Butterfly Viper

Butterfly Viper

After the butterfly viper sheds its skin, the bright colors fade quickly as silt from their moist habitat accumulates on the scales.

The butterfly viper is often considered one of the most beautiful of all snakes because of its incredible coloration. The color pattern of the butterfly viper consists of a series of 15–18 blue or blue-green, oblong markings, each with a lemon-yellow line down the center. These are enclosed within irregular, black, rhombic blotches. A series of dark crimson triangles run down the flanks, narrowly bordered with green or blue. Many of the lateral scales have white tips, giving the snake a velvety appearance. The top of the head is blue or green, overlaid with a distinct black arrow mark. The belly is dull green to dirty white, strongly marbled, and blotched in black and gray.

After they shed their skins, the bright colors fade quickly as silt from their generally moist habitat accumulates on the rough scales.


Image | © Hectonichus, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Sources | (Lipsett, 2003; Mallow, Ludwig, & Nilson, 2003; Rogers, 2000; Spawls, Howell, Drewes, & Ashe, 2004; The Wikimedia Foundation, 2018)

Learn More About the Butterfly Viper

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