Camouflaged snake

Title Info
Common name Fer-de-lance
Scientific name Bothrops asper
Taxonomic group Viperidae
Source Dan L. Perlman
Ecological interactions Predation
Selection and adaptations Coloration
Coloration Camouflage
Organisms Animals
Animals Reptiles
Lessons Mimicry and Camouflage
Date 1998
Location La Selva Biological Station,Costa Rica,North America
Camouflaged fer-de-lance snake
Related materials: Fer-de-lance
This image shows an incredibly well-camouflaged, extremely venomous snake. If you are having trouble finding it, look at image DP701, "Camouflaged snake circled" (click the Related materials link to get a visual hint for finding the snake).

Camouflaged fer-de-lance snake, Costa Rica. The fer-de-lance or terciopelo, as it is known in Costa Rica, is a deadly poisonous viper. These snakes can grow to more than 2 yd (2 m) in length, are quite aggressive (unlike most other vipers), and are extraordinarily well camouflaged, as this image demonstrates. Like other pit vipers, their fangs stay folded up on the roof of the mouth until just before the strike, and they can deliver the better part of a cubic inch (several cubic centimeters) of venom. Their venom breaks down blood and muscle tissue, essentially beginning the process of digesting the prey even before it is swallowed. As with other pit vipers, these snakes have a pair of small heat-sensing organs near the fronts of their heads; these organs allow them to sense mammals moving nearby, even in the dark. If you cannot find the snake, look in the upper left quadrant, between the tree roots. You can also consult the companion image, which shows the snake circled in red.