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Costa Rica Nicoya Peninsula

The Travel Guide to the Peninsula de Nicoya, Costa Rica, with detailed Maps, Hotels and Tourist Information

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Snakes in Costa Rica

Part II - Non-venomous colored snakes

Green-headed Racer
Green-headed Racer

Green-headed Racer / Corredora verde

Leptodrymus pulcherrimus
Length: up to 1.5 meter

A diurnal, terrestrial snake with green head and black stripes from the eyes to the tail. The slim body has a light green to yellow color. The harmless and relatively common snake inhabits lowland dry forest and premontane moist forests. It's also found in disturbed habitats.

Brown Vine Snake
Brown Vine Snake

Brown Vine Snake / Bejuquilla cafe

Oxybelis aeneus
Length: up to 1.7 meter

An extremely slender snake with pointed, elongated head. In defense (when teased by my cat) it opens the mouth wide to display dark purple lining. The back of its dorsum is brown, while the underside is white. The snake is mostly arboreal and diurnal, feeding on lizards frogs and small birds.

Costa Rica Snakes
Road Guarder

Road Guarder / Guardacaminos

Conophis lineatus
Length: up to 1.1 meter

A terrestrial, diurnal snake with alternating brown and yellow stripes running the length of the dorsum. In Costa Rica this snake occurs on the Pacific slope of the Nicoya Peninsula, in moist and dry forest, and savannas. It feeds primarily on lizards and eggs of ground-nesting birds.

Bird Snake
Mica

Neotropical Bird Snake / Mica

Mica pajarera
Length: up to 2.4 meters

This is one of the largest and most robust snakes in Costa Rica, capable of feeding on moderately sized birds, including small chickens. The body is mostly black with yellow dashes, patterns vary considerably. The snake can act aggressively but a bite will only hurt, not kill a human. Just leave the snake alone.

Whipsnake
Whipsnake

Dry Forest Whipsnake / Culebra chilillo

Masticophis mentovarius
Length: up to 2 meters

A larger fast-moving terrestrial snake, very shy, harmless and not aggressive. The body has no pattern, uniformly colored with variations from light green to brown. Characteristic are spots on the side of the head.

Sabanera
Sabanera

Black-tailed Cribo / Sabanera

Drymarchon melanurus
Length: up to 3 meters

A large, aggressive, but not poisonous snake with a yellow to brownish body. Distinctive black marks behind and below the eyes look like teardrops. The sabanera can be found in a variety of habitats, including open fields and tropical rain forests, in areas from sea level up to 1,900 m altitude.

All of the above snakes are non-venomous and I took pictures of them in the wild on the Nicoya Peninsula.

 

More: Part I - Snakes with brown patterns
          Part III - Coral snakes

Text and Pictures by Pia Pfau