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Bothriechis guifarroi

Bothriechis guifarroi is a species of green palm-pit viper located in northern Honduras. It was previously confused with other Honduran palm pit vipers. It was discovered by scientists performing two expeditions in 2012 aiming at studying the fauna of Texiguat Wildlife Refuge. This area is thought to be one of the most endemism-rich and diverse highland forests in Mesoamerica. This species represents the 15th endemic species that occurs in the region.

As a member of the genus Bothriechis, it is relatively slender and arboreal. General traits regarding the genus of this species include a sharply defined canthus rostralis, an unelevated snout, a rostra scale that is not as high as it is broad, and a prehensile tail that accounts for at least 15 percent of the total body length.

This pit viper is typically green.

This species was named in honor of Mario Guifarro, a former hunter and gold miner who became an outspoken conservationist when he saw that the rainforest of eastern Honduras was being destroyed and converted to cattle ranches.

Pit vipers are distinguished by their heat-sensing pit organ located between their eye and their nostril on either side of the head. In 2012, a surprising find about pit vipers surfaced when scientists observed that the females were able to give birth without mating. This phenomenon is known as facultative parthenogenesis. The scientists found that between 2.5 and 5 percent of 59 litters of pit vipers within the study were produced from virgin females.

A well known predator regarding snakes is the American marsupial Opossum.

Image Credit: Josiah H. Townsend

Bothriechis guifarroi


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