May cause massive swelling & tissue necrosis. Tissue necrosis resulting in amputation has been reported.

 


Bitis parviocula

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names:

Common Names: Ethiopian viper, Ethiopian mountain adder

Description

Fairly big (up to 75.2 cm long), stout viper w/ long, flat, triangular head covered in small strongly keeled scales. Big dark eyes w/ vertical pupils set well forward. Has 37-39 midbody scale rows, thin neck, keeled scales. Body dark brown w/ a row of black hexagons or diamonds along spine, sometimes w/ paler crossbands, black triangular spots w/ white centers along flanks, belly greeny-grey, clear or dark speckled; chin & throat white. Head brown w/ dark triangle between eyes.

Habitat

Known only from open forest settings or grasslands at 2,000-3,000 m elevation in Ethiopia. Found near human habitations.

Activity and Behavior

Not very well know. Probably nocturnal, mainly terrestrial but may climb. Probably ambushes its prey, which are most likely to be small mammals. For more generalized habit details for a closely-related species, See Bitis arietans.

Venom Characteristics

Not much known. Probably similar to its most closely related species the puff adder, & the rhinoceros viper. For those details, See Bitis arietans.

 


Bitis peringueyi

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Vipera peringueyi

Common Names: Peringuey’s adder, Dwarf puff adder, Zwergpuffotter, Namibviper

Description

Very small orange snake w/ no horns & eyes located on top of its head. Adult average 22.5-25 cm long (max. 32.5 cm), 23-31 middorsal scale rows, back sandy-grey to pale buff w/ 3 longitudinal ill-defined rows of dark spots. Background color generally gray, beige, or yellowish; patterned w/ reddish brown, brown, and/or black spots. Scales strongly keeled, tip of tail black.

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Habitat

Confined to dry, sandy coastal areas, particularly sparsely-vegetated wind-blown dunes. The only adder that inhabits the wind-blown sands of the true Namib Desert. Found from Rotkuppe in southern Namibia north to Porto Alexandre in Angola.

Activity and Behavior

Nocturnal; spends day mostly buried in sand w/ top of head, eyes, & tip of tail exposed. Eats mainly sand lizards, sometimes barking geckoes, & gets all its water either from its prey or from droplets of occasional coastal fogs that condense on its flattened body. Females bear 4-10 live young (each 11.5-13.5 cm long)/ litter, in Autumn (Dec.-Apr.). Crawls across sand w/ typical serpentine movements.

Venom Characteristics

Not much known. Venom probably mainly a weak cytotoxin, causing pain & local swelling; not likely to be lethal to humans. No known antivenom currently produced.

 


Bitis rubida

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bitis caudalis, B. cornuta albanica, B. c. cornuta, B. c. inornata, B. cornuta-inornata complex, B. inornata, B. inornata complex

Common Names: Red adder

Description

Almost identical in size, color & patterning to the Plain Mountain Adder; except that the body color & especially the pattern markings are usually distinctly more reddish. See Bitis inornata.

Habitat

Restricted to the upper slopes & summit of the Cedarberg, western Cape Province, Republic of South Africa. See Bitis inornata.

Activity and Behavior

Probably nearly identical in activity & habits to the Plain Mountain Adder. See Bitis inornata.

Venom Characteristics

Nothing reported for this species. Most likely cytotoxic, w/ local swelling & pain at the bite site. For generalized venom information for closely related species, See Bitis arietans.

 


Bitis schneideri

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bitis caudalis paucisquamata, B. paucisquamata

Common Names: Namaqua dwarf adder, Schneider's adder, Namaqua puff adder

Description

Smallest adder known w/ adults averaging 20-25 cm long (max. 27.6 cm). Strongly-keeled dorsal scales in 21-27 midbody rows, eyes on top of head, w/ small raised ridge above (sometimes bear minute "horns"). Background color grey to brownish-grey; patterned w/ 3 rows of black or brown blotches w/ light centers. Belly dirty-yellow, speckled w/ black. Tip of tail often dark.

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Habitat

Found only in semi-stable, vegetated coastal sand dunes in Namibia (the southern regions of the Namib Desert, from Luderitz Bay to Little Namaqualand), & in adjacent areas of the Republic of South Africa.

Activity and Behavior

Mainly nocturnal, most active in early evening & night, but early morning, too. Often basks in the sun. Eats mainly lizards (skinks, lacertids & geckoes), but occasionally also small mammals & amphibians. Sidewinds very well, usually buries itself in sand & sometimes uses the black tip of its tail to attract potential prey.

Venom Characteristics

Venom contains primarily weak cytotoxin, causing pain & local swelling; unlikely to be lethal to humans. Very few bites of humans recorded, causing slight swelling & discoloration at the bite site. No known specific antivenom currently produced.

 


Bitis worthingtoni

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names:

Common Names: Kenya horned viper

Description

Small, stout, greyish, average 20-35 cm long (max. 50 cm). Broad, flat, triangular head w/ small, overlapping strongly-keeled scales, & arrow pattern on top; small eyes w/ vertical pupils, set far forward, brow above each eye w/ a single horn. Body dark-brown or olive w/ 2 lighter undulating lines along each flank; scales rough, heavily-keeled, w/ 27-29 (rarely 31) midbody rows. Belly off-white mottled & stippled w/ black, tail yellow below.

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Habitat

Restricted to scrub bush in broken rocky areas, generally at elevations above 1,500 m, along the high central rift valley, in southwestern Kenya.

Activity and Behavior

Terrestrial, slow-moving, but can strike quickly. Probably mainly nocturnal or crepuscular, sometimes active in daytime. Main natural prey uncertain, but captive specimens feed readily on rodents or lizards which it captures by ambush from a covered position. Bears live young (7-12)/ litter, usually born in Mar.-Apr.

Venom Characteristics

Venom likely mildly cytotoxic. No known antivenom produced currently. One case report of moderate pain & mild swelling at the bite site of a human victim.

 


Bitis xeropaga

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names:

Common Names: Desert mountain adder

Description

Small, slender, adults average 30-40 cm long (max. 61 cm); dorsal scales moderately-keeled, 25-27 midbody rows. Head relatively unmarked on top, darker w/ lighter marks on sides, chin & throat white. Body ash to dark-grey or tan; patterned w/ crossbars, consisting of dark rectangle flanked by whitish spot on either side, in turn flanked by a light brown region. Belly light grey to dusky, speckled w/ darker spots.

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Habitat

Found mainly in driest parts of sparsely vegetated rocky hillsides & mountain slopes, in southern Namibia & adjacent areas in northwestern South Africa.

Activity and Behavior

More 'gentle' than other species of "dwarf adders," but will hiss & strike if disturbed. Does not sidewind, nor bury itself in sand. Captive specimens readily feed on lizards or small rodents. Water is readily taken from foliage or pools. Small litters of 4-5 young have been born in summer by captive specimens.

Venom Characteristics

Nothing is known about their venom, but it is likely cytotoxic. No human bites recorded. No known antivenom produced currently.

 


Boiga blandingii

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Identification

Family: Colubridae

Scientific Names: Dipsas blandingii, D. fasciatus, D. globiceps, Disas valida, Toxicodryas blandingii

Common Names: Blanding’s tree snake, Blanding’s cat snake, Blanding's broad-headed snake

Description

Large, stocky, rear-fanged tree snake w/ thin neck, short, broad, flattened head & prominent yellowish to brown eyes set well forward, w/ vertical pupils. Adults usually 1.4-2.0 m long (max. 2.8 m). Two basic color patterns: Glossy black above - yellow below; or brown, grey or yellow-brown above - yellow-brown below. Large, velvety dorsal scales in 21-25 rows at midbody. Usually males are black, females & juveniles brownish, some w/ irregular blackish bars.

Habitat

Primarily found in forested areas, also found in thick woodland/forest-savanna, wooded valleys in grassland, & along gallery forest in savanna areas. Has been reported from a broad band of central Africa, from Guinea in the west to western Kenya & northern Angola. Sometimes enters houses to catch roosting bats.

Activity and Behavior

Nocturnal; rests in leaf clumps, tree hollows, etc., during the day. Mainly arboreal, can climb to 30 m in large trees, but will descend to the ground to cross open spaces & roads. When threatened, it may inflate its body, flatten its head, raise its body in "C-shaped" coils & make bluffing strikes which are seldom on target. Lays 7-14 eggs (20 x 40 mm)/ clutch, eats birds, arboreal lizards, bats & rodents.

Venom Characteristics

Apparently neurotoxic (causing myoneural dysfunction), but not well characterized; No specific antivenom is currently produced & no commercial antivenom is known to be effective. This species will often bite repeatedly, in rapid succession, when threatened. Has caused locally painful bites, but no documented fatalities of humans.

 


Boiga dendrophila

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Identification

Family: Colubridae

Scientific Names: Boiga dendrophila annectens, B. d. dendrophila, B. d. divergens, B. d. gemmicincta, B. d. latifasciata, B. d. levitoni, B. d. melanota, B. d. multicincta, B. d. occidentalis, Dipsas dendrophila, Dipsadomorphus dendrophilus, Triglyphodon dendrophilum, T. gemmi-cinctum

Common Names: Mangrove snake, gold-ringed cat snake, Mangroven-Nachtbaumnatter

Description

Large snake (2-2.5 m long) w/ large head & mouth (can swallow a squirrel) & has relatively large, fixed rear fangs. Glossy-black w/ bright yellow bands, yellow lips & throat, & black-&-yellow belly. Eyes are grey w/ vertical pupils.

Habitat

Mainly found in mangrove swamps & edges of rain forests along coasts & mouths of large rivers throughout most of Southeast Asia.

Activity and Behavior

Mainly active in late afternoon & evening, often basks in trees at 15 ft. or higher off ground. Eats mainly birds (& their eggs) or small mammals, but also lizards, frogs, & other snakes. Often "hangs on" when it bites, & may inject significant amounts of venom from its rear fangs. Female may lay 4-15 eggs/ clutch in a tree hollow or suitable site on the ground. Matures at about 6-7 ft. body length.

Venom Characteristics

Venom characteristics & action have not been well studied. Bite effects in small mammmal pets & human children have included: drooping eyelids, reduced muscle tone near the bite, poor coordination, depressed heart rate, respiratory distress, swelling & discoloration of skin significant distance from the bite. Reported fatalities may have actually been due to bites by misidentified kraits (Bungarus spp).

 


Boiga irregularis

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Identification

Family: Colubridae

Scientific Names: Boiga flavescens, Coluber irregularis, Dendrophis fusca, Dipsadomorphus irregularis, Dipsas boydii, D. irregularis, D. ornata, Hurria pseudoboiga, Pappophis flavigastra, P. laticeps, Triglyphodon flavescens, T. laticeps

Common Names: Brown tree snake, Brown cat snake, Braune Nachtbaumnatter

Description

Large snake (up to 3 m on Guam), w/ very long tail, slender, laterally compressed body, & enlarged vertebral scales. Head large w/ big, bulbous eyes & relatively large, fixed rear fangs. May be brown, yellow, pink or barred.

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Habitat

Typically found in lowland woods & coastal forests. Native to Australia (New South Wales, North Territory, Queensland, West Australia), Indonesia, New Guinea, & the Solomon Islands. Has been recently introduced into Guam & the Caroline Islands.

Activity and Behavior

Mainly nocturnal, arborial, rests in leaf clumps, tree hollows etc., during the day. Feeds on birds, rodents or lizards. Tends to flatten its neck laterally when threatened. Has driven many bird species extinct in places where it has been itnroduced but has no natural predators. Enters homes, sometimes bites people. Has caused significant power outages on Guam.

Venom Characteristics

Nature & action of venom not well studied. Effects in bitten small mammal pets & human children have included: drooping eyelids, lowered muscle tone near bite, poor coordination, depressed heart rate, respiratory distress, tissue swelling & discoloration significant distances from bite. Rapidly repeated bites by threatened snakes are common. Reported fatalities not well documented & may have been by misidentified kraits (Bungarus spp).

 


Bothriechis aurifer

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops aurifer, B. aurifer, B. nigroviridis aurifer, Lachesis aurifer, Thamnocenchris aurifer

Common Names: Engl.: Yellow-blotched palm pit viper, Guat.: cantil loro, cantil verde, cotorra, gushnayera, ic bolay, raxcaj, tamagas verde, vibora del arbol, vibora verde, yaaxcan, Mex.: nauyaca, manchada, nauyaca verdinegra; Ger.: Guatemala-Lanzenotter, Gelbeflecte Lanzenotter

Description

Relatively slender, green, prehensile-tailed pit viper, adults usually up to 70 cm long (max. about 1 m); 18-21 midbody dorsal scale rows; usually yellowish-green w/ dorsal black-bordered yellow blotches, often w/ a broken black mid-dorsal stripe; belly paler. Top of the head usually has dark blotches & a dark post-ocular stripe from each eye to back of the head.

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Habitat

Found most commonly in lower montane rainforest (cloud forest) at 1,200-2,300 m elevation (very rarely, at much lower elevations). It may enter subtropical wet forest (pine-oak forest) along mesic ravines. Found in Mexico (Chiapas) & Guatemala. In Guatemala, it is found in regions of Sierra de las Minas & Sierra de Chuacus.

Activity and Behavior

Diurnal. Usually arboreal, but may be encountered at ground level or on low vegetation. Usually not aggressive & remain quietly coiled in vegetation, but will strike if brushed against or touched. Ovoviviparous w/ usually 5-8 young/ litter. Prey mainly on tree frogs, lizards & sometimes on available small rodents or birds.

Venom Characteristics

Mainly hematoxic, has caused human deaths.

