I came across this small blind snake as it slowly wormed its way along a clear patch of ground next to a corn field. I thought it first it might be a worm, but something just looked a little odd about it. I picked it up and through my hand lens I could see it had scales. I also spotted its tongue darting in and out of its tiny mouth.
I didn’t know it then, but I was in the initial stages of chicken pox. All I knew was that I was feeling poorly and wasn’t motivated to take pictures in the field. I stuffed it in a small container for pictures later. The next day I took a few photos as I held it in my hand. I released it later that day in a field much like the one where I found it.
As dusk arrived, I spotted this small vine snake, Imantodes cenchoa, descending a large tree. This species is chiefly arboreal, so seeing one near the ground was sheer luck.
A small snake, the head shown here is only 5mm wide. Overall I estimated this one to be less than a meter long, although they can grow to a bit more than that.
The head is much wider than the body. Thin as it may be, it can swallow prey ten times the width of its body. Nocturnal, these snakes hunt sleeping lizards, particularly anoles.
In the photo above, you can easily see the two scales above the far eye that give this snake its common name. No other Costa Rican snake has this distinctive feature.
I used my Canon 100mm macro combined with my Tamron 1.4x teleconverter to get some closeup shots, without getting too close myself. A handful of people die in Costa Rica every year from bites by this snake.
Looks like all commenters easily spotted the snake in this photo.
It’s about a third of the way from the top right. Here’s a closer shot from roughly the same angle.
Look out for a separate post on this individual with many more photos.
Oh, and don’t worry, I kept a respectful distance. This encounter reminded me why I always carry around a teleconverter.
I haven’t yet driven MG-223 that leaves Tupaciguara in the direction of Araguari at night without seeing a snake crossing the road. Here’s the most recent one I spotted, which I assume is a young rattlesnake. It’s small, maybe 6 inches or so, and it looks like it has a button at the end of its tail.
My real dilemma when I spot one is whether or not to stop and risk getting hit by another vehicle. At any rate, I’m definitely in a hurry to get a photo and get back up to speed.