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.
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
Tropidophis feicki spurs, but males have prominent large spurs.
The southern bromeliad wood-snake occurs at low to moderate elevations in southeastern Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and western Colombia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nothing is known about the numbers in the wild.
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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