 


Bothriechis bicolor

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothriechis ornatus, Bothrops bicolor, B. bernoulli, B. ornatus

Common Names: Engl.: Guatemalan palm pit viper, Guat.: cantil lora, cotorra, gushnayera, huisnayera, tamagas verde, vibora romana, vibora verde, Mex.: nauyaca bicolor, nauyaca verde, Ger.: Zweifarbige Lanzenotter

Description

Small to medium-sized, relatively slender, green, prehensile-tailed pitviper, adults usually 60-70 cm long (max. 100 cm). Usually green to bluish-green w/ no distinctive pattern, head lacks a postocular dark stripe, belly usually paler, yellowish-green, 21 midbody dorsal scale rows.

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Habitat

Most common in lower montane wet forest/moist forest at 500-2,000 m elevation. Occupies moderate & intermediate elevations, mainly along the Pacific versant of the southern Volcanic Cordillera of Guatemala from the Vulcan de Agua to southeastern Chiapas, Mexico.

Activity and Behavior

Arboreal, mainly nocturnal. Usually not aggressive & remains quietly coiled in vegetation, but will strike if brushed against or touched. Ovoviviparous w/ small number of young (usually <8) per litter. Preys mainly on small mammals, amphibians, & sometimes available birds.

Venom Characteristics

Mainly hemotoxic. Humans have reportedly occasionally been bitten by this species. It has not been reported to cause human fatalities, but may have that potential (it is rarely encountered by people).

 


Bothriechis lateralis

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops lateralis, Lachesis lateralis

Common Names: Engl. - Side-striped palm-pitviper, Coffee palm viper; CostaRica & Panama - lora, toboba; Nicaragua - Chocoya, lora

Description

Medium-sized, fairly slender arboreal palm pitviper, adults usually 0.5-1.0 m long; w/ a prehensile tail & 21-23 midbody dorsal scale rows. Background color usually yellowish-green to bluish-green, usually w/ dorsolateral bicolored (yellow & black) vertical bars. Adults usually lack a dark postocular stripe. Belly usually very light green to whitish.

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Habitat

Most commonly found coiled in vegetation over or near watercourses; reported from 850 to 2,000 m elevation. Limited to Costa Rica, Nicaragua & Panama.

Activity and Behavior

Mainly nocturnal, mainly arboreal; usually not aggressive & remain quietly coiled in vegetation, but will strike if brushed against or touched. Ovoviviparous w/ 6-17 young in litters reported for captured specimens. Preys mainly on small rodents, frogs, birds, & even (rarely) bats.

Venom Characteristics

Mainly hemotoxic w/ strong proteolytic factors. Sometimes bites & envenomates humans, but typical symptoms usually limited to localized pain, swelling, redness, & occasionally dizziness, headache, photosensitivity, & difficulty breathing. Rare reports of human fatalities due to bites by this species have not yet been confirmed.

Bothriechis marchi

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops marchi, B. nigroviridis marchi

Common Names: Engl. - March’s palm pit viper, Honduran palm viper; Honduras - tamaga verde; Nicaragua - chocoya, lora, vibora de las palmas

Description

Medium-sized, moderately slender, w/ prehensile tail, adults usually 0.5-1.0 m long. Body color usually yellowish-green to bluish-green, usually without any distinct patterning; some specimens may have indistinct bluish or yellowish-green mottling dorsally, belly paler green or yellow-green. Has 19-21 midbody dorsal scale rows.

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Habitat

Found mainly in rainforests & wet forests at low, moderate, & intermediate elevations of the Atlantic-drained slopes of Honduras (mainly at 500-1,500 m), including the Sierra de Espiritu Santo (probably also occur in southeastern Guatemala & northeastern Nicaragua).

Activity and Behavior

Arboreal; usually encountered coiled in trees or bushes. Mainly nocturnal. Usually nonaggressive, but may strike if brushed against or touched. Ovoviviparous w/ 6-13 young/ litter observed for captured females. Eats mainly available small mammals, lizards & birds.

Venom Characteristics

Not well known, probably mainly hemotoxic. Rarely reported to bite humans & no human fatalities documented from bites by this species, so far.

 


Bothriechis nigroviridis

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops marchi, B. nigroviridis, B. n. nigroviridis, B. rowleyi, Trimeresusus nigroviridis

Common Names: Engl. - Black-speckled palm-pitviper; Costa Rica - lora, sese, toboba de arbol, vibora de arbol

Description

Medium-sized, arboreal prehensile-tailed pitviper, adults usually <60 cm long (max. 93 cm); 17-21 midbody dorsal scale rows; body usually emerald-green to yellowish-green, strongly mottled w/ black; a distinct black postocular line from the eye to the corner of the mouth. Belly yellowish-green lightly mottled w/ black. Juveniles have black tail tip.

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Habitat

Found mainly in lower montane wet forest, cloud forest, & high montane forest; most common in undisturbed habitats. Found at 1,100-2,400 m elevation or higher. Limited to both slopes of the central cordillera of Costa Rica & western Panama.

Activity and Behavior

Mainly nocturnal, mainly arboreal; usually not aggressive & remains quietly coiled in vegetation, but will strike if disturbed. Ovoviviparous w/ usually 4-8 young/ litter. Preys mainly on small mammals, & sometimes frogs or birds.

Venom Characteristics

Mainly hemotoxic, w/ possible cytotoxic & neurotoxic factors. Has been implicated in human fatalities; envenomation reportedly results in intense pain, nausea, & asphyxia. Currently no specific antivenoms to this species.

Bothriechis rowleyi

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops rowleyi, B. nigroviridis macdougalli

Common Names: Engl. - Mexican palm-pitviper, Rowley’s palm-pitviper; Local names - Nauyaca de cola azul, vibora de arbol, vibora verde

Description

Small to medium-sized, moderately slender, arboreal pitviper, w/ a prehensile tail, adults usually 50-100 cm long, & w/ 19-21 midbody dorsal scale rows. Body background color usually emerald green scales w/ bluish skin; frequently w/ bluish or yellow & black blotches. The head has no dark postocular stripe.

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Habitat

Found mainly in cloud forest & mesic revines in pine-oak forest at 1,060-1,830 m elevation. Limited to Mexico (southeastern Oaxaca, northwestern Chiapas).

Activity and Behavior

Mainly arboreal & diurnal. Usually not aggressive & remains quietly coiled in vegetation, but will strike if disturbed. Ovoviviparous w/ reportedly 6-8 young/ litter. Prey mainly on arboreal frogs & small mammals.

Venom Characteristics

Not well known, but reportedly considered a dangerous snake by local inhabitants. Venoms is mainly hemotoxic, but may also contain neurotoxic components. No specific antivenom to this species currently produced.

 


Bothriechis schlegelii

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothriechis supraciliaris, Bothrops nigroadspersus, B. schlegelii, B. supraciliaris, Lachesis nitidus, L. schlegelii, Thanatophis torvus, Trigonocephalus schlegelii, Trimeresurus schlegelii

Common Names: Eyelash palm-pitviper, Green Tommygoff, chaj bolay, vibora del arbol

Description

Small, moderately slender, arboreal pitviper, w/ a prehensile tail, adults usually <60 cm long. Background color & markings extremely variable. Most specimens w/ body green, olive green, or gray-green, finely suffused w/ brownish to reddish-brown speckling. One color phase is yellowish w/ many irregular reddish blotches dorsally, often w/ a lot of speckling of smaller orangish spots, & belly usually almost solid paler yellow.

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Habitat

Found most commonly in tropical moist forest, wet subtropical forest (cloud forest), & montane wet forest. Usually found in shrubs, trees, & vine tangles close to rivers & streams. Found at up to 1,000 m elevation in Mexico & Guatemala, & up to 1,500 m in other parts of its range.

Activity and Behavior

Primarily arboreal & diurnal. Characteristically coils w/ mouth wide open when disturbed. Usually nonaggressive, but reportedly can be quick to bite when disturbed or just brushed against. Ovoviviparous w/ reports of 6-20 young/ litter; usually breed readily in captivity. Prey mainly on available arboreal lizards, frogs, & small mammals (may also hunt these same prey on the ground).

Venom Characteristics

Mainly hemotoxic, but w/ strongly myotoxic factors. A few humans bitten & envenomated by this species each year within its range, but fatalites (mainly of smaller children) reportedly rare. Typical serious envenomation symptoms include: local intense pain & swelling, w/ mild but slowly spreading tissue necrosis, dizziness, nausea, & difficulty breathing. No specific antivenom currently produced against this species.

 


Bothriechis supraciliaris

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops schlegeli supraciliaris, B. schlegelii supraciliaris, B. supraciliaris

Common Names: Blotched palm-pitviper; Bocaraca, terciopelo de pestana, toboba de pestana, toboba

Description

Medium-sized, rather slender, semi-arboreal, prehensile-tailed pitviper, adults usually 50-60 cm long (max. about 80 cm). Body color & pattern extremely variable, usually moss-green, bright-green, blue-green to reddish-brown or reddish-maroon; w/ circular, ovoid, rhomboid, or irregular dorsal blotches (may form crossbands), belly lighter, 21-23 midbody dorsal scale rows. Head w/ darker markings & prominent spinelike scales above each eye.

Habitat

Found mainly in lower montane wet forest & cloud forest. Limited to a mountainous area in southwestern Costa Rica, at 800-1,700 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Mainly nocturnal, & semi-arboreal (often hunts on the ground). Not reported to be aggressive, but will strike readily if disturbed even slightly. Ovoviviparous, usual litter size not reported (but probably <10 young). Preys mainly on available small mammals, lizards & frogs (mainly those which live primarily on, or near, ground level).

Venom Characteristics

Not well known. Mainly hemotoxic, but w/ possibly myotoxic factors. No human fatalities due to its bite documented so far.

Bothriechis thalassinus

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothriechis bicolor, Bothrops bicolor

Common Names: Morendon palm-pitviper, Yax chan, culebra verde

Description

Medium-sized, slender-bodied, prehensile-tailed pitviper, adults usually 60-80 cm long (max. 96.7 cm), w/ 21-23 midbody dorsal scale rows. Head & body usually greenish dorsally, shading to yellow-greenish along sides; belly usually lighter, cream to yellow-green to pale green. Dorsal pattern may have irregular turquoise blotches, to black blotches or speckling (not reaching very far down sides). Head w/ 2 black stripes & black speckling on top, these become reduced & less visible toward tail.

Habitat

Found mainly in the lower montane wet forest & lower montane moist forest in eastern Guatemala & western Honduras, at 885-1,730 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Not well known. Mainly nocturnal & arboreal. Not reported to be very aggressive, but will strike quickly if surprized or physically disturbed even slightly. Ovoviviparous, litter size not reported, but likely <10 young/ litter. Prey mainly on available frogs, lizards, & sometimes small mammals or birds.

Venom Characteristics

Not well known. Mainly hemotoxic, w/ possibly mildly neurotoxic or mildly myotoxic factors. Seldom encountered by humans, very few reported bites of humans. Typical envenomation effects reportedly limited to local pain, swelling, mild local tissue necrosis, "tingling" of a digit or limb, & nausea. No well documented serious envenomations or deaths of humans from bites by this species.

 


Bothriopsis albocarinata

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothriopsis pulchra (in part), Bothrops albocarinata

Common Names: Andean forest pitviper, Ecuadorian Forest pitviper, Loro Mashaco, Ysipi

Description

Small, moderately slender, arboreal pitviper that reaches at least 65 cm in length. Dorsal ground color is dark to medium green, often w/ a series of faint pale bands across its back that usually fade & become obscure anteriorly. Belly lighter greenish to greenish-gray. Has 19-23 midbody dorsal scale rows.

Habitat

Very limited data on this species, found mostly in cloud forest or upper rain forest, primarily an inhabitant of the high Andes & has a vertical distribution of 500 to over 3,000 m. May also be found in suitable habitats in Columbia & Peru, but no confirmed specimens from there, so far.

Activity and Behavior

Little is known about this species. It would likely behave like other closely-related arboreal pit vipers.

Venom Characteristics

Not well known. Mainly hemotoxic w/ possible cytotoxic or myotoxic factors.

 


Bothriopsis alticola

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothriopsis pulchra(in part), Bothrops alticola

Common Names: Andean forest pit viper, Loro Mashaco, Ysipi

Description

Small, moderately slender, arboreal pitviper, adults about 65-75 cm long. Body is usually greenish-yellow dorsally, w/ a series of transverse black spots that coalesce both anteriorly & posteriorly, but are distinct at midbody, belly usually lighter. Has 19-23 midbody dorsal scale rows. Looks very similar to the closely-related species, B. pulchra.

Habitat

Found mainly in upper montane temperate forest, at 300-3,000+ m elevation, in the Andes regions of Colombia, Ecuador & possibly also Peru (no confirmaed specimens from there, yet).

Activity and Behavior

Not much known about this species. Probably similar to other arboreal pit vipers.

Venom Characteristics

Not much known. Mainly hemotoxic w/ possible myotoxic or cytotoxic factors.

 


Bothriopsis bilineata

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothriopsis bilineata bilineata, B. b. smaragdina, B. taeniata, Bothrops bilineatus, Cophias bilineatus, Lachesis bilineatus, Trigonocephalus arboreus

Common Names: Two-striped forest pitviper, green Tommy goffi, Cobra papagaio, lora, orito, loro machaco,

Description

Slender, prehensile tailed pitviper, adults usually <70 cm long (max. 123 cm); body pale green to bluish-green, head green & speckled with black, tan or brown; 23-35 midbody scale rows; body sometimes w/ variable (usually paired) blotches, always with a longitudinal thin yellowish line along each side where the ventral & dorsal scales meet; belly yellow w/ green tinge, tail pinkish (bordered by yellow) near tip.

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Habitat

Found mainly in lowland rainforest, especially near waterways, at elevations up to 1,000 m. in Amazon or Atlantic coastal drainage of nine different South American countries; mainly Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, French Guiana, & Peru.

Activity and Behavior

Arboreal, slow-moving, mainly nocturnal. Usually found in shrubs, trees & vines more than 1 m above the ground. Not usually aggressive, but will strike if disturbed. Mainly prey on frogs, birds, lizards or small mammals. Bear 4-16 live young.

