Chironius exoletus Common Whipsnake
Also known as:
Afaninga Snake, Amazonian Whipsnake, Green Racer, Green Keeled Racer, Rainforest Whipsnake
Santa Cruz Forest Reserve, Loreto, PeruJanuary 23, 2013
Common Whipsnake (Chironius exoletus)
Our last hike in the Peruvian rainforest started at the Santa Cruz field station and ended up down by the river where we would hop on a speedboat for Iquitos. I was hiking down with Pat Bartlett and Jake Scott. Jake had gone a little ways ahead while Pat and I had paused to photograph a little toad or butterfly or something cool. He yelled something along the lines of "snake!" and in a moment we caught up to him. He was holding this very long, very agitated Chironius. These snakes have a nasty reputation, so our hopes of getting a decent photo seemed rather dim. But after a few minutes of trying to settle it down, it adopted this defensive posture in the middle of the trail and deigned to allow a few photos. It also bit me several times, but very mildly; its bite didn't even break my skin. This was a species that neither Jake nor I had yet seen, so it was a nice little going-away present. (Pat has visited the Peruvian rainforest several times so this was just an old friend to her.)

Here is a complete list of the herps I saw in the wild on my 2013 MT Amazon Expeditions trip.

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