The stunning Golden Eyelash palm pit Viper
We saw our first viper at the Cahuita National Park, in Costa Rica. We visited this parc a first time without finding spotting it. A lot of wildlife was out on that day to say hello but not the viper. We concentrated all our efforts to find it on the following day. The eyelash viper can be seen in Mexico, Central and South America.
It’s a beautiful snake, don’t you reckon? You might think that its camouflage isn’t that smart… but it actually is! Its colors get confused with flowers’ and fruits’ that attract preys.
The eyelash viper can be yellow (the Oropel), brown, green or even pink! Its name comes from the spiny scales above its eyes, giving appearances of eyelashes.
Usually in low branches of trees and palms: up to 2.5 meters above the ground… they can be found in banana plantations as well and have accidentally been shipped around the world with the fruit. Ouch! It’s not that easy to spot this viper during the day, as it stays motionless in a hunting posture. But it’s fun to try!
These two points will help you know if the snake you see is a viper :
– it has a broad triangular head
– and elliptical shaped pupils, like cats
The one we saw was young and small but was still as toxic as adults that can grow to 80cm (30 inches).
“pit,” refers to the heat-sensing pits these snakes have. It allows them to “see” the heat and predict the movement of their preys. What an amazing skill to have.
Checkout this video to see how rapidly they can strike their preys :
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