10 Snakes That Live In The Rainforest

Written by Brandi Allred
Updated: May 16, 2023
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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.

The black mamba, found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, is highly venomous.

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.

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©Kassia Marie Ott/Shutterstock.com

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.

©Mark_Kostich/Shutterstock.com

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 cobra, Ophiophagus hannah is a venomous snake species of elapids endemic to jungles in Southern and Southeast Asia, goa india 

King cobras are the longest venomous snake in the world and can reach 18 feet long.

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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.

©Danita Delimont/Shutterstock.com

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)

Western Green Mamba

Western green mambas (D. viridis) inhabit coastal rainforests in West Africa.

©Sibons photography/Shutterstock.com

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.

Other Reptiles That Live In Rainforests

Crocodile Skink Lizard sunbathing on moss.

Crocodile

Skink Lizard

sunbathing on moss.

© Kurit afshen/Shutterstock.com

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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About the Author

Brandi is a professional writer by day and a fiction writer by night. Her nonfiction work focuses on animals, nature, and conservation. She holds degrees in English and Anthropology, and spends her free time writing horror, scifi, and fantasy stories.

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