TRENT'S WALK IN THE BELIZEAN JUNGLE (Part Seven)
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This is Belize's most poisonous snake. You won't be seeing me pick up one of these babies. So enjoy this one from afar!
These snakes are noted for their defined triangle markings of black and brown. An adult Fer-de-lance can have as many as thirty triangles along its back. Their undercarriage is typically cream or light yellow as is the throat, and beneath the jaw.
In Belize, the Fer-de-lance is ubiquitous, which means that it is as much at home in your backyard as it is in an abandoned agouti burrow in the rain forest or a rotten log beside a stream. Unfortunately, it loves rats fattened on household garbage and is not in the least shy about going into a village in pursuit of its favorite dinner passion.
If you should by chance come upon one of these, it would be wise to walk away, as quickly and as quietly as you can. Avoid any possibilities of an intimate encounter with these bad boys.
Fer-de-lance snakes, usually do not go out of their way to pursue its prey, but instead liters about in the underbrush waiting for a likely victim - perhaps a bird or an opossum - happens to come within easy striking range. Then, from either a coiled or an extended position, it attacks, viciously and repeatedly, with its two front fangs.
Unlike their cold and calculating parents, young Fer-de-lance snakes can be hot-headed; armed with venom from the day they were born alive. One Fer-de-lance can have up to 75 babies, I about dropped a jaw when I learned this. To make matters worse, until they reach three feet in length - which is two feet more than they started out with - their yellow-tipped tails, and every tree becomes a jungle gym.
The Fer-de-lance (French) has an arrow shaped head and if you look this guy in the eye, you will see that he has what are called, vertical, elliptical pupils. Between his eyes he has nostrils, like facial pits which is a sensory organ - so sensitive to heat, that he can detect a one degree C. change in temperature. The Fer-de-lance has a large mouth with two hollow, retractable fangs which, in proportion to its size, are the largest of any snake's fangs around. As with most snakes, it uses its flickering tongue to smell.
So remember, the next time you want to take your "Walk in the Jungle", to be sure and wear boots or any good shoe that has toe, foot and ankle protection. If you do encounter a fer-de-lance, back away slowly and avoid any contact. If you are bitten, seek immediate medical attention.
1/21/2012 05:35:05 am
It is a very wise idea to not pick up an <a href="http://www.venomoussnakes.net/fer-de-lance.htm">Fer de Lance</a> because they are among the top venomous snakes in South America and they have taken so many lives over the years. These snakes are very agile so you should be very alert even if you are seeing them from a distance.
6/24/2016 02:08:34 pm
Snakes are actually venomous not poisonous
10/16/2016 10:45:37 pm
I am genuinely thankful to the owner of this website who has shared this fantastic piece of writing at at this place.
12/17/2016 11:20:16 pm
Good info here but there is one error that needs to be noted, a safety issue. While some foot protection I guess is better than bare feet, people should know that most shoes and boots provide little protection from the enormous fangs of adult pit vipers. There is an article on the Outside web site written by the producer of the Naked and Afraid reality series. He describes how when he and a crew were scouting jungle locations for the first episode, he got bitten by a fee-de-lance, right through a quality leather boot. He nearly lost his foot. Unless you're wearing footwear that's specifically designed to be snakebite proof you should assume it isn't. Also, with the largest rattlers and especially the fer-de-lances bites on the calf and even above the knee are somewhat common. If the risk is high then both snake-proof footwear and snake leggings or chaps are the best plan. Yeah, that's all a bit complicated but, particularly with the fer-de-lance, if you get bitten and don't make it to a hospital and antivenin quickly enough you WILL die. If you're hiking solo in the wilderness and are bitten, you will not be able to hike back out on your own which means, you guessed it--you WILL die. In the bite I described earlier, the producer was not able to make it even a mile on his own strength after the bite. He was carried out on an improvised stretcher. Of course the most important thing is to remain alert and observant. Had the guy been as careful as he should have been he might never have stepped on the viper to begin with.
9/3/2017 04:32:37 pm
Just wanted to note that I'm from Orange walk Town in Belize and my rule used to be, after I put my rubber boots on after coming from under my mosquito net, that every good snake is a dead snake 🐍 in Orange Walk!!! Once I was chopping the yard with the machete and almost cut up a Jumping Tommy Gaph ( tommy gaph is what we call the regular Fe De Lance.... a Belizean story you must seek!!! :) ). Well I must inform you..... that YES, there is a Fe De Lance that can jump; and in Al Tun Ha Mayan Ruins, where I grew up, there is a Tommy Gaph that can Whistle just like a bird, or a man!!! Talk Tony's soon!!! I'm in Connecticut!!!
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Hi, my name is Trenton S. Turley. I've been living in Belize now for 11 years. Hope you enjoy reading my many blog posts. I write about things, that are passionate to me.
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