3 Types of Snakes Found on Aruba! (2024)

Below you will learn about the types of snakes found in Aruba.

Because of the geographic isolation of the islands, there are not as many snake species as you might expect here.

3 SNAKES that live in Aruba:

#1. Baker’s Cat-eyed Snake

  • Leptodeira bakeri

snakes in aruba

Found ONLY on Aruba.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are typically tan or light brown with 15 to 24 large, dark brown blotches down their backs.
  • Their head is distinct from their neck, and they have large eyes with vertically elliptic pupils.

Known locally as ‘Santanero,’ Baker’s Cat-eyed Snakes are typically found in the forest underbrush but may also be seen in gardens and backyards.

These snakes are nocturnal. During the day, they hide in sheltered spots in the brush or beneath stones. They hunt at night and feed on insects and small animals, including cockroaches, small lizards, mice, frogs, and occasionally toads. They are often observed near lagoons feeding on the high density of frogs.

Baker’s Cat-eyed Snakes are not aggressive, but they can release a foul-smelling secretion when handled. But you need to be careful around them. They have mild venom, which they use to help subdue prey. Their venom isn’t fatal to humans but can cause bone and muscle aches.

#2. Aruba Island Rattlesnake

  • Crotalus unicolor

snakes in aruba

Found ONLY on Aruba.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults average about 3 feet in length.
  • Adults are heavy-bodied with triangular heads, heat-sensing pits below their nostrils, and rattle-tipped tails.
  • Their coloration usually ranges from light pink to dark tan, and they have diamond-shaped markings down their backs that range from barely discernible white or rust to dark brown or blue-gray.

Aruba Island Rattlesnakes inhabit Aruba’s undisturbed sandy, rocky, and arid hillsides.

You can look for these snakes on terraced mountainsides with dry stream beds and igneous rock.

They hunt rodents, birds, and lizards using sight, smell, and their heat-sensing pits to locate prey. Then, they strike and inject venom into their prey, killing it and swallowing their victim whole by unhinging their lower jaw.

Aruba Island Rattlesnakes only bite humans when provoked. But if you are bitten, you must immediately seek medical attention. They are extremely venomous, and their bite can be life-threatening.

Aruba Island Rattlesnakes are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species, with about 230 snakes believed to be left in the wild. Development for tourism and aloe cultivation, feral goats, and the charcoal and firewood industries have greatly reduced available habitat. Recently, conversation efforts have helped improve these rattlesnakes’ public image and helped establish the Arikok National Park.

#3. Boa Constrictor

  • Boa constrictor

Also known as Red-tailed Boa, Common Boa.

snakes in aruba

Found on Aruba, Puerto Rico, and St. Croix.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • These snakes grow 400 cm (157 in) long on average.
  • Females are longer and wider than males.
  • Coloration depends on their habitat. They can be shades of tan, brown, green, and even yellow or red.
  • They have distinctive geometric patterns with ovals, diamonds, bands, and stripes.

The Boa Constrictor is so famous it doesn’t need a common name! Instead, people easily remember it by its scientific name, Boa Constrictor! Hailing from the humid tropics, this heavyweight snake can be spotted in trees and burrows.

Don’t let its large size fool you! The Boa Constrictor is an ambush predator that can strike with blinding speed. This snake is also a remarkable swimmer, so don’t be surprised to find one near a river or stream.

Boa Constrictors are a popular attraction in zoos all over the world. In captivity, they can live for over 40 years. They’re generally docile, but they’ll still deliver a warning bite if they feel threatened. Thankfully, they’re non-venomous.

Which of these snakes have you seen before in Aruba?

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