Woodsnakes tend to be nocturnal, but they are often encountered moving or basking during the day. Faced with a perceived threat, most woodsnakes meekly coil into a ball; Trachyboa coils into a flat disk with its head in the center. If physically molested, a woodsnake may release odiferous anal secretions. It is rare that any woodsnake bites in defense. Several species of Tropidophis are reported to autohemorrhage, spontaneously bleeding from the mouth, nostrils, and eyes when severely stressed.
Most tropidophiid snakes are terrestrial, but many are occasionally observed to climb into bushes, vines, and low trees. The bromeliad woodsnakes, Ungaliophis panamensis and Ungaliophis continentalis, are probably the most arboreal of the woodsnakes; both species are known to live high in trees, burrowing in the epiphytic growth on large limbs; U. panamensis has been accidentally shipped to Europe and the United States in bunches of bananas. Tropidophis paucisquamis also has been observed climbing in vegetation 3-10 ft (1-3 m) above the ground.
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