Neotropical: Southern Mexico, South and Central America to Columbia, Equador and Western Venezuela.
Wet forests with low elevation. Shrubs, brushes, vine tangles, trees and palms usually close to a water source.
The eyelash viper is 18-30 inches in length. The coloration can be reddish-yellow, yellow, grayish-brown or green. The yellow color can be spotted
with white, black or red; the darker colors can be spotted with black or red. Their distinguishing feature is the supraciliarie, or enlarged scale,
above each eye, giving the appearance of eyelashes.
Their life expectancy can exceed 16 years in captivity. The female has multiple live births -- usually 12 or more babies are born.
This viper is arboreal and has a prehensile tail. While catching and eating food, this snake can hold onto a branch with its tail and can hang
completely suspended in midair while eating his entire meal. The coloration of this viper helps to camouflage it while it hides in the midst of
flowers. It hides here to strike at the birds it likes to eat. The "eyelashes" on this viper also help to camouflage it. It is harder to distinguish
its head from the surrounding foliage.
These snakes can go for up to year without eating.
The viper has an unsual but quite normal special adaptation. It has the ability to catch and eat its food while suspending it-self in midair off of a
The coloration of the snakes in certain parts of the world also is a great adaptation. I say this because a number of color variants exist that help
the snake to "comouflage" itself, in order to strike at prey easier from hiding. The "eyelashes" on the vipers can also help camouflage the
snake. They make it harder for prey and enemies to distinguish the snakes from surrounding foliage..
: (A living organism characterized by voluntary movement) Animalia
: (Comprises true vertebrates and animals having a notochord) Chordata
: (Class of cold-blooded air-breathing vertebrates with completely ossified skeleton and a body usually covered with scales or horny plates; once the
dominant land animals) Reptilia
: (Diapsid reptiles: snakes and lizards) Squamata
: (Old World vipers) Viperidae
*May be treated as a separate family,
Pit Vipers (sometimes called crotalines) are mostly (The hemisphere that includes North and South America) New World (Venomous Old World snakes
characterized by hollow venom-conducting fangs in the upper jaw) vipers found in (The region of the United States lying north of the Mason-Dixon
Line) North, (A workplace that serves as a telecommunications facility where lines from telephones can be connected together to permit communication)
Central and (A continent in the western hemisphere connected to North America by the Isthmus of Panama) South America; a few ((biology) taxonomic
group whose members can interbreed) species are recorded from isolated areas of (A geographical division of Asia that includes Indochina plus
Indonesia and the Philippines and Singapore) Southeast Asia, the (A large saltwater lake between Iran and Russia fed by the Volga River; the largest
inland body of water in the world) Caspian region of (The 2nd smallest continent (actually a vast peninsula of Eurasia); the British use `Europe' to
refer to all of the continent except the British Isles) Europe, (A communist nation that covers a vast territory in eastern Asia; the most populous
country in the world) China and (A constitutional monarchy occupying the Japanese Archipelago; a world leader in electronics and automobile
manufacture and ship building) Japan. Depending on the (A biologist who specializes in the classification of organisms into groups on the basis of
their structure and origin and behavior) taxonomist, Pit Vipers may be treated as a ((biology) a taxonomic category below a family) subfamily
(Crotalinae) of the viper ((biology) a taxonomic group containing one or more genera) family (Old World vipers) Viperidae (with "true vipers" or
pitless vipers in the subfamily (Click link for more info and facts about Viperinae) Viperinae), or as a family of their own, Crotalidae.
These snakes are named after their specialized (A sensory receptor that responds to heat and cold) thermoreceptors, (A form of energy that is
transferred by a difference in temperature) heat-sensitive (A fully differentiated structural and functional unit in an animal that is specialized
for some particular function) organs located on the head which take the form of small pits. There are approximately 22 (Click link for more info and
facts about genera) genera of Pit Vipers in total, the largest and most familiar being the (Pit viper with horny segments at the end of the tail that
rattle when shaken) rattlesnakes (genera (Large rattlesnakes; seldom bite unless startled or pursuing prey) Crotalus and (Pygmy rattlesnakes)
Sistrurus). Other species include the (Click link for more info and facts about American copperhead) American copperhead and (Venomous semiaquatic
snake of swamps in southern United States) Cottonmouth (genus (Copperheads) Agkistrodon) and the asian pit vipers (genus (Click link for more info
and facts about Gloydius) Gloydius).
The eyelash viper, also known as Schlegel's viper, is named for an enlarged scale above each eye. This scale, known as a supraciliarie, helps to
camouflage the snake while it is hiding in a tree among flowers, waiting for its prey.
There are multiple color variants in this species
[edit on 13-9-2005 by SpittinCobra]