Snakes inhabit every continent on Earth, except Antarctica. They live in a wide variety of habitats that range from forests, scrublands, deserts, and swamps to rainforests. Here, we’ll take a closer look at ten snakes that live in the rainforest. We’ll go over each species’ size, appearance, location, and diet. Then, we’ll look at which species have venom and which constrict their prey before eating it.
Read on to find out more about ten snakes that live in the rainforest.
1. Rainbow Boa Snake (Epicrates cenchria)
Rainbow boas are small by boa standards, growing to only six feet long. They have heavy bodies with a base color of tan or light brown with darker markings. They aren’t merely brown snakes, though. Their scales reflect in bright, rainbow shades of light, just like a rainbow.
As snakes that live in the rainforest, rainbow boas are endemic to Central and South America. They spend a lot of time in the water and eat everything from rodents to birds, crushing their prey rather than envenomating it.
2. Reticulated Python (Malayopython reticulatus)
Reticulated pythons live in the rainforests of south and Southeast Asia. They’re capable of eating creatures as large as deer and feral pigs. Adults grow up to 20 feet long and can weigh over 150 pounds. They get their name from the pale white, yellow, light brown, and dark brown markings on their bodies.
3. King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah)
King cobras may be one of the scariest snakes that live in the rainforest. They’re native to India and Southeast Asia, where they make their homes in wooded areas near sources of water. King cobras are extremely venomous, but they won’t bite unless threatened or provoked. Unlike other snakes, they eat mostly reptiles, including smaller snakes.
4. Green Vine Snake (Oxybelis fulgidus)
Green vine snakes live in Central and South America. They spend most of their lives in the trees. They have skinny bodies and grow up to six feet long. They’re bright green, with orange-tinted eyes and a pointed snout. Green vine snakes eat mostly small lizards, birds, and frogs.
5. Gaboon Viper (Bitis gabonica)
Gaboon vipers are one of the most distinct snakes that live in the rainforest. Their fangs can grow up to two inches long, longer than any other venomous snake. They make their home in the rainforests of sub-Saharan Africa. Gaboon vipers grow up to five feet long and have highly organized yellow, light, and dark brown patterning.
6. Green Mamba (Dendroaspis angusticeps)
Green mambas might just be one of the prettiest snakes that live in the rainforest. They’re native to eastern Africa and live solely within the confines of lush tropical forests and woodlands. They’re extremely venomous but rarely come into contact with people. Green mambas use their venom against all kinds of prey, including rodents, birds, and bats. They’re opportunistic hunters who won’t refuse a meal of bird eggs if they happen to come across a nest.
7. Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis)
Black mambas occupy a wide variety of habitats, ranging from rainforests to savannahs and rocky hillsides. They’re not small snakes, growing to nearly 15 feet long for the largest adults. Like green mambas, they’re highly venomous, though they only bite humans when they have no other choice left. Contrary to their name, black mambas are pale gray in color, with whitish undersides. They live throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
8. Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus)
Green anacondas aren’t just snakes that live in the rainforest; they’re also one of the longest, heaviest species of snake in the world. They live in the rainforests of South America. Adults can grow to nearly 20 feet long. Green anacondas range from green to pale yellow, with darker ovoid markings across their backs and sides.
9. Coastal Taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus)
Coastal taipans live in a wide variety of habitats, including agricultural areas, rainforests, and woodlands. They grow to nearly seven feet long and have formidable venom. Like mulga snakes, they’re uniformly brown, with pale bellies and black eyes. Coastal taipans live only in Australia and New Guinea. They eat a combination of rodents and small mammals, including bandicoots.
10. Green Tree Python (Morelia viridis)
Green tree pythons are endemic to New Guinea, Indonesia, and a few parts of Australia. They’re almost entirely lime green in color, with a few scattered white scales. They have large, long heads with highly visible nostrils and big, round eyes. Females grow bigger than males, with the longest reaching lengths of over six feet. Baby green tree pythons are bright yellow with scattered dark brown scales. Green tree pythons eat mostly rodents, small mammals, and lizards such as skinks and geckos.
Other Reptiles That Live In Rainforests
There are a number of lizards that make their home in the rainforest. These include iguanas, chameleons, geckos, anoles, and skinks. Each species has adapted to its environment in different ways to survive the conditions found in tropical forests around the world.
Iguanas have become well-known for being large reptiles that inhabit subtropical and tropical environments. They can be identified by their characteristic long tails, scaly skin, and spiny crests along their backs. Iguanas are primarily herbivorous creatures who feast on leaves and flowers as part of their diet. They tend to be less active during periods when food is scarce or difficult to find because of weather patterns such as drought or heavy rains which affect plant growth and availability of food sources.
Chameleons come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, but they all share certain characteristics like zygodactyl feet which help them climb trees easily; prehensile tails used for balance; bulging eyes that rotate independently from each other, allowing them to see 360 degrees; and tongue longer than body length capable of capturing prey with remarkable accuracy! Chameleons eat mostly insects like crickets, grasshoppers, moths, etc., although some species will also consume small vertebrates, such as lizards or birds, if they encounter one while hunting prey items.
Geckos are small amphibious reptiles whose populations can vary greatly depending on the region. In tropical rainforests, geckos thrive in a variety of habitats and can be found in both trees and on the ground. They feed mostly on insects, but some larger species may also consume fruits or other small animals, such as frogs or lizards.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Heiko Kiera/Shutterstock.com
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