Venom Characteristics

Not well known. Primarily hemotoxic; envenomation has resulted in human deaths.

Bothriopsis chloromelas

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothriechis oligolepis, B. o. oligolepis, Bothriopsis oligolepis, B. peruvianus, Bothrops chloromelas, B. chrysomelas, B. oligolepis, B. peruvianus, Lachesis bilineatus var. oligolepis, L. chloromelas, L. peruvianus

Common Names: Engl.: Inca forest pitviper, Bolivia: yoperojobobo venenosa, Peru: achu jergon, lamon, jergon negro, loro machaco, yawayuochaco

Description

Medium-sized, moderately stocky, prehensile-tailed arboreal pitviper, adults may exceed 100 cm long, 23-25 midbody scale rows. Head mainly black on top, w/ pale green highlights, especially around edges. Chin creamy-yellow w/ black & green speckles. Body usually bright green, heavily blotched & speckled w/ black. Ventrals lighter, speckled w/ black & green, tongue black or red w/ black pigment.

Habitat

Not well studied, but found mainly in cloud forest in central Peruvian Andes, from 1,000-2,000+ m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

A rare species w/ not much known about its activities or behavior. Probably mainly nocturnal & arboreal, preying on available small mammals, birds & sometimes lizards or frogs.

Venom Characteristics

Not much known, but probably hemotoxic (like the venoms of most known related species). No well documented envenomations of humans, or related symptoms, nor deaths due to bites by this species, have been reported.

 


Bothriopsis medusa

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops eneydae, Lachesis medusa

Common Names: Venezuelan forest pitviper, mapanare-tigrito, tigra-mariposa, tigra-veinticuatro, viejita

Description

Small to medium-sized, moderately slender, arboreal pitviper, adults usually 50-80 cm long. Body colors include tan, yellowish-brown, gray, & olive green; body usually has a series of irregular dark dorsal bands w/ paler centers (bands indistinct in darker specimens).

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Habitat

Found mainly in lower montane wet forest & cloud forest in the central range of the Cordillera de la Costa, Venezuela (including relatively colder areas), at 475-2000 m elevation. Considered to be very rare, w/ low numbers due to loss of habitat.

Activity and Behavior

Not much known about the biology of this species. It is probably mainly arboreal (w/ a prehensile tail), but has only been collected while on the ground. Nocturnal, usually slow moving & not aggressive, but will strike rapidly when disturbed. Probably mainly preys on small mammals, maybe also eats frogs & lizards.

Venom Characteristics

Primarily hemotoxic; usually said to have a "mild effect" on humans; but there are some reports of serious envenomations.

 


Bothriopsis oligolepis

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops chrysomelas, B. oligolepis, Bothropsis peruvianus, Lachesis bilineatus var. oligolepis, L. chloromelas

Common Names: Inca forest pitviper, jergon, jergon negro, loro machaco, sachavaca machaco

Description

Medium-sized, fairly slender, prehensile-tailed arboreal pitviper, adults usually about 80 cm long (max. 99 cm). Body greenish, very heavily blotched & speckled w/ black; many ill-defined black blotches (often w/ pale borders) often forming crossbands, & often bordered by yellow-white; 23 midbody dorsal scale rows. Belly yellow w/ pale green mottling. Outer part of tail pinkish w/ mottling (may be all dark).

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Habitat

Mainly reported from wet montane forests on the eastern slopes of the Andes in southeastern Peru & northern Bolivia at 1,500-2,500 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

This is a very rare species & not much is known about it habitat or activity. Probably mainly arboreal, & nocturnal, but collection sites are often cold, & thus, this may be a diurnal (or seasonally diurnal) species; probably preying mainly on small mammals & birds.

Venom Characteristics

Not much known. Probably hemotoxic, but no documented reports of human envenomations, or their effects.

Bothriopsis pulchra

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothriecus albocarinata, B. alticola, B. oligolepis albocarinatus, Bothrops albocarinatus, B. alticola, B. alticolus, B. leptura, B. monticelli, B. mahnerti, B. pulcher, B. pulchra, Bothriopsis albocarinata, B. alticola, B. punctata, B. punctatus, Lachesis pulcher, Trigonocephalus pulcher

Common Names: Andean forest pitviper, Chocoan forest pitviper, loro mashaco, mscanchillo, cuatronarices, dormilona, lecha, pelo de gato, ysipi

Description

Small, moderately slender, arboreal pitviper, adults usually about 70 cm long; tail relatively long & prehensile. Body pale brown to greenish-tan, darker pale-bordered dorsal blotches may coalesce w/ lateral blotches forming irregular bands; 19-23 midbody dorsal scale rows. Head tan on top w/ symmetrical paired dark stripes or marks. Belly yellow w/ black mottling.

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Habitat

Found mainly in cloud forest or upper montane temperate forest, at 300-3,000 m elevation, on the Pacific foothills of the Andes & coastal plain from western Colombia, through Ecuador into northwestern Peru.

Activity and Behavior

Not well known, but probably mainly nocturnal, arboreal & not very aggressive. As w/ all "forest pitvipers," caution should be exercised when moving through dense secondary growth in forested foothills within their range. Probably prey mainly on small rodents & birds, & sometimes on lizards or frogs.

Venom Characteristics

Probably hemotoxic, but not much known, & no well documented cases of envenomation of humans, or reports of resultant symptoms.

 


Bothriopsis taeniata

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothriechis teaniatus, Bothrops castelnaudi, B. c. lichenosus, B. lichenosa, B. taeniatus, B. t. lichenosis, B. t. taeniatus, Bothriopsis taeniata lichenosa, B. t. taeniata, Lachesis castelnaudi Bothriopsis taeniata, Bothrops castelnaudi

Common Names: Engl.: Speckled forest pitviper, Brazil: jararaca-amarela, jararaca-cinca, jararaca cinzenta, jararaca-tigrina, Columbia: cuatronarices, estralita, macabrel, macaurel, rabo de raton, Peru: huicvont, huicvonto, jergon, jergon de arbol, jergon arbicola, marashar, nashipkit, Suriname: boomoroekoekoe, Venezuela: mapanare, mapanare liquenosa

Description

Medium-sized, slender, arboreal pitviper w/ prehensile tail; adults usually <100 cm long (max. about 150 cm); body lavender-grey to yellow-green, pattern extremely variable, but nearly all specimens have a row of bold white spots along the junction of ventral & dorsal scales.

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Habitat

Widely distributed in wet & temperate lowland & foothill forests of South America east of the Andes through the southern amazon basin & along the northeastern countries of Brazil, the Guianas, & Suriname, from sea level up to 2,100 m. elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Mainly nocturnal & arboreal; usually encountered in primary forest or forest edge situations, in vines & low vegetation. Difficult to see because of cryptic coloration. Not aggressive but will strike quickly if disturbed. Not well known, but probably ovoviviparous (clutch size not reported), & probably mainly preys on available frogs, birds, lizards, & small mammals.

Venom Characteristics

No specific data; however, the rather large size & long fangs of this snake make it potentially dangerous. Bothriopsis venom is primarily hemotoxic.

Bothrocophias campbelli

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops campbelli, B. pulchra, Lachesis pulcher, Porthidium almawebi, Trigonocephalus pulcher

Common Names: Ecaudorian toadheaded viper, Campbell's toadheaded viper, serpiente boca de sapo

Description

Medium-sized, stout-bodied, large-headed, toadheaded pitviper, adults usually 75-85 cm long (max. 123 cm); body dorsum pale reddish-grey w/ dark grey-brown cross bands often broken at the mid-dorsal line, belly dark brown to black w/ yellow area on posterior outer edge. Head grey-brown above, w/ dark speckling, small whitish post-ocular stripe, blunt snout. Tail slender, not prehensile, grey-black above, makes up 12-18% of total length.

Habitat

Found mainly in lower montane wet forests & cloud forests of the highlands of western Ecuador, at 1,300-2,000 m elevation; among herbaceous plants, shrubs & trees (typically in margins of forest edges or clearings).

Activity and Behavior

Mainly nocturnal & terrestrial, usually found on forest floor & near a stream or body of water. Prey mainly on rodents, lizards, or various other available prey. Captured specimens have been observed to bear 6-36 live young, each about 18 cm long.

Venom Characteristics

Potent hemotoxic venom, envenomation by 3 closely-related species in this genus have caused human deaths, frequently cause severe necrosis, & may lead to amputation of human limbs.

 


Bothrocophias columbianus

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops columbianus, B. microphthalmus columbianus, B. rhombeatus, Porthidium columbianum

Common Names: Columbian toadheaded pitviper, equis colorado, mapana

Description

Large, heavy-bodied toadheaded pitviper, adults usually 80-100 cm long (max. 136 cm). Very similar to B. campbelli, but w/ a more reddish tinge to body (especially notable in juveniles & young specimens); & this species' dorsal scales are mostly very strongly tuberculate & "Lachesis-like" in appearance; usually in 23-25 midbody dorsal rows.

Habitat

Found almost exclusively in lower montane wet forests & cloud forests of the Pacific slopes of the Andes in western Columbia, at 800-2,000+ m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Not well known. Mainly noctunal & terrestrial. Prey mainly on available small mammals, lizards, & sometimes birds. Closely-related species are all ovoviviparous, but there is one report that this species lays eggs (& "broods" them). For details about biology of a closely-related species, See Bothrocophias campbelli.

Venom Characteristics

Not much known. One reported bite by a juvenile of this species caused grade IV envenomation (the most severe stage), w/ renal complications, thrombosis, & necrosis. Also, See Bothrocophias campbelli.

 


Bothrocophias hyoprora

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops hyoprora, B. hyoprorus, B. pessoai, Porthidium hyoprora, P. hyoprorum, Trimeresurus hyoprora, T. pessoai

Common Names: Amazonian toadheaded pitviper, Bolivia: yoperojobobo, Brazil: cuaima, narizona, jararaca nariguda, Columbia: equis sapa, jergon, sapa, Ecuador: hocico de puerco, namacunchi, ushuculi, Peru: jergon, jergon-shuchupe, jergon-shushupe, yatutu

Description

Small, stout-bodied, terrestrial toadheaded pitviper, adults usually 40-50 cm long (max. 83 cm); 21-25 midbody dorsal scale rows, w/ distinctive up-turned snout. Apparently sexually dimorphic w/ males smaller & darker. Similar to other species in this genus in regard to coloration & variations of patterning. For some example variations, See Bothrocophias campbelli.

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Habitat

Found mainly in rainforest or very humid tropical forest, often near water or in leaf litter on elevated ground; mainly at low elevations in equatorial forests of the Amazon basin in Columbia, eastern Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, & western Brazil in Amazonas & Rondonia. Found from sea level to 1,000+ m elevation. Preys on small rodents, lizards, etc., as available.

Activity and Behavior

Not well known. Probably mainly nocturnal & terrestrial. Preys mainly on small rodents, lizards, birds, etc. For details about a closely-related species, See Bothrocophias campbelli.

Venom Characteristics

Potent hemotoxic effects, including several reported human deaths. Also See Bothrocophias campbelli.

Bothrocophias microphthalmus

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops microphthalma, B. m. microphthalma, B. microphthalmus, B. m. microphthalmus, Lachesis microphthalmus, L. pleuroxanthus, Porthidium microphthalmum, Trimeresurus microphthalmus

Common Names: Engl.: Small-eyed toadheaded pitviper, Bolivia: yoperojobobo, Brazil: jararaca, Columbia: mapana, taya, talla, Ecuador: hoja podrida, Peru: dukamp, equis, equis jergon, jergon, jergon podridora, jergon shushupe, makanch

Description

Small to medium-sized, heavy-bodied, terrestrial toadheaded pitviper, adults usually 40-70 cm long (max. 116 cm); Brown to straw-colored to gray, w/ irregular transverse marks or crossbands, typically 23 midbody scale rows; head has no distinct markings on top, dark brown post-orbital stripe, iris goldish w/ vertical pupil, tongue uniformly black. Belly heavily mottled w/ dark brown, darker toward tail.

Habitat

Found mainly on the Amazonian slopes of the Andes in Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, & Brazil; from 1,000 to 2,350 m elevation. Mainly lives in lower montane wet forests & cloud forests.

Activity and Behavior

Not much known. Probably mainly nocturnal & terrestrial. Probably ovoviviparous (litter size not reported) & mainly preys on small mammals, birds & possibly lizards (as available). Also See Bothrocophias campbelli.

Venom Characteristics

Potent hemotoxin, but not well characterized. Venom of this species may be the most toxic of any in this genus. Preliminary studies have indicated that this snake's venom is poorly neutralized by some commercially available antivenoms.

Bothrocophias myersi

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops campbelli (in part), B. lanceolatus, B. pulcher, Porthidium almawebi (in part)

Common Names: Chocoan toadheaded pitviper, taya del cauca, cabeze de lanza

Description

Medium to large, moderately slender, toadheaded pitviper, adults usually about 75 cm long (max. 120 cm). Body dorsal color uniformly orange to dark red-brown, sometimes w/ slightly darker crossbars edged in white, usually 23 midbody dorsal scale rows; head w/ top & sides dark brown, grayish-blue post-ocular stripe, belly lighter (may be pinkish), blotched & speckled w/ orange & brown to gray.

Habitat

Found mainly in rainforest (areas receiving >500 cm of rain/yr.) in the Pacific lowlands of western Columbia, at 75-200 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Not well known, but probably mainly nocturnal & terrestrial. Preys mainly on small mammals, lizards, birds, or other available prey. Ovoviviparous (litter size not reported).

Venom Characteristics

Not well characterized, but probably rather potent and hemotoxic. For details about venom of a closely-related species, See Bothrocophias campbelli.

