Fun Bushmaster Snake Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Jan 12, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Chandan Shukla
Amazing Bushmaster snake facts that will feed your curiosity.

Bushmasters are cute, exotic but completely lethal. They hold the title of being the largest viper in the world.

The longest of them have been known to reach beyond 141.7 in (360 cm) in length. They are deadly, they are big, but, interestingly most of the time, they are not noticed until it is too late.

They like to stay camouflaged from potential predators on the moist leaf-littered grounds of tropical rainforests in Central and South America. Their venom is sometimes used for making antivenin for snake bites.

Did you know that the Bushmasters are even more venomous than the deadly Fer-de-lance snake? Cool, right! There are some places where you can get Bushmaster snakes at an affordable price, but it is probably better not to purchase one.

They are extremely solitary and are known to be quite susceptible to stress. And as it is impossible to create an imitation of their natural habitat at home, they would possibly not survive for long anyway.

Want to learn more fun facts about this elusive creature? We suggest you keep reading on.

If you like reading this article, then check out our similar ones on the cottonmouth snake and bog turtle.

Bushmaster Snake Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a bushmaster snake?

As evident by the name, Bushmasters are a species of pit viper found in the new world. Interestingly, the third-longest venomous snake in the whole world is the South American Bushmaster. Their scientific name is Lachesis muta.

What class of animal does a bushmaster snake belong to?

Like all other snakes, the Central American and South American Bushmaster snakes are reptiles, but, unlike most other vipers found in this region, the females of this species are known to lay eggs.

How many bushmaster snakes are there in the world?

It is hard to say just how many of these vipers are crawling around out there, as they are solitary and live so deep in the forest that they do not come into contact with humans a lot.

There are four recognized species of Bushmaster snakes found in this region, though, the Chocoan Bushmaster, the Black-headed Bushmaster snake, and the South and Central American Bushmaster snakes.

They are also the third-longest venomous snake found in the new world.

Where does a bushmaster snake live?

They live in the floors of tropical forests of Central and South America, namely in Brazil, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Trinidad, Colombia. The species from Colombia and Venezuela or the South American species of Bushmaster, Lachesis muta, differs slightly in appearance from the Central American species.

What is a bushmaster snake's habitat?

They are ground-living creatures, often inhabiting places that receive a lot of precipitation. They prefer moist leaf-littered places that help them stay camouflaged from potential predators.

The hatchlings are often targeted by other snakes or birds of prey for they are just 12 in long when they are born. To learn more about the Bushmaster snake, home, habitats, and whereabouts, keep reading on.

Who do bushmaster snakes live with?

This viper species is solitary, and primarily they prefer to live alone. The females, do, however, stay with the eggs until they hatch, unlike most other vipers. They are very protective during this time and bite anything that comes close. But they leave once the eggs are hatched, and the hatchlings are then left to fend for themselves.

How long does a bushmaster snake live?

As they are solitary and prefer not to come in contact with humans, not to mention the fact that a bite from this viper can be fatal, and their lifespan in the wild is mostly unknown.

But the ones in captivity have been known to live for 12-18 years generally, but, some have been known to live as long as 24 years.

How do they reproduce?

Not much is known about the reproduction system of the elusive Bushmaster. Lachesis muta often finds potential mates by following scent trails. After a gestation period of about 60-79 days, the female lays eggs.

The average size of a clutch can be anything between 5-19 eggs. Interestingly, unlike other vipers these creatures guard their eggs ferociously, striking out at anything or anyone that wanders close. Barely even leaving the site except for drinking sometimes.

They do not eat during this time at all. But once the eggs are hatched, the females leave them to fend for themselves. The hatchlings then strike out at everything, completely unsupervised.

What is their conservation status?

Heavy deforestation for agricultural purposes and urbanization have affected their tropical habitat immensely. As a result, these vipers have been listed as a Vulnerable species in the IUCN red list with their deadly venom. Another reason for their decreasing numbers could be human predators hunting them out of fear of their venom.

Bushmaster Snake Fun Facts

What do bushmaster snakes look like?

The Bushmaster snake, length and weight-wise are large and heavy with a broad, triangular-shaped head, that is common to all vipers. But all the four members of the genus, common to the Atlantic lowlands, vary slightly in their appearance.

Like the Central American, as well as the Black-headed Bushmaster is known to have light brown scales and black rings around its body. The Chocoan Bushmaster is known to have black bands on top of their reddish-brown scales.

And the South American species of Bushmaster, Lachesis muta is known to have distinctive dark markings almost like diamonds on their orange-brown, or tan scales. The scales of the Lachesis muta can even appear pinkish.

They have a dark line straight from the eye to the mouth. The underside of their body is pale in color.

How cute are they?

The Lachesis muta are very cute, with their exotic diamond-like patterns on orange-brown scales, and black lines running from their eyes to the mouths. But, do not be fooled by their cute appearance, they are deadly creatures.

Not many of them are kept in captivity as they are elusive and it is very hard to capture them. Their venom is often used for creating antivenin for snakebite treatments.

How do they communicate?

The snakes of this Viperidae family use chemical trails as well as tactile stimulation to locate potential mates. There is a vomeronasal organ situated in their forked tongues that connects to the olfactory bulb in their brains, which could be the reason that the males continuously use it on the females during the mating.

They use these techniques to also locate their prey.

There are also paired pit organs located on their faces that help them to sense heat. Much like other vipers, these reptiles rattle their tails when they feel threatened.

