Southern bromeliad woodsnake

Ungaliophis panamensis

TAXONOMY

Ungaliophis panamensis Schmidt, 1933, Cérro Brujo, Colón Province, Panamá.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Bromeliad boa, bromeliad dwarf boa, banana boa; French: Boa nain; German: Bananenboa; Spanish: Boa enana.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

This is a medium-sized woodsnake with a reported maximum length approaching 30 in (76 cm). This is a slender, smooth-scaled snake, pale gray or tan with a distinct pattern of black triangular blotches on the back. There is a single large prefrontal scale, the scale on top of the snout; this character distinguishes this genus from other tropidophiids. Females do not have cloacal

ESDO2003

Tropidophis feicki spurs, but males have prominent large spurs.

DISTRIBUTION

The southern bromeliad wood-snake occurs at low to moderate elevations in southeastern Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and western Colombia.

HABITAT

Southern bromeliad woodsnakes are associated with primary and secondary forest. The species has been encountered on the ground and has been collected in the verdant epiphytic growth of large trees when they are felled.

Ungaliophis panamensis

BEHAVIOR

This is a very pleasant snake to handle, being inoffensive by nature and deliberate and docile in actions. The southern bromeliad woodsnake does not bite in defense. When threatened or molested, it coils into a ball. Only rarely does this species discharge its odiferous anal secretions when molested.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

In nature, it is believed that this species feeds primarily on small lizards and frogs. In captivity, all ages will usually accept appropriately sized Anolis sagrei and Anolis carolinensis lizards as prey; adults usually feed on appropriately sized rodents.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

This species is viviparous. Very little is known about the reproduction of this species in nature or captivity. Neonates are about 6 in (15 cm) in length.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Nothing is known about the numbers in the wild.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

This species is rarely kept in captivity. In nature the southern bromeliad woodsnake is rarely observed. The species is largely unseen and unmolested by humans. ♦

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