 


Bothrops alcatraz

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Lachesis lanceolatus

Common Names: Alcatrazes lancehead, Jararaca-de-Alcatrazes

Description

A rather "dwarfed" terrestrial lancehead pitviper, adults only up to 50 cm long. Body usually pale brownish-gray w/ 14 large dark olive-brown trapezoidal blotches along its back. Dark brown postorbital stripe, dorsal scales strongly keeled, 22-26 midbody dorsal scale rows. Belly pale yellowish-gray, sometimes w/ dark gray blotches.

Habitat

Found in low Atlantic Forest vegetation only on the island of Ilha Alcatrazes about 35 km off the coast of Sao Paulo, southeastern Brazil. Found up to 226 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Mainly nocturnal & mainly terrestrial but climbs into low bushes & may be considered semi-arboreal. Ovoviviparous, litter size not reported, but probably <15 young. Apparently preys mainly on the colonies of Frigate Birds on the island to which it is endemic.

Venom Characteristics

Mainly hemotoxic w/ possible tissue-necrotic factors; reportedly has a very intensely coaglant activity. numerous human envenomations have been reported, but only a very few human fatalities.

Bothrops alternatus

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Craspedocephalus brasiliensis, Lachesis alternata, L. alternatus, L. inaequalis, Trimeresurus alternatus

Common Names: Engl.: Urutu, Argentina: kiririog-aka-kurussu, mboi cuaia, vibora de la cruz, yarara, yarara grande, Brazil: biocoatiara, biocoatiara coatiara, cotiara, cruzeira, cruzeiro, jararaca de agosto, jarara rabo-de-porco, urutu, Paragauy: Mboi-cuatia, Mboi-kwatiara, yarara acacusu, Uruguay: crucera, vibora de la cruz, yarara

Description

Large, heavy-bodied, pitviper, adults usually 1.0-1.7 m long (max. 2.0+ m). Body color variable; may be brown, tan, or gray, sometimes w/ an olive cast. Body usually has a series of C-shaped darker markings boldly outlined w/ paler scales. Belly pale whitish-gray, w/ a dark brown stripe (wider toward tail) from neck to tail tip.

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Habitat

Found mainly in low-lying swampy areas, river banks, marshes, & other humid habitats at elevations up to 700 m. Also in open fields & rocky areas in Argentina. Found in tropical, semitropical & temperate forest & is said to be common in cultivated areas & near human habitations. Seldom ever found in very dry situations.

Activity and Behavior

Mainly terrestrial & nocturnal. Easily aroused when threatened, it can be aggressive & will defend itself vigorously. Ovoviviparous w/ 1-24 young/ litter. Prey mainly on frogs, toads, etc. as juveniles; then as adults mainly on small mammals, birds, & sometimes lizards.

Venom Characteristics

Primarily hemotoxic & cytotoxic; envenomation by this, & related Bothrops spp., can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue necrosis. This species is an important cause of snakebite throughout its range, most bites are to lower limbs. Although seldom fatal to humans, bites are fairly common.

Bothrops ammodytoides

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops burmeisteri, B. nasus, B. patagonicus, Lachesis ammodytoides, Rhinocerophis nasus

Common Names: Engl.: Patagonian lancehead, yararanata, Local Names: Cenicienta, yara nata

Description

Small to medium-sized, stocky terrestrial pitviper, adults usually 50-80 cm long (max. about 100 cm) w/ 23-25 midbody dorsal scale rows. Body usually tan or gray dorsally, w/ a series of 30-32 prominent, large, rounded, dark-brown blotches separated by paler areas; smaller, less well-defined dark blotches occur later in life. Head w/ upturned snout & dark-brown postorbital stripe. Belly white w/ scattered black speckling, especially along sides.

Habitat

Most common in temperate to subtropical savannas & steppes, primarily in sandy, rocky areas, including coastal dunes, steep river banks, & salt flats. May frequent small mammal burrows in rocky plains areas. Occurs from near sea level to 2,000+ m elevation. Found only in central & southern Argentina. May be the southernmost snake species in the world.

Activity and Behavior

Terrestrial & nocturnal, & reportedly has an irritable temperament. Ovoviviparous w/ litter number reportedly depending on size of female, probably seldom >20 young/litter.

Venom Characteristics

Not much known for this species. In general, Bothrops venoms are mainly hemotoxic & cytotoxic; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction. This species is capable of causing human fatalies.

 


Bothrops andianus

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops andiana, B. pictus, Lachesis lanceolatus (in part)

Common Names: Andean lancehead, jergon, jergona, terciopelo, la chuta, dormilona, hupachilla

Description

Medium to large-sized, terrestrial lancehead pitviper, adults usually 60-70 cm long (max. 125.8 cm). Body usually olive-gray to brown, w/ a series of dark, pale-edged rounded triangles along the sides, 21-25 midbody dorsal scale rows. Head usually w/ a very wide dark postorbital stripe. Belly cream to yellow, mottled heavily w/ dark gray, brown or black w/ yellowish median streak on front half.

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Habitat

Found mainly in wetter forested areas at 1,800-3,300 m elevation. Limited to areas in the high Andes in central & western Bolivia & southeastern Peru.

Activity and Behavior

Not much known; probably mainly nocturnal & terrestrial. Ovoviviparous w/ litter size dependent on body size of the female (no specific numbers reported), & probably seldom >20 neonates/ litter. Probably prey mainly on available small mammals, birds, & maybe lizards & frogs.

Venom Characteristics

Not much known. Venom of most Bothrops species is mainly hemotoxic w/ some cytotoxic factors. Envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction. Potentially capable of causing human deaths.

Bothrops asper

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops atrox asper, B. a. septentrionalis, B. a. xanthogrammus, Bothrops xanthogrammus, Lachesis xanthogrammus, Trigonocephalus asper, T. xanthogrammus

Common Names: Terciopelo, barba amarilla, cantil, cantil Boca dorado, cantil devanador, yellow-jaw tommygoff, equis, equis negra, cascabelle, toboba rabo amarilla, cuatronarices, pelo de gato, nauyaca, taya equis, fer-de-lance (plus many more slight local variations of these; >100 variant common names)

Description

Large, moderately slender, lance-headed, adults usually 1.2-1.8 m long (max. 3.05 m); body colors & patterns highly variable, but many specimens are light brown to olive-grey & appear to have a series of dark X’s down their back, 23-33 (usually 25-29) midbody dorsal scale rows. Head almost no dorsal markings, postorbital stripe present, snout markedly pointed, underside of head plain pale yellow. Venter pale yellow, cream or whitish-gray.

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Habitat

Found mainly in lowlands & coastal plains, from sea level to 1,300 m elevation, but may reach 2,700 m in Andes areas. Most common in tropical rainforest & tropical evergreen forest, from southeastern Mexico through Central America to Ecuador & Venezuela (to Trinidad). Seldom found in very dry habitats.

Activity and Behavior

Mainly nocturnal & terrestrial, but may climb bushes & low trees. Often seeks prey near human habitations & in or near cultivated areas. Excitable & unpredictable if disturbed; easily provoked to strike. Moves very rapidly & defends itself aggressively. Ovoviviparous w/ 25-70 (avg. 40) young/ litter. Young eat arthropods & other exothermic prey until large enough to swallow small rodents; then they shift to warm-blooded (endothermic) prey, & often use their tail to lure prey.

Venom Characteristics

Has a large supply of potent mainly hemotoxic venom w/ cytotoxic factors; envenomation can cause systemic internal bleeding & serious local tissue destruction. Causes immediate burning pain, edema, local hemorrhage, discoloration, necrosis, can cause wide-spread hemmorrhage (at multiple sites & intracranial), coagulopathy, severe hypotension, renal failure & shock. Causes more human deaths than any other pitviper species in the Western Hemisphere.

Bothrops atrox

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops affinis, B. furia, B. isabelae, B. neuvoiedii venezuelenzi, B. sabinii, B. subscutatus, Coluber atrox, C. lanceolatus, Lachesis atrox, L. lanceolatus, Trigonocephalus asper, Trimeresurus atrox

Common Names: Common lancehead, Fer-de-Lance, caicaca, acuamboia, caissaca, bulla barbara amarilla, machacu, taya, taya equis, jararaca, cascabel (juveniles only, in Peru) mapanare, Gewohnliche Lanzenotter (plus >40 additional variant local names).

Description

Large, moderately heavy-bodied lancehead, adults usually 75-125 cm long (max. 162 cm); body color & patterns extremely variable, but most specimens have a dorsal body pattern w/ a series of distinct light-edged, dark cross bands (sometimes pattern nearly indistinguishable), head brownish to grey w/ dark postocular stripe, lower surface of head & body yellow to whitish w/ variable dark markings (fade toward the tail). Juvenile tail tip often yellowish or pink.

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Habitat

Found in low montane forest throughout most tropical lowlands of South America east of the Andes, exclusive of Argentina, Paraguay & Uraguay; up to 1,300 m elevation in eastern slopes of the Andes. Prefer damp locales in association w/ creeks, lakes, or rivers; also found in cultivated areas & around human habitations, including weedy urban lots.

Activity and Behavior

Mainly nocturnal & terrestrial, but will climb shrubs or trees up to 4 m above the ground. Often lives near human habitation. Young eat ectothermic prey (including arthropods) until they are large enough to swallow small rodents; then they switch to mainly endothermic prey (mammals, birds). Sometimes aggressive if cornered and may strike quickly if disturbed. Ovoviviparous w/ 8-24 young/ litter reported.

Venom Characteristics

Has a large amount of potent venom that is mainly hemotoxic w/ cytotoxic factors; envenomation can result in intense immediate pain, edema, severe local tissue necrosis, systemic internal bleeding, renal failure, hypotension & shock. Reported to cause human fatalities often.

Bothrops barnetti

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Trimeresurus barnetti

Common Names: Barnett’s lancehead, cascabel, false cascabel, macanch, san carranca, zancarranca

Description

Small to medium-sized, stout, terrestrial lancehead, adults usually 50-80 cm long (max. 140 cm). Body color usually varies from medium brown to pale gray to straw; body usually w/ paired dorsolateral dark brown pale-bordered triangular or trapezoidal blotches that alternate or meet at dorsal midline, 23-25 midbody dorsal scale rows. Belly white w/ dark brown speckling along sides. Most dorsal scales have apical pits.

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Habitat

Only reported from near streams, in arid desert scrub areas at elevations near sea level; & only in coastal northwestern Peru, so far (maybe occurs into coastal southwestern Ecuador, but no known specimens from there).

Activity and Behavior

Very little known, but probably mainly terrestrial & mainly nocturnal. Probably ovoviviparous (litter size not reported), & probably prey mainly on available small mammals & birds, maybe also lizards or frogs.

Venom Characteristics

Specific data are lacking. Venom of most species of Bothrops is mainly hemotoxic w/ some cytotoxic factors. Envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction. Potentially capable of causing human fatalities.

Bothrops brazili

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops neglectus (in part)

Common Names: Engl.: Brazil’s lancehead, Brazil: jararaca vermelha, jararacussu, surucucu vermelha, Columbia: rabo de raton, Guyana: kalakunaro, Peru: cascabel, jergon, jergon shushupe, Suriname: bergi-owroekoekoe, boesi-owroekoekoe, labaria, morabana, oroekoekoe, Venezuela: mapanare, mapanare de Amazonus

Description

Medium-sized, fairly stout-bodied, lancehead pitvipers, adults usually 70-90 cm long (max. 140+ cm). Body usually varies from coppery-brown to pale-gray; usually w/ paired dorsolateral pale-bordered darker blotches that may meet dorsally, forming irregular bands or "C's". Has 23-29 (usually 25-27) midbody dorsal scale rows, often w/ rusty tinge along vertebral line. Belly yellow to pinkish-cream w/ slightly darker mottling. Tail sometimes mostly black.

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Habitat

Found mainly in elevated primary forests in northern & central South America, from near sea level to 500 m elevation. Appears to be restricted to humid leaf litter habitats.

Activity and Behavior

Mainly nocturnal & terrestrial; can be aggressive & will strike if molested or accidentally touched. Ovoviviparous w/ litter size not reported, but likely <20 young (depends a lot on the body size of the female). Prey mainly on available small rodents, birds, & often also lizards & frogs.

Venom Characteristics

Specific data are lacking; reportedly "greatly feared" by Amerindians in southern Colombia. Venom of most species of Bothrops is mainly hemotoxic, w/ cytotoxic factors; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction. Has the potential to cause human deaths, but bites & serious envenomations by this species are relatively seldom reported, & reported fatalities are rare.

Bothrops caribbaeus

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops caribbaea, B. lanceolatus caribbaeus, B. sabinii, B. scutatus, B. subscutatus, Coluber lanceolatus (in part), Trigonocephalus caribbaeus

Common Names: St. Lucia lancehead, fer-de-lance, rat-tail, serpent, Saint Lucia serpent, Saint Lucia viper

Description

A large semi-arboreal, lancehead pitviper, adults usually about 1.0 m long (max. 2.13 m). Body dorsal ground color varies & is usually gray, but may be gray, gray-brown, yellow, or even red; w/ 25-29 midbody dorsal scale rows. Has a dull dark brown to black postorbital stripe behind each eye. Belly usually all yellow; tail usually gray to pink w/ irregular pale marks (usually either pink or yellow in juveniles).

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Habitat

Mainly found in lowland tropical forest, some coastal plain regions of low humidity, only on Saint Lucia island. It is said to be abundant in cocoa plantations and beneath piles of coconut husks. Mainly found from near sea level to 200 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Limited data available. Reportedly mainly nocturnal, mainly terrestrial, yet often semi-arboreal. Usually avoids humans, but will quickly strike if disturbed even a little bit. Ovoviviparous, w/ litter size not reported, but probably about 20-30 young per litter. Prey mainly on rodents & other small mammals commonly found in their habitat. Sometimes will also eat available birds, lizards or frogs.

Venom Characteristics

Not much known, but probably mainly hemotoxic w/ cytotoxic factor(s). Has been reported to cause human fatalities. For generalized envenomation effects of a closely related species, See Bothrops asper.

