Some Intriguing Reptiles of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is known to be one of the most recommended camping destinations in the world. Not only because of its beautiful tropical jungles, diverse wild life and breathtaking beaches but because it has the answer every camper wants to hear: NO – none of the snakes found in Puerto Rico are poisonous.

You will find that most of the snakes in Puerto Rico are hardly ever seen and it is extremely rare that humans come into contact with them. The areas that are frequented by humans are generally the regions that are avoided by the snakes and so pose absolutely no threat to humans at all. Travelers should be more aware of the killer bees that are found here than snakes.

Researchers have recently discovered that the Puerto Rican Racer (Alsophis portoricensis) does carry venom, but no evidence has been found that the venom has caused any serious injury to humans. The snake species that are native to Puerto Rico total eleven and generally feed on small rodents, bats, frogs and reptiles. Of these species only the Puerto Rican Boa (Epicrates inornatus) is tree climbing, and it feeds mostly on birds and their eggs. They are also the most visible and common snakes as they coil up in the sunlight during the day to catch up on much needed sleep after an active night of hunting. Boas pose a great threat to the endangered birds on the island Black Billed Amazon parrots and steps are being taken to isolate the nesting trees and take the necessary precautions to make them inaccessible to the Boas.

The other snakes that are found in Puerto Rico include the Richard’s Blind Snake (Typhlops richardi), the Puerto Rican Wetland Blind Snake (Typhlops rostellatus), the Grant’s Blind Snake (Typholps granti), Coastal Blind Snake (Typhlops hypomethes) and the Puerto Rican Garden Snake (Arrhyton exiguum). Puerto Rico does not have a large collection of snake species and none of them are in any danger or risk of extinction. Due to their clever hiding techniques and ability to avoid human contact, theses snakes are able to peacefully live out their days under the protection of the dense forest canopies and lush vegetation.