Not only is the eyelash viper fast (among the fastest strikes of any snake) but they can be deadly! They Range in color from red, yellow, pink, green, and brown – sometimes with specks of dark coloration, these snakes can blend in with their colorful environment and await their unsuspecting prey.
First the Stats…
Scientific name: Bothriechis schlegelii
Length: Up to 3 feet
Lifespan: Up to 12 years (in the wild) | up to 20+ years (in captivity)
Now on to the Facts!
1.) Eyelash vipers are nocturnal (they are active at night).
2.) The eyelash viper is arboreal (spend their life in trees).
3.) Like all pit vipers, the eyelash viper has 2 pits on the frontal sides of its head. These pits are used to detect heat and assist with hunting its warm-blooded prey.
4.) This viper’s venom contains hemotoxins and neurotoxins, containing hemorrhagic and procoagulants compounds (this causes massive clotting of blood). It affects both the cardiovascular system and the central nervous system, making it highly toxic, and sometimes fatal to humans. It also has a digestive enzyme which aids in the digestion of it’s prey.
5.) The natural enemies of eyelash vipers include foxes, falcons, hedgehogs, badgers, cats, and larger snakes.
But wait, there’s more on the eyelash viper!
6.) Like all venomous snakes, the eyelash vipers give birth to live young. They birth 6 – 12 babies after a 6 month gestation (pregnancy).
7.) When males battle for a female they will not bite each other. They will engage in a battle of strength. The battle looks like a dance and is even called ‘the dance of the adders’. The winner of the competition of strength gets the chance to mate with the female.
Did you know…?
The eyelash viper has such a fast strike that it can hit a bird in flight!
8.) When the babies are born the are about 6-8 inches long and are fully capable of delivering venom. They are also not cared for and are off on their own right after birth.
9.) The eyelash viper is also known as the eyelash pit viper, Schlegel’s viper, Schlegel’s pit viper, eyelash palm viper, eyelash palm-pitviper, Schlegel’s palm viper, eyelash lancehead, eyelash snake, eyelash mountain viper and horned palm viper.
10.) These snakes are ambush predators. They sit and wait for prey to come to them. They then strike and wait for their prey to die before swallowing them whole.