Eyelash vipers are found in Central and South America. The head of this snake is triangular, with an expanded supraciliary that resembles eyelashes. The eyelash viper is a tiny snake that comes in a variety of colors including yellow, gold, red, and brown.
If you have the proper training, eyelash vipers are simple to care for. These snakes are difficult to feed, but caretakers may overcome this by sticking to a feeding schedule.
Bothriechis schlegelii, the eyelash viper, is endemic to Central and South America. This snake can only be found in heavily forested sea-level woods. Vine tangles, bushes, and low trees are all inhibited by the eyelash viper.
Eyelash vipers are not endangered and may be seen in their native environment. However, owing to deforestation and development, eyelash vipers are in danger of losing their habitat.
Behavior and Appearance
Eyelash vipers come in a variety of colors. They have a speckled underside and are yellow, brown, red, or gold in color. Small black dots are common in their base hues. Their supraciliary are extended and their skulls are broad and triangular.
Both male and female eyelash vipers have a similar appearance. Females have a bigger body size than men. The largest difference between men and females is their size.
Lifespan and Size
Female eyelash vipers may reach a length of 36 inches. Males reach a maximum length of 34 inches and are usually invariably shorter and thinner than females.
In the wild, these snakes may live for up to 10 years, while in captivity, they can survive for up to 16 years. This is due to the fact that caged snakes get prompt medical attention when they become ill and live in habitats free of external hazards.
If they are agitated, eyelash vipers will attack, although they are normally solitary and calm. The tongues of eyelash vipers are constantly flicked. This is a non-threatening habit that permits snakes to sample substances in the air.
Adult eyelash vipers are not known to be aggressive or cannibalistic against one another, therefore they may share an enclosure. Snakes in a shared cage need a lot of room to avoid stress. Although eyelash vipers may live peacefully together, they should be kept in different cages to minimize confrontation.
Eyelash vipers may be handled with care by humans. Only experienced snake keepers should try to handle eyelash vipers since they will bite if they feel threatened.
Eyelash Vipers Housing
Eyelash vipers like thickly forested places and vegetation near streams. They may also be found in sea-level woods and other humid lowland places with abundant vegetation. The vivarium of an eyelash viper should be as near to its natural environment as feasible.
Eyelash vipers may be kept in vivariums, which are ideal enclosures. DIY vivariums are acceptable to use, but for health and safety reasons, it’s advisable to purchase in a professional vivarium from a respected pet shop.
Eyelash vipers need a lot of room to move about. Although these snakes are tiny and thin, they need a vivarium that is at least 16 inches in diameter by 24 inches tall.
Snake keepers should provide their snake’s adequate room to climb and lots of hiding locations in their enclosures. In 75-gallon lizard lounges, eyelash vipers thrive. Large enclosures, on the other hand, are expensive and difficult to adorn.
In the wild, eyelash vipers prefer densely forested areas. Because they don’t get much direct sunshine in their native environment, it’s critical to get the cage illumination just right.
These snakes are nocturnal, however unlike many other snake species, they do not hide during the day. It’s critical to keep your eyelash viper’s circadian rhythm in check by keeping a normal day-to-night light cycle.
The temperature of the vivarium is influenced by lighting. Full-spectrum light bulbs assist maintain a comfortable temperature in the vivarium.
Avoid exposing the cage to UVB light. UVB isn’t essential for the eyelash viper, and it won’t help it.
Some snake keepers believe that putting a single UVB light in a snake cage would improve the colouring and activity of the snake. This is, however, disputed and not encouraged since it may cause major harm to the snake.
Humidity and Temperature
Maintain a temperature range of 79 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit in the container. A steady temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit should be maintained in the allotted basking area.
Ceramic heat emitters are excellent tools for keeping the enclosure temperature stable. Ceramic heat emitters should be kept out of designated hiding spaces and shady areas.
Eyelash vipers are very adaptable to their environment and can withstand a wide range of humidity conditions. In 60 to 70 percent humidity, these snakes thrive. To keep the humidity levels in the cage consistent, sprinkle the enclosure with water twice a day.
Each year, snakes lose their skin three or four times. Due of their rapid development rate, juvenile eyelash vipers will lose their skin more than three times every year. If they have a skin issue, eyelash vipers will lose their skin more regularly. When snakes lose their skin, maintain the humidity levels high.
Decoration and Substrate
For eyelash viper cages, cypress mulch is a good choice. Cypress mulch retains moisture while preventing mould and fungal growth. The humidity level in the vivarium will be kept high by lining the enclosure with a moisture-retaining substrate.
