Fer-de-lances are one of the largest and most deadly snakes of Central and South America. They are Costa Rica's most feared snake and with good reason: 50% of all snakebites are from this venomous viper. Described as the ultimate pit-viper, fer-de-lances are excitable, unpredictable and can deliver swift and aggressive strikes. With up to 90 live young born in a single brood, they are a common cause of snakebites in their range. During the day, fer-de-lance lie coiled amongst the leaf-litter, where their long, thick bodies can be hard to spot. Come sundown, the search begins for something to eat.
Scientific name: Bothrops asper
The following habitats are found across the Fer-de-lance distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Bothrops asper is a venomous pit viper species ranging from southern Mexico to northern South America. Sometimes referred to as the "ultimate pit viper", these snakes are found in a wide range of lowland habitats, often near human habitations. Its proximity to human habitations is likely the reason why it is considered more dangerous to humans than others. This species is the main cause of snakebite incidents within its range. No subspecies are currently recognized.
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