Phrynonax poecilonotus Common Bird Snake
Also known as:
Puffing Snake
Madre Selva Biological Station, Loreto, PeruJanuary 17, 2013
Common Bird Snake (Phrynonax poecilonotus)
On this afternoon I was hiking the longest of the three main trails at Madre Selva by myself when I heard a crashing noise and turned to see a large snake at least six or seven feet long hit the ground from an apparently aborted attempt to climb a large tree. It took off noisily into the thickening vegetation, where I had no hope of getting a photo or catching it. I got a decent look at its head and body though, and saw a dark brown dorsal color with a light slightly-yellowish chin and belly. Afterwards I asked Dick Bartlett and Matt Cage what the candidate snakes were, and they made a few suggestions. Looking through Dick's Amazon herps field guide, the photo of Pseustes poecilonotus was a very close match to the snake I saw.

The picture above is of a different individual that I saw the following year when I returned to this area. It was brought into camp by a local villager. Matt insisted that I take a photo of it to make up for my lack of photo of the one I saw the previous year, and I have learned to always do what Matt says.

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

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