Even though there is no actual rattle on their tails, they do make a distinctive sound when it touches the fallen leaves surrounding their habitats.

They do warn their opponents before actually striking out, and you would be smart to heed that warning because their bites can be fatal as well as painful. As they are the most venomous snakes known to inhabit the Americas and tend to inject a lot of venom in a single bite.

How big is a bushmaster snake?

Bushmasters are large animals, owning the title of being the second-longest venomous snakes inhabiting the lowlands, such as Venezuela, Trinidad, Brazil, and Colombia around the Atlantic ocean. They are long and stealthy, often lying around camouflaged in wait for their prey to cross their path unknowingly.

It is interesting how they can keep their large bodies, sometimes as long as 78.7-117.6 in(199.9-298.1 cm), camouflaged on the floors of the forests, without actively doing anything. They just keep very, very still and the preys keep mistaking them for the fallen leaves surrounding them.

Want to learn more fun things about Bushmaster snake size? Just keep reading on.

How fast can a bushmaster snake move?

It is hard to say just how fast the Lachesis muta can move. Again, let us reiterate that they are extremely solitary and prefer not to come in contact with humans.

As a result, very, very little is known about them. But, like all vipers, the Bushmaster snake species is terribly fast in their strikes.

The striking speed of the Lachesis muta is often compared to lightning. They strike their prey in half of a blink of an eye, and if the prey is big they often release it die on its own, before swallowing it headfirst.

How much does a bushmaster snake weigh?

Large and heavy, bushmasters are fearsome creatures. Even though they are not the heaviest pit vipers, they are nonetheless heavier than the majority of other species. Large adults can weigh up to 6.6-15.4 lb (2.9-6.9 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

Much like other snakes, Bushmasters do not have gender-specific names for their male and female counterparts. Males are just called male Bushmaster, and females are just called female Bushmaster. Lachesis muta or L. muta is the common scientific name for both of them.

What would you call a baby bushmaster snake?

Unlike other vipers inhabiting the Americas, the Bushmaster lays eggs, instead of giving birth to live young, and the young ones are called hatchlings or like the babies of other snakes, they are also called snakelets.

Unlike other snakes, the Bushmasters protect their eggs from potential predators in the tropical forests fiercely, serving them with their deadly bites filled with venom.

But, strangely enough, they leave the eggs to fend for themselves once they are hatched.

The hatchlings are known to then strike out on their own to anything and anyone indiscriminately. To learn more fun facts about Bushmaster snake fangs, or Bushmaster snake bite, and Bushmaster snake venom effects, do read on.

What do they eat?

Bushmasters are known to mostly keep small mammals, amphibians, or even some reptiles on their diet.

They live on forest floors and lie in wait for their prey to cross their path unknowingly. They strike their prey with their long fangs and inject enough venom to paralyze them, then they release said prey and wait for it to die before swallowing it.

They prefer to eat rodents, but birds and amphibians are also known to be their prey.

Members of the genus Lachesis are known to particularly favor spiny rats in Costa Rica. One interesting fact about their food habits during the process of reproduction is that the females do not eat at all during the incubation period of the eggs, and only leave the site to occasionally drink water.

To learn more fun information about the members of this Viperidae family, or to know how did the interesting scientific name of the Bushmaster, Lachesis muta, or L. muta came to be, we suggest you keep reading on.

Are they aggressive?

These animals are large, and known to be very aggressive when they attack. Still, very few cases of human casualties are recorded by their venom, mostly because they are nocturnal and live so deep in the forests that their interactions with humans are pretty limited.

They are also extremely solitary and shy, staying away from even their own kind except during the mating season. They naturally prefer not to come in close contact with humans.

Even though they strike out with their large fangs when threatened, Bushmasters are also known to flee from the proximity of an insistent threat. They mostly stay camouflaged on the leaf-littered forest floors and wait for their prey to unknowingly cross their paths.

Would they make a good pet?

This species of pit viper is extremely solitary, not to mention their bites are filled with deadly venom and can be fatal to humans. Taking all of this into consideration, the Bushmaster snake, aggressive or not, does not make good pets.

They are also very shy and prefer not to come in contact with humans. This is a reason why very little is known about them, apart from the fact that their venom is deadly, and they happen to be the longest venomous snake inhabiting the Americas.

Did you know...

Not much is known about the general behavior or reproduction process of these elusive creatures, but, unlike other viper species of this region, these creatures lay eggs.

The females barely leave the site during the incubation period of the eggs, fiercely protecting them. They do not even eat during this time.

What is the longest viper in the world?

The longest venomous snake in the world is the South American Bushmaster. Lachesis muta is their scientific name.

They are also known for their deadly venom, which they inject through the bites of their large fangs. Even a single bite can be fatal. Although not many cases of human fatalities are recorded, still a few people in Brazil as well as Costa Rica, and throughout South America are known to die from the Bushmaster snakebite.

How does the bushmaster snake get its name?

The name Bushmaster is attributed to them possibly because of their amazing ability to camouflage themselves. But, the name of their genus, Lachesis comes from one of the three fated in ancient Greek mythology, it is the name of the one who determines how long the thread of life should be. How cool is that!

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles including desert tortoise, or green anaconda.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our snake coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Chandan Shukla

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Chandan Shukla picture

Chandan ShuklaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

With a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Aryabhatta College, University of Delhi, Chandan is a skilled and passionate technophile. He has completed a machine learning training program and is adept in various programming languages. He has been working as a content writer for two years while also striving to become a proficient tech professional.

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