• Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Look but don’t touch: the eyelash viper

April 8, 2015

150407eyelashviper01

We found this little fellow curled against a tree in Tortuguero, a serpent no bigger than your typical garter snake. Its orange skin looked bright and cheery. Indeed, Bothriechis schlegelii is basically harmless – unless you lean in too close, and then its bite can be deadly.

The eyelash viper is one of the most venomous snakes in Costa Rica. Local naturalists are fond of saying that most Costa Rican spiders won’t hurt you, but don’t mess with the snakes. Farmers routinely lose their dogs and cats to snake bites, and varieties like the coral and green vine snakes can inject a powerful toxin.

Of course most of these snakes will do anything they can to avoid you, and they won’t get hostile unless they feel threatened. (Or you step on one by accident.) If you are bitten, just stay calm and get yourself to the nearest hospital – antivenins can treat almost any venom out there.

But the soundest advice, when interacting with any wild animal, is: look but don’t touch. Most visitors to Costa Rica know this already. The less wildlife has to interact with people, the better – which is why they invented telephoto lenses.

You may be interested

Costa Rica extends driving grace period for citizens, residents
Costa Rica
1735 views
Costa Rica
1735 views

Costa Rica extends driving grace period for citizens, residents

The Tico Times - March 5, 2021

The Public Works and Transport Ministry says Costa Ricans and legal residents with foreign driver's licenses can continue using that…

Costa Rica unemployment rate drops to 19%
Costa Rica
2541 views
Costa Rica
2541 views

Costa Rica unemployment rate drops to 19%

The Tico Times - March 4, 2021

Unemployment in Costa Rica fell to 19.1% in the moving quarter from November to January. This maintained a downward trend…

Throwback Thursday: 2006 Arenal Volcano lava flows
Arenal
4798 views
Arenal
4798 views

Throwback Thursday: 2006 Arenal Volcano lava flows

The Tico Times - March 4, 2021

Arenal Volcano's July 1968 eruption destroyed three small villages, killed 87 people and wiped out 232 square kilometers of crops…