The Living Rainforest


The Emerald Tree Snake or Emerald Tree Boa  (Corallus caninus)

The Emerald Tree Snake adults grow to about 6 feet (1.8 m) in length. They have highly developed front teeth that are likely proportionately larger than those of any other non-venomous snake. The colour pattern typically consists of an emerald green ground colour with a white irregular interrupted zigzag stripe or so-called 'lightning bolts' down the back and a yellow belly. The bright coloration and markings are very distinctive among South American snakes.

This sanke spends its days coiled over a tree branch with its head perched at the centre. At night, it will remain coiled on its branch, but extends its head downwards, curled as if about to strike. It will hold still in this position, waiting for prey to approach directly below. Prey is grasped with the long frontal teeth. They eat some small birds as well as lizards and frogs.

Due to the extremely slow metabolism of this snake, it feeds much less often than ground dwelling species and meals may be several months apart.