8 Venomous Snakes Found in Honduras (2024)

What types of venomous snakes live in Honduras?

Types of venomous snakes in Honduras

Due to the variety of habitats in Honduras, there are dozens of different snakes you might see. While many species are not harmful to humans, you must be careful because some types are INCREDIBLY venomous and highly dangerous. Some snakes can even cause death if the bite is not treated quickly.

In the article below, I have listed some of the most common venomous snakes you might encounter in Honduras. For each species, you will find out how to identify that snake correctly, along with pictures and interesting facts!

*If you come across any of these species, PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB! Venomous snakes are dangerous animals and should be left alone. The more you agitate them, the more likely you could get bitten. DO NOT RELY ON THIS ARTICLE to correctly identify a snake that has recently bitten you. If you have recently been bitten, GO DIRECTLY to the nearest hospital to get help and to determine if the snake is venomous.*

8 Venomous Snakes in Honduras:

#1. Variable Coral Snake

  • Micrurus diastema

Types of venomous snakes in Honduras

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 40-160 cm (16-63 in) long.
  • Their coloring is black, with yellow, red, and white bands. The first few bands on the head tend to be yellow or white, with red bands along the body and yellow or white bands on the tail.

The Variable Coral Snake inhabits tropical wet woodlands but can also be encountered in dry forests. Like other coral snakes, this species is shy and secretive. They prefer to hunt at night and stay away from humans as much as possible.

Despite their shyness, this venomous species can be dangerous if threatened. Back away slowly, or you’ll risk a bite from its powerful fangs that deliver neurotoxic venom. Their fangs are designed to deliver a lot of venom even in a quick bite, which is what makes them so dangerous.

Death from a Variable Coral Snake is rare, but symptoms are unpleasant, including weakness, paralysis, difficulty breathing, and swelling. So be cautious around this species!

#2. Wilson’s Montane Pitviper

  • Cerrophidion wilsoni

Also known as the Honduras Montane Pitviper or Montane Pitviper.

Types of venomous snakes in Honduras
Photo by courtharding – iNaturalist

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 82-139 cm (32–55 in) long.
  • Their coloring is brown to black, with a characteristic zig-zag pattern and blotches covering the body.

The Wilson’s Montane Pit Viper’s natural habitat in Honduras is humid forests. You’ll need to pay careful attention to spot one because its color and pattern make it nearly impossible to see among leaf litter.

As a pit viper, this snake is venomous, and you should avoid disturbing it when possible. Of course, it’s easier said than done if you’re hiking through its habitat, but try and make every effort to stay alert.

This species is smaller than most vipers, but it’s no less dangerous. Although there are no reports of deaths from its bite, viper venom is potent and can cause painful, debilitating symptoms. Seek medical attention if you’re bitten, and watch out for pain, swelling, and difficulty breathing.

#3. Central American Coral Snake

  • Micrurus nigrocinctus

Also known as salviara, limlim, babaspul, and coral macho.

Types of venomous snakes in Honduras

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 65-115 cm (26-45 in) long.
  • Their pattern is two or three-colored, with black, yellow, and red banding.
  • The body exhibits smooth scales, the head is rounded, and the eyes have round pupils.

The venomous Central American Coral Snake is mainly found in lowland forests. It is a terrestrial snake that often resides in burrows, leaf litter, or under logs. This species is nocturnal, but you may sometimes find it at dusk or dawn and after rainfall.

Central American Coral Snakes hunt in the leaf litter of their habitat. Their diet consists mainly of other snakes, amphibians, small lizards, and invertebrates. Take care when hiking or walking in its territory. Although this snake is not considered to be aggressive, if it finds itself threatened or if you accidentally step on one, it will not hesitate to bite.

This species is highly venomous! Its venom has a strong neurotoxin that causes weakness and paralysis in victims. The Central American Coral snake has to chew on their victim to inject the venom to its full potential. Therefore, most bites on humans are mild and don’t result in death, but you should still seek medical treatment immediately.

#4. Eyelash Viper

  • Bothriechis schlegelii

Also known as Eyelash Pit Viper, Eyelash Palm Viper, Schlegel’s Viper, Eyelash Lancehead, Eyelash Mountain Viper, Horned Palm Viper, Parrot Snake.

Types of venomous snakes in Honduras

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are generally 55-82 cm (22-32 in) long.
  • Their heads are broad and triangular.
  • Coloration depends on habitat. These include bright yellow, green, orange, or pink. You might also see dark speckles dotted all over the body.

Look for this small, venomous snake in Honduras in forests and woodlands.

The fancy-looking Eyelash Viper earned its name from the pair of modified scales above its eyes which resemble eyelashes. A myth tells of this viper winking at its victims after biting them. But, of course, snakes don’t have eyelids, so they can’t actually wink!

Did you know that Eyelash Vipers are resourceful creatures? To hydrate, they drink the water droplets that gather on leaves. In addition, they use their tails to grab onto branches, positioning themselves to hunt rodents, lizards, and small birds at night.

