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Meet the variable Eyelashed Pit Viper by Richard Bartlett on 2022-07-04 01:13:00


Eyelashed Pit Vipers come in almost all shades of green and yellow plus gray and brown.

We had just met with a little blunt-headed tree snake on a trailside shrub. It looked so like the twigs on which it quietly lay that we had walked by and then, for some reason decided to retrace our few steps back to the creek. Only then, because it had decided to lift its head a bit, did we see the tree snake. Aha. Imantodes inornata. A new species.

Again, we scanned the creek, then moved ahead on the trail only to be stopped in a few steps by the creek itself that had there decided to widen, deepen, and cross the trail. What had earlier looked to be a yard wide and a foot deep had been deepened and widened here by innumerable footsteps on the pathway. We were either going to get wet or turn back, so of course we got wet.

And it was a good thing we had done so, for as we sloshed along our guide quietly said “Oropel.”

I said "Oh WOW!"

I had kept an example of the Eyelashed Viper, Bothriechis schlegelii, many years before. That snake had been rather dark and overall nondescript. But it had been a gift and I was still a kid, so I cherished it. Then, I was fortunate over the years to have seen many others, at dealers, at breeders, and at zoos, but now I was looking at my first “in field” example. This was an experience different and more exciting than the others and a beautiful example this oropel, the yellow phase, was. And before the walk was over we were to see a second, a greenish one that time.

A memorable stroll!
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