Scientific Name: Bothriechis schlegeli
Taken out of their natural habitat, the various colour forms of the eyelash viper appear strikingly conspicuous. Placed amongst the vegetation, mosses and lichens of their home the snakes blend in perfectly and are quickly lost in the tangle of leaves, branches and vines to wait in ambush for their next meal.
Named for the horn-like scales that protrude above each eye, the eyelash viper is an extremely variable snake reaching a maximum size of around 80cm. Colour forms include specimens that are bright yellow, others that are mossy green and still other types that are a camouflage pattern of brick red and silvery green. Each form is a very beautiful snake in its own right. These are pit vipers, meaning they locate their prey by the use of heat sensing organs or pits at the front of the head, and related to rattlesnakes. Their bite is not usually considered deadly but can still produce some serious effects.
Eyelash vipers are tree-dwelling snakes of central and northern South America. They inhabit the steamy tropical rainforests of these regions lying motionless amongst the leaves and branches awaiting passing prey.
Frogs and lizards are very common in the eyelash vipers habitat so these groups are the usual food items. However, they are not averse to taking small birds and mammals given the opportunity.
Female eyelash vipers give birth to live young. Litters of 8-16 beautifully coloured babies are produced amongst the foliage and are immediately capable of agile climbing feats.