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Poisonous animals
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North America
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Bothriechis spp., Palm pitvipers

Clinical entries

formerly genus Bothrops


  • 1. Bothriechis aurifer
  • 2. Bothriechis bicolor
  • 3. Bothriechis guifarroi
  • 4. Bothriechis lateralis
  • 5. Bothriechis marchi
  • 6. Bothriechis nigroviridis
  • 7. Bothriechis nubestris
  • 8. Bothriechis rowleyi
  • 9. Bothriechis schlegelii
  • 10. Bothriechis supraciliaris
  • 11. Bothriechis thalassinus


Serpentes; Viperidae; Crotalinae

Common names

Palm pitvipers

  • 1. Yellow-blotched palm pitviper
  • 2. Guatemalan palm pitviper
  • 4. Side-striped palm pitviper
  • 5. March's palm pitviper
  • 6. Black-speckled palm pitviper
  • 7. Talamancan palm pitviper
  • 8. Rowley's palm pitviper
  • 9. Eyelash palm pitviper
  • 10. Blotched palm pitviper
  • 11. Merendon palm pitviper


Southern Mexico to the far northwest of South America. See link "Distribution" at the top of the page for detailed information.


Map 54 Bothriechis spp.



Arboreal species with prehensile tail. Relatively slender body with triangular head markedly distinct from the body. Overall appearance closely resembles that of Bothriopsis spp. and Trimeresurus spp. Length 1 m or less.

Body colouring mostly shades of grey, often with markings, also yellow individuals among B. schlegelii. In most B. schlegelii populations, the scales over the eyes are drawn out into pointed protuberances that resemble eyelashes.

Habitat in mountainous wooded areas, B. schlegelii also in mesic forests of the lowlands and foothills. Predominantly found in low palms and shrub-like vegetation.


Isolated fatalities due to B. aurifer, B. marchi, B. nigroviridis and B. schlegelii have been reported, but severe systemic envenoming is rare. Morbidity generally lower than with Bothrops spp. In Costa Rica and Panama, B. schlegelii is the principal cause of Bothriechis bites (Jutzy et al. 1953, Minton 1980, Sass 1979).

Literature (biological)

Bolanos 1982, 1984, Campbell and Lamar 1989, 2004, Doan et al. 2016, Townsend et al. 2013