10 Snakes That Live in the Rainforest

Written by Brandi Allred
Published: March 26, 2022
Image Credit Heiko Kiera/Shutterstock.com
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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)

brazilian rainbow boa
The rainbow boa is so named for its distinct iridescent scales.

Kassia Marie Ott/Shutterstock.com

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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)

Animals That Molt - Reticulated Python
Reticulated pythons are one of the most popular breeds for snake enthusiasts.

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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)

Biggest Snakes: The King Cobra
The black mamba is well known for its defensive posture, which includes rearing up and spreading its hood wide.

Vova Shevchuk/Shutterstock.com

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 Snake
The green vine snake is so slender that it resembles a branch.

Ferdy Timmerman/Shutterstock.com

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 Viper
Gaboon vipers live entirely on the forest floor, and they’re too heavy to hunt in the trees.

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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)

Beautiful Green Animals - green mamba
The green mamba spends most of its life high in the trees.

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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 Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) toughest animal for toxicity - most toxic animal on earth
The black mamba gets its name from the black coloring inside its mouth.

NickEvansKZN/Shutterstock.com

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)

Biggest Snakes: The Green Anaconda
Green anacondas are also known as giant anacondas, common anacondas, sucuri, or common water boas.

Patrick K. Campbell/Shutterstock.com

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)

Most Venomous Snakes - Coastal Taipan
The coastal taipan is one of the longest snakes in Australia.

Ken Griffiths/Shutterstock.com

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)

Close-up view of a green tree python (Morelia viridis). The snake has a very distinguishable diamond-shaped head.
The green tree python is so named for its intense green coloring.

iStock.com/tane-mahuta

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.

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