 


Bothrops cotiara

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Lachesis cotiara

Common Names: Engl.: cotiara, Argentina: cotiara, yarara de vientre negro, Brazil: boicoatiara, boicotiara, coatiara, cotiara, jararaca-de-barriga-preta, jararaca preta, kwatiara, Mboi-kwatiara

Description

Adult length usually 0.7-1.0 m; a moderately heavy-bodied snake. Background color usually tan to pale olive-brown; body usually has a series of large pale-edged darker brown rounded trapezoidal to triangular blotches on either side of the midline, 25-29 (usually 27) midbody dorsal scale rows, belly usually cream "powdered" w/ black & darker along sides.

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Habitat

Most common in humid, temperate Araucaria (monkey-puzzle) forest & associated savanna at elevations up to 1,800 m. in southeastern Brazil & northern Argentina.

Activity and Behavior

Limited data, but probably mainly nocturnal & terrestrial. Probably similar to other closely related species (e.g., See Bothrops atrox).

Venom Characteristics

Specific data are lacking. Bothrops venom primarily is hemotoxic & has cytotoxic factors; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction. Human fatalities have been reported.

Bothrops diporus

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops neuwiedi diporus, B. neuwiedii diporus, B. n. meridionalis

Common Names: Engl.: Chaco lancehead, Argentina: crucera, kiririog, pina machajuay, vibora de la cruz, vibora de rabo blanco,yara, yarara, yarara chica, yarara de cola blanca, yarara-i, yararaquina, Brazil: boca de sapo, bocuda, cabeca-de-capanga, jarara-cussu, jararaca, jararaca-do-rabo-branco, jararaca-pintada, jararaquinha, urutu, Paraguay: kyryry'o

Description

Terestrial, medium build lancehead, adults usually 60-70 cm long (max. 110 cm); Body color medium to dark brown; patterned w/ a row of white-edged dark-brown to black dorsolateral blotches, 23-27 midbody dorsal scale rows, venter pale w/ not much marking.

Habitat

Found mainly in seasonally dry lower montane forest at elevations of about 1,500 m in northern Argentina, Paraguay & southern Brazil.

Activity and Behavior

Not much known, but terrestrial & probably mainly nocturnal. Probably similar to closely related species (e.g., See Bothrops neuwiedii).

Venom Characteristics

Specific data are lacking. Bothrops venoms are mainly hemotoxic & often have cytotoxic factors; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction. Potentially lethal to humans, but human fatalities not well documented, so far.

 


Bothrops erythromelas

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops erythromelas, Lachesis neuwiedi itapetiningae (in part)

Common Names: Caatinga lancehead, cabeca-de-capanga, jararaca, jararaca dasecca, jararaca-malha-de-cascavel, jararacussu

Description

Small, moderately slender pitviper, adults usually 40-50 cm long (max. 85 cm). Body color usually brown to reddish-brown w/ a series of pale-edged dark-brown to black blotches that may coalesce to form irregular bands, 19-21 midbody dorsal scale rows. Head brown to reddish-brown, variably marked, belly yellowish-tan w/ ill-defined dark blotches along sides.

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Habitat

Most common in dry & semiarid thorn forest & open rocky areas, but also reported from along river margins, only in northeastern Brazil. May be found under mats of terrestrial bromeliads. Found up to 2,000 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Not much known; reportedly responsible for many snakebites within its range, but reported human fatalities not well documented.

Venom Characteristics

Bothrops venom primarily is hemotoxic & often have cytotoxic factors; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction. B. erythromelas venom lacks thrombin-like activity because of its fibrinogenolytic effect.

Bothrops fonsecai

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops alternatus (in part)

Common Names: Fonseca’s lancehead, cotiara, jararaca, urutu

Description

Medium to large-sized, heavy-bodied, pitviper, adults usually 1.0-1.5 m long. Body color usually tan to medium-brown w/ a dorsal series of pale-edged black blotches that may alternate or coalesce to form irregular crossbands. Sides each have a series of 17-19 paired smaller dark blotches, & 26-28 midbody dorsal scale rows. A pair of moveable front fangs.

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Habitat

Most common in well-drained areas of the Atlantic forest zone at elevations dominated by Araucaria, Podocarpus, & other trees.

Activity and Behavior

Terrestrial & probably mainly nocturnal. Prey mainly on small mammals, possibly also on available birds or lizards.

Venom Characteristics

No specific data. Bothrops venoms are primarily hemotoxic & often have cytotoxic factors; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction. No data reported on case studies of treatment for this species.

 


Bothrops insularis

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Lachesis insularis, Trimeresurus insularis

Common Names: Golden lancehead, jararaca ilhoa, Insel-Lanzenotter

Description

Moderately slender, medium-sized pitviper, adults usually 70-100 cm long. Body color usually pale yellowish-brown, sometimes w/ a series of darker irregular bands or large blotches; 23-29 (usually 25) midbody dorsal scale rows. Head pale yellowish-brown dorsally. Belly lighter yellowish brown, sometimes speckled w/ small darker blotches (if present, usually increase toward tail).

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Habitat

This species is endemic to Ilha Queimada Grande (state of Sao Paulo), an island 64 km southwest of Bahia de Santos off the southeast coast of Brazil. Found in dry, rocky, open scrubby forests, max. elevation of the island is about 200 m.

Activity and Behavior

There is a high density of this species on the island. Indications are that the species is one of the few species in which the presence of intersexes has been found. Preys almost exclusively on birds.

Venom Characteristics

Bothrops venom primarily is hemotoxic & often has cytotoxic factors; envenomation can cause systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction. B. insularis venom reportedly is exceptionally toxic.

 


Bothrops itapetiningae

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Lachesis itapetiningae, L. neuwiedi itapetiningae

Common Names: Sao Paulo lancehead, boipeva, cotiarinha, furta-cor, jararaca do campo, pequena cotiara

Description

Small, stocky pitviper, smallest in Brazil. Adults usually 30-40 cm long (max. 50 cm). Background color usually pale or dark brown w/ red, pink, or orange overtones; usually w/ a series of white-edged, dark, narrow, transversely oval blotches, narrowly separated both dorsally & laterally. Has 25-27 midbody dorsal scale rows.

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Habitat

Found mainly in open fields & bushy areas up to 1,500 m elevation. Occurs along the northern Paraguay border w/ Brazil.

Activity and Behavior

Terrestrial & probably mainly nocturnal. Apparently preys on available small mammals, birds & sometimes maybe lizards or frogs, too.

Venom Characteristics

Specific data are lacking. Bothrops venom is primarily hemotoxic & often has cytotoxic factors; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction. Dried venom is whitish, much like that of Bothrops erythromelas.

 


Bothrops jararaca

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops leucostigma, B. taeniatus, B. tessellatus (in part), Cophias jajaraca, C. jararaca, C. jararakka, Craspedocephalus brasiliensis, Crotalus craspedocephalus brasiliensis, Lachesis lanceolatus (in part), Trigonocephalus jararaca

Common Names: Engl.: jararaca, Argentina: yararaca, yararaca perezosa, Brazil: caissaca, jaraca, jararaca, jararaca-da-matta-virgem, jararaca-do-rabo-branco, jararaca-do-campo, jararaca-do-cerrado, jararaca-dormideira, jararaca-dominhoca, jararaca-preguicosa, malha-de-sapo, Paraguay: yarara

Description

Medium-sized, relatively slender, terrestrial pitviper, adults usually 80-160 cm long. Background color can vary from yellow or tan to nearly maroon (overall, usually darker at both ends of the body); body pattern is extremely variable w/ irregular sizes & shapes of dark blotches (usually edged w/ a thin line of lighter or white scales), 20-27 (usually 23-25) midbody dorsal scale rows. Belly nearly always lighter than dorsum.

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Habitat

Most common in open regions near vegetation cover at low to intermediate elevations. Occupies a diversity of habitats: tropical deciduous (broadleaf) forests & semitropical upland forests in southern Brazil, northeastern Argentina & northeastern Paraguay. Found from near sea level to >1,000 m elevation & on some islands up to 35 km off the Atlantic coast of Brazil.

Activity and Behavior

Terrestrial & mainly nocturnal; locally abundant in many parts of its range.

Venom Characteristics

Specific data are lacking; reportedly an important cause of snakebite in many parts of its range. Bothrops venom primarily is hemotoxic & often w/ cytotoxic factors; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction.

Bothrops jararacussu

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Lachesis atrox jararacussu, L. jararacussu, L. lanceolatus (in part)

Common Names: Engl.: jararacussu, Argentina: kiririog-saiyu, surucucu apete, yarara-cussu, yarara dorada, yarara-guasu, Bolivia: yope pintada, yoperojobobo venenosa, Brizil: cabeca de sapo, patrona, jararacucu, jararacucu malha de sapo, jararacucu tapete, jararacucu verdadeiro, surucucu dourado, surucucu tapete, urutu amarelo, urutu dourado, urutu estrela, urutu preto, Paraguay: yarara-guasu, yarara-guazu

Description

Medium-sized to large, heavy-bodied, pitviper, adults usually 1.0-2.2 m long. Body color & patterns of head & body are extremely variable- background color can vary from tan or yellow to nearly black. However, the pattern of dark & pale scales on many specimens look like a series of dark arches along each side (edged w/ white), sometimes blotches are joined at the dorsal mid-line forming narrow "saddles" (may look like dark "X"-es, viewed from directly above).

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Habitat

Found up to 700 m elevation in a wide variety of habitats, including tropical rainforest, tropical semi-deciduous forest, broadleaf evergreen forest, & parana pine forest in swampy, low-lying areas & along river margins.

Activity and Behavior

Terrestrial, nocturnal, apparently preys mainly on small mammals.

Venom Characteristics

Not much known, but has an exceptionally large venom capacity & is an important cause of snakebite in its range. Venom primarily is hemotoxic & cytotoxic; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction.

Bothrops jonathani

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names:

Common Names: Jonathan's lancehead, Chocobamba lanchead, yoperojobobo

Description

Medium-sized, moderately robust pitviper, adults usually 50-80 cm long (max. 88 cm). Body background color usually dark tan; dorsal pattern consists of 34 pairs of dorsolateral triangular to V-shaped dark-brown blotches edged in cream. Apices of the blotches point upwards, & can be staggered or those on opposite sides may touch at vertebral line; 30-33 midbody dorsal scale rows. Belly whitish w/ staggered gray bands.

Habitat

Found mainly in dry rocky grasslands & desert scrub along the high eastern slopes of the Altiplano of central & southern Bolivia, mainly found at 2,800-3,220 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Not much reported & seldom seen, but mainly nocturnal & terrestrial. Probably preys mainly on small mammals (& sometimes birds).

Venom Characteristics

Not well known. Bothrops venom primarily is hemotoxic & often has cytotoxic factors; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction.

 


Bothrops lanceolatus

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops braziliensis, B. cinereus, B. glaucus, B. lanceolata, B. lanceolatus lanceolatus, Coluber brasiliensis, C. glaucus, C. hastatus, C. lanceolatus, C. megaera, C. tigrinis, Craspedocephalus brasiliensis, Lachesis lanceolata, L. lanceolatus, Trigonocephalus lanceolatus, T. tigrinis, Vipera brasiliana, V. brasiliniana, V. caerulescens, V. coerulescens, V. lanceolatus, V. tigrina

Common Names: Martinique lancehead, fer-de-lance (the first Bothrops given this common name), le serpent, le trignoncephale, serpent, serpent croissant (females), serpent jaune (males), serpent rouge (males & juveniles), vipere jaune

Description

Large, semi-arborial, heavy-bodied lancehead, adults usually 150-200 cm long (max. 298 cm); Body color varies from gray to brown to yellowish-tan, usually w/ indistinct darker markings dorsally & laterally; top of head usually darker than the body. Belly usually lighter yellowish-gray to grayish-brown, sometimes speckled w/ small darker grayish blotches.

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Habitat

Primarily in tropical moist forest & tropical wet forest in upland areas; also occurs in rocky hillsides. Previously reported from other Caribbean islands, but recently found only on Martinique, from sea level to 1,300 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Mainly nocturnal & mainly terrestrial, but may be semi-arboreal; has been found up to 20 m above ground. Aggressive; can strike quickly when surprised or threatened. Ovoviviparous, w/ litter size not reported. Preys mainly on available small mammals, birds, lizards, & possibly also frogs.

Venom Characteristics

Bothrops venom primarily is hemotoxic, often w/ cytotoxic factors; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction. Human deaths from the bite of B. lanceolatus have been recorded.

Bothrops leucurus

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops magaera, B. pradoi, Trimeresurus pradoi

Common Names: Bahia lancehead, white-tailed lancehead, jararaca, boca-podre, cabeca-de-capanga, cabece-de-patrona, caicaca, capangueiro, jararaca-do-rabo-branco, jaracucu, jararacussu, malha-de-sapo

Description

Slender, terrestrial lancehead, adults usually 60-100 cm long (max. 195 cm); Background colors vary from tan to reddish-brown, usually w/ a variable pattern of darker & paler markings, giving an appearance of diagonal dorsolateral pale lines. Has 23-31 midbody dorsal scale rows; belly yellow or whitish w/ dark brown or gray spots & irregular blotches heaviest along sides.

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Habitat

Associated w/ remnants of Atlantic forest in humid, rocky valleys; also found in deforested agricultural areas, in eastern Brazil, from sea level to 400 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Not much known. Terrestrial & mainly nocturnal. Probably preys on available small animals. Probably ovoviviparous (clutch size not given).

Venom Characteristics

Not much known. Bothrops venom primarily is hemotoxic, often w/ cytotoxic factors; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction. There is no data on case studies of treatments. Bites of humans rather rare, & no well documented human fatalities from those bites.