Eyelash Vipers are generally docile but will strike in defense if threatened. They’re moderately venomous, and while there are no recorded human deaths, their bites can still be very painful. So be careful if you happen to find one!

YouTube video

#5. Terciopelo

  • Bothrops asper

Identifying Characteristics:

  • On average, these vipers are 120-180 cm (47-71 in) long.
  • Terciopelos have wide, flat heads.
  • Females can grow up to 10 times larger than males.
  • They range from brown to gray. Patterns include dark spots and stripes that form triangles along the body.

The Terciopelo, which is also commonly called the Fer-de-lance, is a venomous species found in tropical rainforests and lowlands. They have a fierce reputation and are responsible for many of the snakebites that occur in Honduras. Unfortunately, they also have large fangs and an exceptionally high venom yield. This snake is impressive but terrifying and has been nicknamed “the ultimate pit viper”!

Tercipelos are patient predators. It will disguise itself among leaf litter for long periods, then bite swiftly once prey comes in range.

The venom of a Terciopelo is dangerously potent. Unfortunate victims can experience fevers, internal bleeding, and even death in extreme cases. It’s important to seek medical attention immediately if you’ve been bitten. If the Terciopelo is cornered, it will strike faster than you can react. So always keep a respectful distance!

#6. Rainforest Hog-nosed Viper

  • Porthidium nasutum

Also known as Hognosed Pit Viper.

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults are 40-60 cm (16-24 in) long. The females tend to be relatively larger than the males.
  • The body is stout, with a triangular-shaped head and a short, thin tail. They have an upturned snout.
  • Their coloring is shades of brown with alternating cream and dark brown rectangular marks on the back.

As its name suggests, this species is most often found in rainforests. The Rainforest Hog-nosed Viper is a terrestrial species and, due to its color, is difficult to spot in the jungle foliage.

In addition to its camouflage, you’ll have trouble spotting a Rainforest Hog-nosed Viper because it’s nocturnal. During the nighttime, it hunts frogs, lizards, small mammals, small birds, and other snakes.

Use extreme caution when you’re in this species’ territory. It’s a highly venomous viper, and if a bite goes untreated, it can cause death in humans. Unfortunately, Rainforest Hog-Nosed Vipers frequently pass through plantations and sometimes enter gardens, so bite incidents are not uncommon.

If you receive a bite from one of these venomous snakes in Honduras, get treatment right away.

The symptoms are painful, often severe, and can last days. Redness and pain around the bite, nausea, vomiting, trouble breathing, low heart rate, and vision problems are all common symptoms. Avoid this dangerous snake if possible!

#7. Central American Rattlesnake

  • Crotalus simus

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow to about 109 cm (43 in).
  • They are thick and robust with rough-looking scales, blunt heads, and round snouts.
  • Their coloring is beige with dark brown to black diamond shapes.

Look for the highly venomous Central American Rattlesnake in dry habitats.

They frequent semi-arid tropical and scrub forests and thorny thickets, grasslands, woodlands, and open areas.

This athletic species can climb trees and swim to catch a meal. They feed only at twilight on rodents, lizards, and small birds. Central American Rattlesnakes are not aggressive unless provoked, but you should avoid stepping on them or getting too close. Oddly, the bite of a newborn is much more potent than an adult’s.

Symptoms of a Central American Rattlesnake bite include internal bleeding, blindness, necrosis, paralysis, kidney failure, and death. The fatality rate for this snake is about 75 percent unless large quantities of anti-venom are administered soon after a bite.

Despite the dangers posed by this venomous snake, it’s an important resource in medicine. Nearly all of the rattlesnake anti-venom produced is sourced from Central American Rattlesnakes!

#8. Rhombic Cat-eyed Snake

  • Leptodeira rhombifera

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adults grow 45.7-61 cm (18-24 in) long.
  • Their coloring is a mix of brown and light yellow with dark blotches in shades of brown, black, orange, or yellow.
  • This species has golden or brown eyes with elliptical pupils, hence the name.

The Rhombic Cat-eyed Snake is mostly terrestrial, so keep your eyes focused on the ground to see one. Their diet consists mainly of frogs. However, they also eat tadpoles, lizards, salamanders, small fish, and mice.

Even though this species is mildly venomous, it isn’t considered dangerous to humans. For one, its venom isn’t strong enough to do much damage. Secondly, the Rhombic Cat-eyed Snake’s fangs are in the rear of its jaw, making it difficult to bite anything larger than a frog. Finally, this species rarely injects venom defensively and prefers to deliver a “dry bite” as a warning.

Despite all this, it’s still better to be safe than bitten. So if you encounter any snake, including a Rhombic Cat-eyed Snake, give it a respectful amount of space and observe from a distance.

Check out these guides to other animals found in Honduras!

Which of these venomous snakes have you seen in Honduras?

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