Bothrops asper Central American Lancehead
Also known as:
Central American Fer-de-Lance, Common Lancehead, Terciopelo, Fer-de-lance, Barba Amarilla, Yellow-jaw Tommygoff (Belize)
Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, Golfito region, Puntarenas province, Costa RicaSeptember 25, 2001
Central American Lancehead (Bothrops asper)
These snakes are sensibly feared throughout Central America, because they are venomous, common, hard to see, and willing to strike if perturbed. Many people are killed each year by the bite of Bothrops asper.

This young one was captured by herpetologist Alejandro Solorzano of the Costa Rica National Serpentarium while those of us who prefer not to handle venomous snakes watched. After being kept overnight, we brought it out to photograph. Herpetologist Bill Lamar of GreenTracks wrangled it into position while those of us who prefer not to handle venomous snakes watched. Do you detect a recurring theme here? I am perfectly willing to let any non-venomous snake slither around on me to its hearts content; I will let lizards sit on my head; but I leave the venomous snakes to the experts.

Here is a complete list of the species we found on this GreenTracks trip.

Trails behind Hotel Campestre, El Valle de Antón, Coclé province, PanamaJanuary 9, 2014
Central American Lancehead (Bothrops asper) Central American Lancehead (Bothrops asper)
Lorrie Smith and I were poking around a stream edge for frogs. We had seen a few different species already. I spotted what seemed to be a froggy shape at the edge of a rock that looked different than any of the froggy shapes we had already seen. As I got closer, I realized that it wasn't a froggy shape at all, but a viper-head shape. The snake itself was under the curve of a small boulder, with just the head exposed, aiming towards the stream. (No doubt it was looking for frogs too.) Unfortunately it noticed us noticing it, and pulled its head back. I rolled the boulder away and Lorrie gently lifted this fine fer-de-lance with tongs, to pose it in a more open area of sand.
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