Bothrops lojanus

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops alticola, B. lojana, Bothriopsis alticola

Common Names: Lojan lancehead, macanchi, macaucho

Description

Small, moderately stocky, terrestrial lancehead, adults usually 40-50 cm long (max. 61 cm); Background color usually tan to medium-brown, usually w/ a darker zig-zag stripe down the back & indistinct dark blotches along the sides; 21-23 (usually 23) midbody dorsal scale rows. Overall, colors appear rather dull. Belly yellow w/ pale-brown to dark brown mottling, becoming darker toward tail. Tail often reddish on underside near tip.

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Habitat

Mainly reported from arid, temperate, montane dry forest in southern Ecuador at 2,100-2,300 m elevation. Has a relatively small geographic range.

Activity and Behavior

Not much reported. Mainly terrestrial, probably mainly nocturnal, ovoviviparous (clutch size not recorded), & mainly preys on available lizards, small mammals, etc.

Venom Characteristics

Not much known. Bothrops venoms are primarily hemotoxic & often have cytotoxic factors, too; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction. Poses a potential risk of serious envenomation within its range, but no human fatalities documented from bites by this species, so far.

 


Bothrops lutzi

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops iglesiasi, B. neuwiedi lutzi, B. n. neuwiedi, B. n. piauhyensis, Lachesis lutzi

Common Names: Sertao lancehead, Boca de sapo, jararaca, jararaca-do-rabo-branco, jararaquinha, rabo-de-osso, tira peia

Description

Small to medium-sized, fairly slender, terrestrial pitviper, adults usually 40-70 cm long. Body usually pale brown to gray, w/ a series of pale-edged darker irregular blotches; 21-25 (usually 23) midbody dorsal scale rows. Head brown, usually w/ white markings above the eyes & near base of the neck. Belly usually grayish-brown to pale gray, often w/ a limited amount of variable pattern of mixed sizes of darker grayish brown blotches or speckles (heavier along sides & toward tail).

Habitat

Primarily in dry to semiarid rocky regions, from sea level to 800 m elevation; found only in Brazil. Reported from inland region of the state of Piaui, "along the right bank" of the Rio Gurgueia.

Activity and Behavior

Not well known, but apparently mainly terrestrial & nocturnal (possibly crepuscular; sometimes active around dusk). Probably preys mainly on small mammals & amphibians, as well as on available birds or lizards. Probably ovoviviparous.

Venom Characteristics

Not much known. Bothrops venom primarily is hemotoxic & often cytotoxic factors; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction. No reported data on case studies of treatment of envenomations by this species. No well documented human deaths due to bites by this species, so far.

 


Bothrops marajoensis

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops lanceolatus (in part)

Common Names: Marajo lancehead, jararaca

Description

Terrestrial, moderately heavy-bodied lancehead, adults usually 100-150 cm long; Body color usually olive brown above, w/ a series of prominent trapezoidal markings laterally, formed by pairs of vertically aligned pale marks & rounded black blotches; 25 midbody dorsal scale rows, dorsal scales have long, low keels (vs. short, higher keels for B. atrox). Belly is cream to yellow heavily checkered w/ black. Tail often black.

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Habitat

Most common in mainland coastal lowland savanna, mainly on the Ihla Marajo in the Amazon River.

Activity and Behavior

Terrestrial & probably mainly nocturnal. Very closely related to B. atrox, & may have very similar habits & behaviors.

Venom Characteristics

Specific data are lacking. Bothrops venoms are primarily hemotoxic & may have cytotoxic factors; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding and local tissue destruction. Note 100% sure if this antivenin will work. There is no data on case studies of treatme

 


Bothrops mattogrossensis

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops neuwiedi bolivianus, B. n. mattogrossensis, B. neuwiedii boliviana, B. n. mattogrossensis

Common Names: Engl.: Mato Grosso lancehead, Bolivia: yoperoyobobo, Brazil: boca de sapo, bocuda, cabeca-de-capanga, jaracussu, jararaca, jararaca cruseira, jararaca-do-rabo-branco, jararaquinha, rabo-de-osso, Paraguay: kyryry'o

Description

Medium-sized, moderately heavy terrestrial lancehead pitviper, adults usually 70-80 cm long (max. 130 cm). Body pale brown to dark olive-brown above, w/ 16-33 dark brown to black dorsolateral blotches (usually white-edged), & 22-27 (usually 23-25) midbody dorsal scale rows. Belly white or yellow w/ scattered darker gray specks. Juveniles w/ white tail tip. For a closely-related species, See Bothrops neuwiedi.

Habitat

Found mainly in savanna (cerrado), panatal, chaco, & wet palm-grasses, usually in association w/ flood-prone plains, in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, & Peru. Mainly found in flood-prone lowlands, & from near sea level to 500 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Not well known. Mainly terrestrial, but may be seasonally semi-arboreal (due to habitat flooding) & probably also is mainly nocturnal.

Venom Characteristics

Not well known, but probably mainly hemotoxic w/ some cytotoxic factors, like the venoms of many other Bothrops species.

 


Bothrops moojeni

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops atrox moojeni

Common Names: Brazilian lancehead, cabeca-de-capanga, caicaca, caissaca, jaracucu

Description

Large, terrestrial lancehead pitviper, adults usually <160 cm long (max. 230 cm). Usually tan, grayish-brown or olive-gray above, w/ 14-21 dark gray to black trapezoidal lateral markings, often opposite & touching at middorsal line. 23-29 midbody dorsal scale rows, Belly usually immaculate white or cream (may have scattered darker grayish dots). Juveniles usually w/ pale tail tip. For closely-related species, See Bothrops neuwiedi

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Habitat

Most common in semi-arid (or seasonally dry) tropical lowland savanna in Brazil, northeastern Argentina and northeastern Paraguay, at up to 1,500 m elevation. This species may possibly also be found in the Pantanal of Southeastern Departmento de Santa Cruz, Bolivia, as it is abundant a short distance away.

Activity and Behavior

Not well known. Terrestrial & probably mainly nocturnal.

Venom Characteristics

Little is known, but B. moojeni is an important cause of human snakebite in Minas Gerais, Goias, & Sao Paulo States. Bothrops venom primarily is hemotoxic & often has cytotoxic factors, too; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue distruction.

Bothrops muriciensis

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names:

Common Names: Murici lancehead, Jararacucu

Description

Short, stout, terrestrial lancehead, adults usually less than 88 cm long; Background color usually reddish-brown to straw to gray, w/ 12-14 pairs of large dark gray, dorsolateral, trapezoidal blotches, usually on opposite sides & often meet dorsally forming crossbars. Dorsal scales keeled, w/ 25 midbody dorsal rows. Belly pale gray or yellowish w/ a suffusion of dark gray spots, heaviest & darkest along sides.

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Habitat

Found only in the Murici Forest, a closed-canopy remnant of the Atlantic wet forest of lowland coastal Brazil, & from sea level only up to about 40 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

This species is relatively rare & has not been well studied. It probably has activity & behavior patterns very similar to the most closely-related species "B. pirajai".

Venom Characteristics

Specific data are lacking. Bothrops venoms are primarily hemotoxic, often w/ cytotoxic factors; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction.

Bothrops neuwiedi

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops neuwiedi bolivianus, B. n. diporus, B. n. fluminensis, B. n. goyazensis, B. n. lutzi, B. n. matogrossensis, B. n. neuwiedi, B. n. paranaensis, B. n. pauloensis, B. n. iauhyensis, B. n. pubescens, B. n. urutu, Bothrops atrox meridionalis, B. leucurus (in part), B. urutu, Lachesis lutzi, L. neuwiedi, Trigonocephalus pubescens

Common Names: Neuwied’s lancehead, cabeca-de-capanga, jararacussu, jararaca, jararaca-pintada, jararaca-cruceira, jararaca-do-rabo-branco, jararaquinha, rabo-de-osso, tira peia, crucera, urutu, pina machajuary, vibora de rabo blanco

Description

Small to medium-sized, moderately slender pitviper, adults usually 60-70 cm long (max. 120 cm). Dorsal body color & pattern are extremely variable, not only among the 12 recognized subspecies, but also within individual populations. Usually w/ 16-27 pairs of dorsolateral blotches & 22-29 (usually 25-27) midbody dorsal scale rows. No single description can characterize all subspecies, except for precise scalation & other minutely-detailed taxonomic differences.

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Habitat

Found mainly in savanna, thorn scrub, tropical & semi-tropical deciduous forest, & temperate forest, usually in dry or semi-arid rocky sites. Restricted to such habitats in Brazil, from near sea level to above 1,000 m elevation. At least 12 named subspecies, some of which do inhabit humid or marshy sites.

Activity and Behavior

Terrestrial & mainly nocturnal. Can be aggressive & will defend itself. Ovoviviparous, litter size not reported. Preys mainly on small mammals, & also on locally available lizards & birds.

Venom Characteristics

Hemotoxic & cytotoxic; venom produces extensive tissue destruction. Necrosis can be expected in 10-15% & abscesses in 15-20% of all cases. Incoagulable blood & bleeding occur in the majority of envenomations. Causes a large number of human envenomations in Brazil annually. Has been reported to cause human fatalities.

Bothrops osbornei

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops mahnerti, B. punctata, B. punctatus mahnerti

Common Names: Osborne's lancehead, Llutcti negra

Description

Large semi-arborial lancehead, adults often >100 cm long (max. 140 cm), w/ unusually elongated head & dark postorbital stripe; Juveniles' bodies usually bright yellow to tan w/ 16-18 paired, black-edged, dorsolateral quadrangular dark blotches; belly cream to pale tan w/ small brown spots. Adults usually dark brown (markings often masked) above, & belly nearly all black w/ 23 midbody dorsal scale rows.

Habitat

Found mainly in subtropical moist & wet forest & montane wet forest on the Pacific versant of the Andes in Ecuador & northern Peru, at 500-2,000 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Not much known. Semi-arborial & probably mainly nocturnal & ovoviviparous. Probably preys mainly on available amphibians, lizards & other small animals as a juvenile; then switches to mainly available small mammals, birds & other small animals as an adult.

Venom Characteristics

Not well known, but probably hemotoxic w/ cytotoxic factors, like most related Bothrops species. Closely related to B. atrox, and venom effects probably similar to effects caused by venom of that species.

Bothrops pauloensis

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops neuwiedi pauloensis, B. neuwiedii pauloensis

Common Names: Black-faced lancehead, boca de sapo, bocuda, cabeca-de-capanga, jararacussu, jararaca, jararaca cruzeira, jararaca-do-rabo-blanco, urutu

Description

Medium-built terrestrial lancehead, adults usually 50-60 cm long (max. 85 cm); Colors & patterns can vary greatly between individuals, background usually grayish-brown, w/ a series of darker dorsolateral trapezoidal marks w/ often distinct paler (whitish) margins, a black post-orbital stripe behind/below each eye & 21-27 (usually 23-25) midbody dorsal scale rows. Belly white or yellow w/ a profusion of gray specks, heavier along the sides.

Habitat

Found only in central & southern Brazil, in seasonally dry savannah (cerrado) & the Atlantic forest, always associated w/ open areas, from near sea level to 800 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Not well known, but terrestrial & apparently mainly nocturnal. Probably ovoviviparous & probably preys mainly on available small animals.

Venom Characteristics

Not much known. Most Bothrops venoms are mainly hemotoxic & w/ cytotoxic factors; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction. Occasional bites of humans have been reported, but no well documented human fatalities, so far.

 


Bothrops pictus

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops picta, B. roedingeri (in part), Lachesis lutzi (in part), L. picta, L. pictus, Trimeresurus pictus

Common Names: Desert lancehead, jergon de la Costa, macanche, sancarranca, vibora, jergon

Description

Medium-sized stocky, terrestrial pitviper, adults usually <60 cm long. Body color varies from pale silvery-gray to pinkish-tan, w/ variable patterns of ovoid to squarish darker blotches, usually joining dorsally into a zig-zag stripe; a series of dark-brown to black latero-ventral spots; tail usually brownish w/ a series of dark-brown blotches. Postorbital stripe dark brown & 21-25 midbody dorsal scale rows. Belly ivory to rusty-cream w/ diffuse darker spots heaviest along sides.

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Habitat

Most commonly found in arid to semiarid foothills, river valleys & dry lower Andean slopes, & dry rocky regions w/ scattered scrubby leguminous trees. Found at 500 to at least 2,300 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Not much known, but very probably mainly terrestrial & mainly nocturnal. Likely to be ovoviviparous & to prey mainly on small mammals, ground-nesting birds, & other available small animals.

Venom Characteristics

Not well known; however, it is a dangerous species that has caused human deaths. Bothrops venom primarily is hemotoxic, often having cytotoxic factors; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction.

Bothrops pirajai

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops neglecta

Common Names: Piraja’s lancehead, jararacussu, jararacucu, jararacucu-tapete

Description

Large, stocky, terrestrial pitviper, adults usually 50-110 cm long (max. 137 cm). Body usually brownish-yellow to yellowish-gray w/ 15-19 blackish dorsolateral markings shaped like inverted Y’s or irregular squares which alternate or oppose one another, & sometimes join, forming a wavy middorsal line; 25-27 midbody dorsal scale rows. Belly yellowish w/ various amounts of brown to brownish-black speckling.

Habitat

Reported only from "cocoa groves," likely found in Atlantic lowland wet forest & lower montane wet forest of coastal eastern Brazil, from sea level to about 500 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Not much known; apparently uncommon. Probably terrestrial & mainly nocturnal.

Venom Characteristics

Not much known about the venom of this species. Bothrops venoms generally are primarily hemotoxic & often have cytotoxic factors; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction. This snake's size & typical habitat combine to pose at least some potential risks of occasional serious human envenomation.

