Bocaraca Eyelash viper
Text and Photos by Cesar Barrio Amorós
Costa Rica is a vacation destination that attracts many nature lovers.
Among them, we find more and more “herpers;” they are the ones seeking different species of reptiles and amphibians. One of the most well-known species in this group is the famous eyelash viper or bocaracá, as it is known in Costa Rica. There are many color morphs; the most recognized is the yellow or golden, known as oropel.
In Costa Ballena, these snakes are not as common as they are in other places (the Caribbean coast, for example); however, they inhabit the primary and secondary forests we see around this area. Sometimes they show up around gardens. In spite of being poisonous, they are small and non- aggressive if left alone; therefore, there is no reason to be fearful, just cautious.
However, if someone is bitten, immediate medical attention is required at a hospital to apply the needed antivenom. The bocaracá is arboreal and nocturnal, and during the daytime rests wrapping itself around a tree branch or shrub.It feeds on lizards, frogs, small rodents, and birds.
If you ever find one and do not know what to do, call MINAE (2772 1414), Doc Frog (8430 0116), or Reptilandia Park; they will relocate it in its habitat.
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