Two Hognose Pit Vipers

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Photographed in situ [1]

Two hognose pit vipers (Porthidium nasutum) from the Caribbean lowlands of Costa Rica. The mahogany brown morph sat in ambush about a half meter above the ground on a thin flimsy fern. Because of its tiny size the feeble plant managed to support its weight, though it was still surprising to me how the snake managed to climb up to that position.

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Photographed in situ [1]
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Photographed in situ [1]
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Photographed after disturbance [4]
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Photographed after disturbance [4]
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Photographed after disturbance [4]

Below is footage of my first hognose pit viper from three years ago at La Selva. The dark coloration seemed almost blueish under the dim forest lighting, and it was wonderful to observe the snake drink droplets of water off its body after a brief lightning storm. At the beginning of the video I provoked a strike (… I no longer perform these kinds of intentional disturbances to snakes…). However, it was fascinating to me to see this typical defensive behavior of vipers, one I had never before experienced firsthand.


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