 


Bothrops pubescens

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops neuwiedi pubescens, B. neuwiedii pubescens, B. n. riograndensis, Trigonocephalus pubescens

Common Names: Engl.: Pampas lancehead, Brazil: cabeca-de-capanga, jararacussu, jararaca, jararaca cruzeira, jararaca-do-rabo-branco, jararaca-pintada, urutu, Uruguay: vibora de la cruz, yarara

Description

Medium-sized to large, fairly stout, terrestrial lancehead, adults usually 70-80 cm long (max. 120 cm); body gray-brown to dark-brown, patterned w/ 19-30 white-edged, dark brown, or black dorso-lateral blotches, & 23-28 (usually 25) midbody dorsal scale rows. Sometimes have a series of brown to reddish paraventral spots along sides. Belly white to yellow w/ gray specks scattered throughout. Has a dark postorbital stripe behind each eye.

Habitat

Found mainly in pampas & grasslands, & in regions of natural fields often used as cattle pastures, in northeastern Uraguay & southern Brazil, from near sea level to 500 m elevation. Often found on rocky ridges, or on, or near rock piles.

Activity and Behavior

Not well studied. Mainly terrestrial & mainly nocturnal.

Venom Characteristics

Not much known, but probably mainly hemotoxic w/ cytolytic factors. There are no well documented reports of fatal human envenomation by this species, so far.

 


Bothrops punctatus

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops leptura, B. monticelli, B. monticelii, B. punctata, B. punctatus punctatus, Lachesis monticellii, L. punctata, Thanatophis montanus, Thanatos montanus

Common Names: Chocoan lancehead, cuatronarices, dormilona, equis orito, flecha, mapanare rabiseca, pelo de gato, rabiseca, rabo de chucha

Description

Large, semi-arborial, lancehead, adults often >100 cm long (max. about 150 cm); body pale brown to greenish-tan, w/ pale-edged dark brown blotches along the sides, 25-29 midbody dorsal scale rows. Belly usually cream to pale tan w/ brown spots. Has a long, rounded tail spine sometimes turned up at tip.

Habitat

Found mainly in subtropical moist & wet forest, tropical moist & wet forest, & montane wet forest, in the Chaco region of Columbia, eastern Panama & Ecuador. Reported from near sea level to 2,300 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Not well known, but semi-arborial & probably mainly nocturnal, w/ activity patterns & behavior similar to the closely-related species, "B. atrox".

Venom Characteristics

Not well known, but probably hemotoxic w/ cytotoxic factors, like most other Bothrops species. For generalized symptoms of envenomation, see the closely-related species, "B. asper".

 


Bothrops roedingeri

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops pictus

Common Names: Roedinger's lancehead, jergon de la costa, macanche, sancarranca, vibora

Description

Medium-sized to large, fairly slender, terrestrial lancehead, adults often up to 75 cm long (max. about 100 cm); body pale gray, tan or pale reddish-brown, w/ postorbital stripes; & w/ a dorsal row of brown oval or squarish blotches; 21-25 (usually 21) midbody dorsal scale rows. Often have one or more rows of smaller dark-brown spots along sides. Belly usually creamy white w/ scant dark mottling. Tail mostly covered w/ brown spots.

Habitat

Mainly found in desert, low deciduous thickets, & lower montane dry forest, on the Pacific coastal plains of Peru, from sea level to at least 500 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Not much known. Terrestrial & probably mainly nocturnal.

Venom Characteristics

Probably typically hematoxic, w/ some cytologic factor(s), like that of other Bothrops species. For generalized effects, See Bothrops asper.

 


Bothrops sanctaecrucis

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names:

Common Names: Bolivian lancehead, yoperojobobo pintada, yoperojobobo venenosa, Jobobo venenosa

Description

Medium-sized, moderately slender, terrestrial lancehead, w/ adults about 66 cm long (probably up to 1 m). Usually no postorbital stripe. Body usually tan to pale gray, w/ a dorsolateral series of triangular to trapezoidal brown spots prominently bordered w/ white; spots become more condensed toward the tail; 25 midbody dorsal scale rows. Belly immaculate white or yellow w/ some dark outer edges of ventral scales. Tail mainly brown, black at tip.

Habitat

Found mainly in lower montane wet forest, & possibly rain forest, in the Amazonian lowlands of central Bolivia, up to 450+ m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Not well known, but terrestrial & reportedly mainly nocturnal.

Venom Characteristics

Specific data are lacking. Bothrops venoms are primarily hemotoxic, often w/ cytotoxic factors; envenomation can result in systemic internal bleeding & local tissue destruction.

 


Bothrops venezuelensis

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Identification

Family: Viperidae

Scientific Names: Bothrops pifanoi, B. venezuelae

Common Names: Venezuelan lancehead, barriga morada, cuatro narices, rabo candela, terciopelo, tigra mariposa

Description

Large, fairly stout terrestrial lancehead, adults usually about 1 m long (max. about 1.67 m). Body colors & patterns extremely variable & often complex w/ white, brown & black rhomboidal blotches, triangles & lines, sometimes includes a dark middorsal zigzag pattern toward tail. In most specimens, the tail is nearly uniformly black w/ a few transverse pale bars, 19-27 (usually 23-25) midbody dorsal scale rows, & w/ a very prominent dark postorbital stripe edged w/ white.

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Habitat

Most common in lower montane wet forest & cloud forest, including temperate areas where cold weather conditions occur, & also found in tropophilous semideciduous seasonal forest. Limited to northern & central Venezuela. Found mainly at 1,000-2,200 m; but has been reported from 600-2,800 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Not well known, but terrestrial & mainly nocturnal. Unpredictable temperament & can be easily aroused if threatened. It can strike fast over a short range. Reportedly appears to have no fear of humans & will not move away when approached.

Venom Characteristics

Venom can produce rapid tissue destruction. In severe envenomation, muscle liquefaction can be so extensive that the bones of a bitten limb can be visible after about 8 to 10 hours. Death can occur within 6 to 16 hours after envenomation. Very dangerous & causes significant number of human envenomations annually within its range.

 


Boulengerina annulata

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Identification

Family: Elapidae

Scientific Names: Boulengerina annulata annulata, B. a. stormsi, B. stormsi, Naja annulata

Common Names: Ringed water cobra, banded water cobra, Wasserkobra

Description

Large, relatively slender cylindrical Elapid snake, adults usually 1.4-2.2 m long (max. 2.7 m), w/ 21-23 midbody dorsal scale rows. Body glossy brown, grayish brown, or reddish brown, w/ pale belly (may be yellowish or orange in some specimens); often w/ black bands either all along body or just on front half. Tail usually glossy black. Relatively small eyes w/ round pupils, head short & broad. Head scales black-edged in subspecies "stormsi".

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Habitat

Usually found in or very near water; most common along lowland forested, bushy or wooded banks of lakes, rivers, & streams. Range includes most of Congo River basin & some forested areas north & west of that. Occasionally goes out onto open beaches or sandbars.

Activity and Behavior

Reportedly active in day & night. Aquatic (at least semi-aquatic), a good swimmer but often basks in low trees & shrubs. Recorded to dive to 25+ ft. deep & to remain submerged 10+ min. Nonaggressive, but when confronted, rears head & spreads narrow "hood." Oviparous (clutch size not reported), & preys mainly on available fish (& sometimes amphibians).

Venom Characteristics

Not well known, probably mainly neurotoxic. No specific antivenom currently produced against this species.

 


Boulengerina christyi

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Identification

Family: Elapidae

Scientific Names: Limnonaja christyi

Common Names: Congo water cobra, Christy’s water cobra

Description

Fairly large, relatively slender cylindrical Elapid snake, adults usually 0.7-1.3 m long (max. 1.4+ m), w/ smooth, glossy scales in 17 midbody dorsal rows. Body usually medium to dark-brown (often blackish in older adults); w/ usually 6 distinctive fine yellowish crossbands on anterior 1/4 of body (not extending farther posteriorly). Medium-sized eyes w/ round pupils & broad head. Belly pale, usually yellow-white to light-brown, head (especially lip) scales edged w/ black.

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Habitat

Found most commonly in or near water, in lowland bushy or wooded areas along banks of lakes, rivers, & streams. Limited to the lower Zaire River & nearby wet forested areas.

Activity and Behavior

Not very well known, but reportedly active both during day & night. Semi-aquatic (spends much time in water), & a good swimmer, but also often basks in low trees & shrubs. Moves very quickly. Nonaggressive, but when confronted, rears head & spreads narrow "hood." Oviparous but clutch size not reported. Preys on available fish & amphibians.

Venom Characteristics

Not much known, but probably mainly neurotoxic. At least one human bitten had only mild symptoms (headache, local pain) but may be capable of causing serious envenomation of humans. No specific antivenom currently produced against this species' venom.

 


Bungarus andamanensis

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Identification

Family: Elapidae

Scientific Names:

Common Names: Andaman's krait, South Andaman krait

Description

Medium-sized, adults up to 1 m long. w/ large shiny scales, somewhat cylindrical body but has a distinct mid-dorsal ridge. A pair of fixed front fangs. Body dark w/ thin pale whitish-to-yellowish crossbands along most of its length.

Habitat

Found only on the Andaman Islands, which are part of India (but are about 750 mi. southeast of the mainland, across the Bay of Bengal). This species is sometimes found near humans' homes.

Activity and Behavior

Mainly nocturnal & terrestrial, eat mainly other snakes, but also eat available amphibians & other small animals & birds. Oviparous, clutch size not stated. Most similar spp. (in observed cases) lay 3-12 eggs/ clutch. Usually sluggish during daytime, but can be agile at night, & may be aggressive when cornered or molested.

Venom Characteristics

Not well documented. Mainly neurotoxic, potentially lethal to humans. A number of bites of humans have been reported, but relatively few human fatalities (and not usually well documented) have been reported to have been caused by this species.

 


Bungarus bungaroides

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Identification

Family: Elapidae

Scientific Names: Elaps bungaroides, Xenurelaps bungaroides

Common Names: Northeastern hill krait, Himalayan krait

Description

Large krait, adults usually 1.3-1.5 m long (max. 1.6 m); body black or very dark brown, w/ white or pale yellowish transverse lines formed by series of spots across back. White line across snout & curved line on each side from behind eyes to lips. Scales smooth, 15 longitudinal rows at midbody, belly dark w/ distinct light crossbars, all subcaudal scales divided.

Habitat

Various habitats at low & moderate elevations; prefers rather dry, open country. Rarely seen. Found in Myanmar (Burma), India (Assam, Cachar, Sikkim), Nepal & Vietnam up to 2040 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Nocturnal & mainly terrestrial. Agile in movements at night, sluggish in daytime. When alarmed, coils loosely w/ body slightly flattened & head concealed. May make jerky movements & elevate tail. Eats other snakes almost exclusively.

Venom Characteristics

Potent neurotoxin. Local symptoms generally minimal. Symptoms may include abdominal discomfort, headache, & giddiness. Can be fatal to humans. Neurotoxic symptoms include ptosis, facial paralysis, & inability to open mouth, swallow, or protrude tongue.

 


Bungarus caeruleus

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Identification

Family: Elapidae

Scientific Names: Boa lineata, Bungarus arcuatus, B. candidus var. caerulus, B. sindanus, Pseudoboa caerulea

Common Names: Common krait, Indian krait, blue krait

Description

Medium to large, adults usually 100-150 cm long (max. 180 cm); scales smooth, shiny, mid-dorsal row large, hexagonal, & obvious mid-dorsal ridge (true for all kraits). Body usually black, brownish black, or bluish black, w/ about 40 thin white crossbars, which may be indistinct or absent anteriorly. Belly usually white. Head flat, neck not very obvious. Has a pair of fixed, upper front fangs.

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Habitat

Found mainly in open country, cultivated areas, & scrub jungles in southern Asia, up to 1,700 m elevation. Avoids very rocky & sandy terrain. Often found in termite mounds, rat holes, rubbish heaps, & roofs of buildings.

Activity and Behavior

Mainly terrestrial. Strictly nocturnal; seldom seen during day. Moves quickly at night. Specimens disturbed during day rarely bite, but instead, press their head against the ground. At night, extremely dangerous & aggressive. Often enters human dwellings, may try to crawl under sleeping persons; eats mainly other snakes (& their eggs).

Venom Characteristics

Potent neurotoxin. Most victims bitten while asleep in huts at night. Bites may produce invisible or barely perceptible puncture marks. Few local symptoms; may produce mild pain or numbness w/ little or no local swelling. Human mortality rate is high without use of antivenom.

Bungarus candidus

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Identification

Family: Elapidae

Scientific Names: Aspidoclonion semifasciatum, Bungarus candidus var. semifasciata, B. javanicus, B. semifasciatus, Coluber candidus

Common Names: Malayan krait, blue krait, Baluer Krait

Description

Medium to large, adults usually 120-140 cm long (max. about 150 cm); 15 longitudinal dorsal rows of smooth scales at midbody, a distinct mid-dorsal ridge, 19-30 black alternating w/ white or yellowish dorsal crossbands speckled w/ black on body & tail; belly pure white. Head not distinct from neck. Tail ends in a sharp tip.

Click for Image [1] [2]

Habitat

Most common in lowland forests & moist areas, in Cambodia, Indonesia (Java, Sumatra, Bali, Salawese), Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, & Vietnam.

Activity and Behavior

Nocturnal & usually very timid (especially in daytime). Active at dusk & after dark. Usually inoffensive; will not usually bite unless stepped on. Often found near inhabited places & on trails at night. Mainly prey on other snakes, their eggs, & available other small animals. Oviparous, no clutch size reported (other observed related spp. usually lay 3-12 eggs/ clutch).

Venom Characteristics

Potent neurotoxin. Most victims bitten while asleep in huts at night. Local symptoms generally minimal. Symptoms may include abdominal discomfort, headache, & giddiness. Neurotoxic symptoms include ptosis, facial paralysis, & inability to open mouth, or extrude tongue. Human fatalities have been reported but are rare.

