2 Types of Snakes Found on Martinique! (2024)

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

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

2 SNAKES that live in Martinique:

#1. Martinique Lancehead

  • Bothrops lanceolatus

Also known as Fer-de-lances or Martinican Pit Vipers.

snakes in martinique

These snakes are only found in Martinique.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults may range from 3.5 to 10 feet long and have medium-sized heavy bodies.
  • Their coloration varies from gray to brown to yellow-tan, with darker markings and lighter undersides that may have dark grayish blotches.
  • Their head is darker colored than their body and is distinct from their neck, and lance or spear-shaped.

These pit vipers occupy tropical and wet forests on the rocky hillsides of Martinique up to 4,300 feet above sea level. They are sometimes depicted on Martinique’s unofficial flag. They’re primarily terrestrial and nocturnal snakes.

Martinique Lanceheads are ambush predators, waiting to detect prey that passes by with their heat-sensing pit organs. They may wait on the ground or occasionally in trees to snag birds as they pass. Individuals are known to return to the same place to hunt year after year during spring bird migrations. Researchers have found that these snakes can improve their strike accuracy over time.

Martinique Lanceheads are venomous. While these snakes rarely bite humans in Martinique, they will if threatened. Bites from Martinique Lanceheads may cause various symptoms, including bruising, swelling, blistering, pain, tissue necrosis, seizures, diarrhea, vomiting, hypovolemic shock, and renal failure. Medical treatment should be sought immediately for a bite.

Martinique Lanceheads are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List, and their populations are continuing to decline in Martinique. Agricultural development and human persecution are two of these snakes’ largest threats.

#2. Two-lined Blind Snake

  • Tetracheilostoma bilineatum

snakes in martinique

Due to their rarity, the above picture is not a Two-lined Blind Snake, although it looks very similar.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 5.1-10.2 cm (2-4 in) long.
  • Dark brown with two yellow stripes along its sides.
  • The body shape is worm-like, and they are easily mistaken for earthworms.

It is really hard to see these SMALL snakes in Martinique.

That’s because Two-lined Blind Snakes spend the majority of their life underground. To find one, you typically must look in moist soil and under logs and stones. Even then, these snakes are so small they are easy to miss.

Because Two-lined Blind Snakes spend most of their life underground, they don’t have very good eyesight. Take one look at them, and you will notice they look more like small worms than the other snakes that live in Martinique. 🙂

There isn’t a lot known about their abundance, ecology, or distribution due to their secretive nature. But their main source of food tends to be the larvae of ants and termites.

Despite its rather creepy appearance, this snake is completely harmless to humans.

Which of these snakes have you seen before in Martinique?

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