Small branches and delicate greenery may be used to decorate the enclosure. The eyelash viper is a tiny snake that like to wrap itself around thin, flexible twigs.
Large leaves should be used to beautify shady locations. Pothos are snake-safe plants that are ideal for enclosing eyelash vipers. Ensure that any branches and leaves in the enclosure are safe and sturdy.
Warm water and dish soap are the finest ways to clean an eyelash viper cage. Once a month, sterilise decorations and accessories using a 10% bleach solution. Remember to rinse the bleach off with hot water afterward.
Cleaning an eyelash viper tank is easy if you follow these steps:
- Transfer the snake to a makeshift container.
- Remove the lights from the vivarium and turn them off.
- Remove the ornaments and disinfect them with a 10% bleach solution. Place the decorations back on
- the enclosure after rinsing the bleach off with hot water.
- The old substrate should be removed and discarded.
- Allow drying after washing the vivarium with warm soapy water.
- Replace the substrate in the vivarium and replace the decorations and plants.
Eyelash Viper Care
Eyelash vipers are simple to look after. These snakes are excellent for snake keepers who are new to the hobby. However, since eyelash vipers are difficult to feed, more caution should be used at mealtimes. People who have previously cared for snakes will discover that caring for these snakes is simple and fun. Beginners looking for a challenge will like eyelash vipers.
Water and Food
In captivity, eyelash vipers consume mice. Eyelash vipers should be fed twice a week. Overfeeding these snakes may lead to obesity, so be careful. Adult eyelash vipers should consume less than juvenile eyelash vipers. To assist juveniles maintain a healthy weight, feed them once a week.
Provide a high water dish for your eyelash viper. Place the bowl in the tank amid the branches and vegetation. You should keep the bowl filled at all times and sprinkle the cage with water on a regular basis.
Eyelash vipers are hunters that hunt at night. Before striking, these snakes would sit and wait for their victim to pass. Providing live foo to captive snakes will ensure that they continue to exhibit these habits.
Although eyelash vipers are gentle snakes, they dislike being touched. Eyelash vipers should be handled with a hook or with great caution if they feel threatened.
An eyelash viper should only be handled by skilled snake keepers. Inexperienced handlers often hold the snake inappropriately, causing the snake to become very stressed. This increases the viper’s likelihood of biting.
Common Health Issues
Eyelash vipers are susceptible to illnesses that plague captive snakes. Failure to detect illnesses and infections early on might result in irreparable health consequences. Here are some of the most typical issues to watch for and how to deal with them:
- Mouth rot is caused by a variety of factors including inadequate feeding, poor enclosure conditions, overpopulation, and mouth injury. Mouth rot may be treated in a week using antiseptic mouthwashes and medicines.
- Eyelash viper snakes often suffer from internal and external parasites such as worms, ticks, and mites. Internal infections are indicated by swelling in the middle of the body. Ticks and mites are easily identifiable. If left untreated, these disorders may lead to anaemia and other health problems. Medication may be used to treat parasitic infections.
- Blisters, inflammation, and unevenness are all signs of a skin infection. To address a skin problem, increase vivarium ventilation.
- Snakes with respiratory infections lose their appetites, produce nasal and mouth secretions, and become sluggish. Essential oils may be used to treat respiratory infections.
Late winter to early spring is the best time to breed eyelash vipers. Under the correct circumstances, breeding these snakes in captivity is simple.
In a “dance of the adders,” males dance around one another. Two males will take an erect position and push each other until one of the snakes collapses. The privilege to mate is awarded to the last person remaining.
Females that are pregnant have big, bulging abdomens. The snakes have live newborns after a six-month gestation period. Eyelash pit vipers will not give birth unless they are alone and undisturbed.
During the breeding season, keep a couple of eyelash vipers in a cage and wait for them to mate. Make sure the vivarium is in perfect working order and wait for the snakes to mate. Every year or two, eyelash vipers will reproduce.
Buying and Choosing an Eyelash Viper
Eyelash vipers range in price from $100 to $250 per snake. These snakes must be purchased from trustworthy breeders. Eyelash vipers aren’t often seen in pet shops, and you’ll have a hard time finding them online.
It is allowed to keep an eyelash viper as a pet, however capturing a wild eyelash viper is prohibited in many countries. It’s possible that catching this snake for the purpose of resale may find you in legal jeopardy.
Before making a purchase, shop around for the healthiest eyelash viper. If the snake is sluggish, has skin blisters, or has saliva or froth pouring out of its mouth, don’t purchase it. These symptoms suggest that the snake is ill. Before bringing a snake into your house, make sure it is healthy.