Bungarus ceylonicus

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Identification

Family: Elapidae

Scientific Names: Bungarus ceylonicus ceylonicus, B. c. karavala

Common Names: Karawala, Ceylon krait, Sri Lanken krait

Description

Medium-sized, cylindrical, smooth-scaled, adults usually 60-80 cm long (max. 130 cm); a pair of upper fixed front fangs, body usually shiny steel blue-black, w/ about 20 distinct thin white crossbars, 15 longitudinal rows of scales at midbody, & a distinct vertebral ridge. Belly grayish. White dorsal bands reduce to white vertebral spots in older specimens; may eventually disappear.

Habitat

Prefers cool, moist habitat. Generally found in rain forests & hilly grassland areas. Seldom found above 1,000 m elevation. Currently known only from Sri Lanka.

Activity and Behavior

Nocturnal & terrestrial. During day, may hide under decaying vegetation, in forest & cultivated land, under stones, & in termite mounds, burrows, embankments, & crevices. When provoked, throws body into loose coils w/ head hidden beneath. Eats mainly other snakes, plus occasionally other available small animals.

Venom Characteristics

Not well studied, neurotoxic, potentially lethal to humans. For generalized symptoms of krait envenomation by a closely-related species, See Bungarus caeruleus.

Bungarus fasciatus

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Identification

Family: Elapidae

Scientific Names: Aspidoclonion annulare (in part), Boa fasciata, Bungarus annularis, B. fasciatus bifasciatus, B. f. fasciatus, B. f. insularis, Pseudoboa fasciata

Common Names: Banded Krait, Gelbgebanderter krait

Description

Medium to large-sized, terrestrial, smooth scaled, one pair of upper fixed front fangs, adults usually 100-120 cm long (max. 210 cm); w/ a pattern of alternating light & dark bands circling body. Light bands pale to bright canary yellow; dark bands usually black, & wider; tail blunt. Distinctive light spear-shaped mark, bordered by black, on top of head; & w/ a distinct vertebral ridge most of body length.

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Habitat

Most common in grassy fields, meadows, & cultivated areas, often adjacent to streams, rivers, & lakes. Found up to 1,500 m elevation in Burma (Myanmar), Brunei Darussaam, southern China, India, Indonesia & most of Southeast Asia.

Activity and Behavior

Normally terrestrial & mainly nocturnal; may prowl in the daytime during & after rains. Usually inoffensive & secretive. Hides head beneath body if molested; may twitch or writhe spasmodically but seldom attempts to bite even when molested. Oviparous (as are all kraits) w/ usually 8-11 eggs per clutch.

Venom Characteristics

Potent neurotoxin. Minimal local pain, redness, or edema. Systemic symptoms develop slowly; include general achiness, paralysis, shock, & respiratory failure. Bites of humans are rare, but fatalities have been reported.

Bungarus flaviceps

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Identification

Family: Elapidae

Scientific Names: Bungarus flaviceps baluensis, B. f. flaviceps, Elaps bivirgatus, Megaerophis flaviceps

Common Names: Red-headed krait, Yellow-headed krait, Rotkopf krait

Description

Medium to large, body w/ a mid-dorsal ridge, a pair of upper fixed front fangs, adults usually 100-120 cm long (max. 160 cm); body blue-black above w/ (or w/o) yellow dorsolateral line on each side; 13 parallel longitudinal dorsal rows of smooth shiny scales at midbody, vertebral scales distinctly enlarged, head red or yellow above; tail & sometimes posterior part of body orange-red. Belly paler (usually yellowish to orange). Head not distinct from neck.

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Habitat

Found mainly in forests & jungles, mainly in hilly or mountainous areas of Southeast Asia.

Activity and Behavior

Mainly nocturnal & terrestrial. Slow-moving by day, more active at night. When provoked, raises head & wags tail slowly. Rarely seen. Probably oviparous (no clutch size reported; related spp. reportedly lay 3-12 eggs/ clutch). Probably feeds mainly on other snakes (like most true kraits), & sometimes on other available small animals.

Venom Characteristics

Little known about venom; likely potently neurotoxic. Few bites of humans recorded, but potentially lethal to humans.

 


Bungarus lividus

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Identification

Family: Elapidae

Scientific Names:

Common Names: Lesser black krait,

Description

Small, smooth-scaled krait, body w/ a distinct vertebral ridge, w/ a pair of upper fixed front fangs, adults usually <80 cm long; body black to blue-black, w/ thin whitish crossbands, 15 longitudinal, parallel dorsal rows of scales at midbody, vertebral scales enlarged & hexagonal (true for all kraits). Belly dark w/ variable width whitish crossbars.

Habitat

Found mostly in open areas near forests & rice fields, sometimes up to 1,000 m elevation. May come up near human homes. Found in Bangladesh, India, & nepal.

Activity and Behavior

Nocturnal & mainly terrestrial. Slow moving by day, more active at night. Rarely seen. Probably preys mainly on other snakes, plus available other small animals.

Venom Characteristics

Not well studied. Primarily neurotoxic. Systemic symptoms may include difficulty breathing, inability to speak, & paralysis.

 


Bungarus magnimaculatus

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Identification

Family: Elapidae

Scientific Names: Bungarus caerulus (in part), B. caerulus var. magnimaculatus

Common Names: Burmese krait

Description

Medium to large-sized krait, body w/ a distinct vertebral ridge, a pair of upper fixed front fangs, adults usually 110-130 cm long (max. 150 cm); body black, w/ 11-14 broad white crossbars, center of each dorsal scale spotted w/ black, belly uniformly white.

Habitat

Not well known. Found mainly along edges of openings in forests or along forest paths. Has been reported from cultivated lands. Limited mainly to Burma, from about sea level to about 1,000 m elevation.

Activity and Behavior

Not much is known. Mainly terrestrial, nocturnal, 7 mainly prey on other snakes. Also eat lizards, frogs or small mammals, as available. Probably oviparous (no clutch size reported).

Venom Characteristics

Not well known, probably neurotoxic. Bites of humans apparently rare, no well-documented human fatalities caused by this species, so far.

 


Bungarus multicinctus

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Identification

Family: Elapidae

Scientific Names: Bungarus caerulus (in part), B. candidus var. multicinctus, B. semifasciatus, B. multicinctus multicinctus, B. m. wanghaotingi, B. wanghaotingi

Common Names: Many-banded krait, Chinese banded krait, Vielgebanderter krait

Description

Medium to large-sized, smooth scaled, body w/ a distinct vertebral ridge, one pair of upper fixed front fangs, adults usually 80-100 cm long (max. 180 cm); body black or bluish-black, w/ 21-30 white or creamy white cross bands (7-11 whitish bands on pointed tail), 15 longitudinal dorsal rows of scales at midbody. Belly white or dirty-white.

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Habitat

Most commonly found in open woodland, grassy fields, & bamboo groves adjacent to water, such as ditches, rice paddies & streams. May be found in villages & suburban areas. Fairly geographically wide spread. Found up to 1,300 m elevation, in southern China, Burma, Indonesia, & most of Southeast Asia.

Activity and Behavior

Not well known. Terrestrial, strongly nocturnal, sluggish by day, more active at night. Eats mainly other snakes, but also available lizards or amphibians.

Venom Characteristics

Extremely potent neurotoxin. Local symptoms minimal. Bite usually felt as a pin-prick followed by slight itching, numbness, or redness; local swelling minimal. Systemic symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, ptosis, inability to speak, swallow, or open mouth, chest tightness, & breathing difficulties. Human fatalities due to bites by this spp. have been reported.

Bungarus niger

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Identification

Family: Elapidae

Scientific Names:

Common Names: Great black krait, black krait

Description

Medium to large-sized, smooth scaled, body w/ a distinct vertebral ridge, 15 parallel dorsal rows of scales at midbody, a pair of upper fixed front fangs. Adults usually 70-100 cm long; body black w/ thin whitish dorsal crossbands, whitish belly.

Habitat

Found mainly in forest openings, along trails, & sometimes up near human habitats, in lower areas from sea level possibly up to 1,000 m elevation, in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India & Nepal.

Activity and Behavior

Not very well known. Terrestrial, nocturnal, seldom seen. Sluggish by day, more active after dark. Mainly prey on other snakes. Probably oviparous (clutch size not reported).

Venom Characteristics

Not well known. Probably mainly neurotoxic. Potentially lethal to humans, but no well-documented fatalities have been reported to have been due to bites by this spp., so far.

 


Bungarus sindanus

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Identification

Family: Elapidae

Scientific Names: Bungarus caeruleus sindanus, B. sindanus sindanus, B. s. razai, B. s. walli

Common Names: Sind krait

Description

Medium-sized krait adults about 60 cm long, body w/ distinct mid-dorsal ridge, & vertebral scales enlarged & hexagonal (as for all true kraits). Dorsal scales smooth, usually in 15 parallel rows at midbody. Body dark (brownish to blackish) w/ 30+ pale crossbands above, lighter (usually whitish) below. Has a pair of upper fixed front fangs. Head not distinct from neck. Tail ends in a sharp tip.

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Habitat

Mainly reported from low to moderate elevation (up to at least 200 m elevation) forested hills & moist brushy forest margins. Limited to southeastern Pakistan & India. Probably very similar to other closely related species. For generalized habitats of kraits, See Bungarus caeruleus.

Activity and Behavior

Not much known. Seldom seen. Probably mainly terrestrial, nocturnal, oviparous (no clutch size reported, but probably around 3-12 eggs), & mainly preys on other snakes (& maybe also other available small animals).

Venom Characteristics

Not much known, but probably mainly neurotoxic. Human bites, serious envenomations, or fatalities not well-documented, so far. For generalized envenomation effects of closely related species of kraits, See Bungarus caeruleus.

 


Buthacus arenicola

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Identification

Family: Buthidae

Scientific Names: Buthus arenicola, Buthotus arenicola

Common Names:

Description

Medium-sized scorpion, adults usually about 4-6 cm long. Body medium-brown to dark-brown, w/ yellowish to light-brown legs, relatively few obvious or dark "hairs" (smoother-looking than Androctonus spp.), w/ post-abdomen relatively thick & wide (but less so than for Androctonus spp.).

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Habitat

Found mainly in scrubby, sparsely-vegetated places, sometimes in margins of cultivated areas &/or oases, usually in semi-arid sandy sites, from near sea level to medium elevations (possibly up to 400 m), in Mediterranean coastal regions of northern Africa.

Activity and Behavior

Nocturnal, hides in crevices or under various objects during the day. Preys mainly on insects & other arthropods, occasionally on very small lizards.

Venom Characteristics

Not well known, but mainly neurotoxic, w/ possible additional cytotoxic or myotoxic factors. Sting reportedly causes a lot of local pain, limited local redness & swelling, but no significant systemic effects or fatalities of humans recorded, so far.

 


Buthus occitanus

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Identification

Family: Buthidae

Scientific Names: Buthus occitanus occitanus

Common Names:

Description

Medium to large scorpion, adults up to 7.5+ cm long. Body, pedipalps & post-abdomen all dark-brown, legs lighter, brown to yellowish-brown; post-abdomen relatively thick & wide (but not as much as for Androctonus spp.).

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Habitat

Found mainly in semi-arid, arid, or desert areas w/ limited vegetation, sometimes in margins of cultivated land & oases; from near sea level up to at least 300 m elevation. Widely distributed in southern Europe, on several Mediterranean islands, northern Africa & the Middle East.

Activity and Behavior

Nocturnal, preys mainly on insects & other arthropods, sometimes eats small lizards, too. Mating includes elaborate courtship "dance." Young hatch within female & later crawl out her genital opening. Young sometimes climb onto female's dorsum, & may crawl down & feed on body juices of prey she is concurrently consuming.

Venom Characteristics

Mainly neurotoxic, w/ possible cardiotoxic & cytotoxic factors. Usually causes intense local pain, slight local swelling, w/ systemic circulatory problems & shock being the reported cause of death. More than 25% of seriously envenomated people were <10 years old (5 of 28 died in one North African report). The only medically important scorpion found in southern Europe, but venom seems more potent in N. African subspecies.

Buthus spp.

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Identification

Family: Buthidae

Scientific Names: [ Note: Buthacus, Buthotus, Mesobuthus, Parabuthus, plus >10 more currently valid genera (nearly all containing the term "-buthus") have been split from this genus since it was described in 1815. There are currently at least 26 recognized named species in this genus, but most are rarely encountered by humans & only the most dangerous & commonly encountered species will be addressed here, separately.]

Common Names:

Description

Small to medium-sized scorpions, adults usually 4-7 cm long (some spp. >11 cm) w/ telson extended. Body pale to dark brown (sometimes yellowish or greenish), cephalothorax usually darker than legs & post-abdomen, w/ distinct dorsal "H-shaped" mark formed by central & median dorsal keels. Three longitudinal keels & obvious granulations on dorsum of first & second abdominal segments, serrate dorsal keels (3-10) on most segments of post-abdomen.

Habitat

Most species are found in semi-arid to humid (some in arid; or in wet) habitats, usually w/ sandy soil & loose accumulations of organic debris; often under loose bark, logs or stones. Most species are found in tropical to warmer temperate regions of southern Europe, northern Africa, & central or southern Asia; from sea level up to 1,000+ m elevation (varies w/ species).

Activity and Behavior

Mainly nocturnal, hide in crevices or under objects during the day. Often influenced greatly by local temperature (sometimes also by moisture) conditions. Seem to adapt somewhat to activity patterns, habits & distribution of available local prey (mainly smaller insects & arthropods).

Venom Characteristics

Mainly proteinaceous neurotoxins, w/ certain other factors affecting particular organs or organ systems (varies by species). Symptoms may include: severe (or no) local pain, swelling, discoloration & itching (this is often masked by pain), spreading numbness, nausea, muscle twitching, loss of muscle tone, & coma. Often cause symptoms which are delayed until 1-24 hrs. after the sting. Children are usually most severely affected.