Snakes have a bad reputation, but beyond the scary stories and persistent myths are a group of animals who, like any other, only strike when threatened. With an incredible 3,000 species of snake on Earth, here are some of the most beautiful
he green bush viper is a highly polymorphic species that is found in a wide array of colors, from vivid red through to orange, yellow, blue and shades of green. They are widely distributed across West and Central Africa. Most often found in primary forests and land converted for banana plantations, they remain stationary in the trees much of the time. But don’t drop your guard as they can still deliver a quick attack if need be.
he green tree python shares the vibrant green color of the emerald tree boa but there are slight differences in their size and the shape of the scales on their heads. The python’s long prehensile tail functions in a similar way to a monkey’s, allowing the snake to grip the trees and move around with ease, although they usually only move when seeking a different tree to rest in.
With their striking coloration it’s easy to see why the Kanburian bamboo viper belongs to a family called the ‘beautiful pit vipers’. Living in the woodland and limestone mountains of Thailand, they are known to be venomous but no studies have been carried out to quantify the strength of their venom. They are mainly nocturnal and spend their nights hunting frogs and lizards.
Rainbow boas belong to a group called the ‘sunbeam snakes’, which refers to the oil-on-water iridescent sheen that occurs when their scales reflect natural light. Microscopic ridges found on their scales act just like prisms and refract light into rainbows. Found in the lush tropical forests of Brazil, they spend most of their time on the ground as opposed to in the trees, as there are plenty of mice and lizards to hunt on the forest floor.
In the deserts of southern Africa, the sand can feel as hot as lava. To overcome living in such a harsh environment, the Peringuey’s adder buries itself beneath the surface. By doing this, it gives the snake much needed respite from the scorching heat, as the sand below the top layer is much cooler. It also means it can stay hidden and ambush unsuspecting prey
|Genus||Common Name(s)||Species||Found in / Range|
|Agkistrodon||Copperhead, watermoccasin, cottonmouth||3||Central America
|Atropoides||Jumping pit vipers||3||Some regions of Mexico and Central America|
|Bothriechis||Palm pit vipers||7||Some regions of Mexico, Central and South America|
|Bothriopsis||Forest pit vipers||7||Panama and some parts of northern South America|
|Bothrops||Lanceheads||32||Widespread throughout Mexico, Central and South America|
|Calloselasma||Malayan pit viper||1||Thailand, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, northern West Malaysia and on the island of Java in Indonesia.|
|Cerrophidion||Montane pit vipers||3||Southern Mexico and Central America|
|Crotalus||Rattlesnakes||29||North America, Central America and the northern half of South America|
|Deinagkistrodon||Hundred-pace viper||1||Much of Southeast Asia|
|Gloydius||Asian moccasins||9||Pakistan, Russia, India, Iran, China, Nepa, Japan, Korea|
|Hypnale||Hump-nosed pit vipers||3||India and Sri Lanka|
|Lachesis||Bushmasters||3||Central and South America|
|Ophryacus||Mexican horned pit vipers||2||Many parts of Mexico|
|Ovophis||Mountain pit vipers||3||Southeast Asia, Nepal and Japan|
|Porthidium||Hognose pit vipers||7||Mexico, Central America and the northern regions of South America|
|Sistrurus||Ground rattlesnakes||3||Southeastern Canada and eastern part of United States|
|Trimeresurus||Asian lanceheads||35||Japan, southern China, parts of Southeast Asia|
Southeast Asia and some parts of India