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Bothrops bilineata smaragdina
This is an arboreal lancehead pitviper that is responsible for many bites to the hands, head and upper body as people work in their gardens, reach into trees to pick fruit or walk under low hanging branches. They are almost invisible in the green foliage found in gardens as well as jungle trails. They are generally under 700 mm, with a few reaching up to 1 m. I measured one at 127 cm. They are uniformly green, varying from a pale green to a bluish-green color liberally speckled with black dots. Often there is a weakly defined postocular black stripe from the back of the eye to the corner of the mouth. There is a yellow line bordering the ventrals on each side from which it get the “Two-striped Forest Pitviper” common name.
This snake was found at night, obviously shortly after it had eaten, probably a tree frog. It was on the lower branches near a small stream in the Amazon rainforest of SE Ecuador (650 masl).
The family of lanceheads, of which this snake is a part, are highly aggressive vipers; among the very few snakes that can strike more than half the length of their body, often striking so hard that they literally pull themselves off the branch and fall, giving the natives the idea that they jump or drop on passers-by.
Spotted on Mar 10, 2005
Submitted on Apr 15, 2020
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