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Bothriechis schlegelii, commonly called the eyelash viper, is a medium-sized pit viper with a triangular head and a slender body well suited for its arboreal lifestyle. The common name comes from the two to three raised scales, or “eyelashes,” above its eye. This species has a bright yellow morph, commonly called “oropel” after the Spanish expression for “skin of gold,” and most other morphs, including the most common one which has mottled green, brown, and gray coloration, are called “bocaraca.” This species appears to act as an ambush predator during the day, sitting motionless for long periods of time waiting for potential prey items to approach, but some evidence suggests it may also forage more actively at night. Like all pit vipers, B. schlegelii possesses heat sensitive pits on its upper lip. These pits allow the snake to detect infrared radiation with very high precision, helping it find prey at night. This species is most commonly found in vegetation 1-1.5 m above the ground, thus, has a tendency to bite in the upper body when startled by humans. While the venom of B. schlegelii can be fatal to humans, it is less toxic than that of many other pit vipers, and with proper medical treatment most bite victims survive.


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