Fun Central American Bushmaster Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Central American Bushmaster Facts For Kids

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The Central American bushmaster (Lachesis stenophrys) is a New World venomous snake belonging to the Viperidae family. It belongs to the subfamily pit viper and is considered to be the longest species of vipers. This snake is found throughout Central America mainly in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama. The coloration of its skin is darker than the South American bushmaster (Lachesis muta), another species of the same family found in South America. They are carnivorous reptiles and search for their prey at night.

Their breeding season occurs in February and March. After mating, the female snake lays a clutch of 10-12 eggs on the abandoned burrows of other animals. The eggs are incubated for a span of 75-90 days. This is a unique feature of these snakes belonging to the genus Lachesis, as this species lays eggs instead of giving birth to young. The venom injected by this species is extremely poisonous and can cause death within a few minutes. It can cause a wide variety of reactions inside the human body like a blood clot, damage of muscle fiber, and hypotension.

For more relatable content, check out these rough green snake facts and redstripe ribbon snake facts for kids.

Fun Central American Bushmaster Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Rats, birds, and lizards

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

6.5-11 lb (2.9-5 kg)

How long are they?

12 ft (3.6 m)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Dark grayish-brown or red with black markings

Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Not Evaluated

Where you'll find them?

Gallery Forest, Tropical Rainforest, And Sub-tropical Rainforest











Central American Bushmaster Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Central American bushmaster?

The Central American bushmaster (Lachesis stenophrys) is a venomous species of pit vipers, or crotaline snakes, belonging to the Viperidae family. It is endemic to Central America.

What class of animal does a Central American bushmaster belong to?

This species of New World snake belongs to the class Reptilia.

How many Central American bushmasters are there in the world?

The exact number of individuals present in the world is not known. This species is mostly found in Central America.

Where does a Central American bushmaster live?

Central American bushmasters (Lachesis stenophrys) are found throughout Central America. They reside in countries like Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama. They are specifically found in the Atlantic lowlands or Caribbean lowlands located in the eastern part of these Central American countries. This species inhabits the Limon province of Costa Rica, bordered by Nicaragua in the north. They are also found in the Pacific lowlands located in the central and eastern parts of Panama.

What is a Central American bushmaster's habitat?

The preferred habitat of this species includes tropical and sub-tropical rainforests. Tropical rainforests receive high amounts of rainfall throughout the year along with warm climatic conditions. These areas are dominated by broad-leaved evergreen trees with thick canopy. Sub-tropical rainforests have alternative warm and dry seasons. Vegetation found in these forests includes palms, orchids, figs, and ferns. These New World snakes are also found in gallery forests, found along rivers or wetlands. The forests are also known as riverine forests and mostly support the growth of savanna grasslands. They often venture out into clearer areas adjacent to the forests when they search for prey.

Who does Central American bushmaster live with?

These New World vipers mostly live solitary lives. However, during the breeding season, they are found in pairs.

How long does a Central American bushmaster live?

The exact lifespan of these New World vipers is not known, but bushmaster snakes, in general, live up to 12-18 years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season of Central American bushmasters occurs in February and March. These New World snakes usually form pairs during the breeding season. The male snake usually searches for its partner by following a scent trail. After mating, the female snake lays a clutch of 10-12 eggs. The eggs are deposited in cavities and burrows made by other animals. The eggs are incubated by the female snake for a span of 75-90 days. It also protects its territory from other intruders. The hatchlings or snakelets are usually 12 in (30.5 cm) long. The hatchlings are born with colorful scales on their body. These snakes attain reproductive maturity at five years of age.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Central American bushmaster (Lachesis stenophrys) is Not Evaluated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN Red List. However, in spite of not being protected by law, this snake species is in danger of extinction due to the destruction of habitat and climate change.

Central American Bushmaster Fun Facts

What does a Central American bushmaster look like?

These vipers have a triangular-shaped head and a distinct neck. The body is covered with rough scales that have a ridge running through the center. The scales are dark grayish-brown or red in color with black markings. The pupils are vertical, slit-shaped, or elliptical in shape. Two long fangs are attached to the front of the mouth and can be rotated independently. The fangs are attached to glands present in the upper jaw which helps in secreting venom. The fangs are covered with a membranous sheath when they are not in use.

The Central American bushmaster has a pair of long fangs.

How cute are they?

These snakes are more dangerous than cute. However, snake enthusiasts might find them fascinating.

How do they communicate?

These snakes rely on chemical signals to detect other individuals. They also rely on their vision and can perceive a wide range of light. Their forked tongue is connected to the nasal organ which helps in perceiving olfactory sensation inside the brain. They often move their tails when they feel threatened.

How big is a Central American bushmaster?

The Central American bushmaster (Lachesis stenophrys) is usually up to 12 ft (3.6 m) long. It is the longest venomous snake belonging to the Viperidae family. However, it is slightly smaller than the reticulated python which is 20.5 ft (6.2 m) long.

How fast can a Central American bushmaster move?

It is not known how fast this animal can move on the ground. However, they are a one of the fastest moving snakes found in America. It also strikes at a very fast speed.

How much does a Central American bushmaster weigh?

Central American bushmasters weigh around 6.5-11 lb (2.9-5 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Scientists do not have specific names to refer to male and female Central American bushmasters. They are commonly referred to as male Central American bushmasters and female Central American bushmasters.

What would you call a baby Central American bushmaster?

Baby Central American bushmasters are known as hatchlings, snakelets, or neonates.

What do they eat?

Central American bushmasters are carnivorous reptiles. Their diet includes a large variety of animals rats, rabbits, mice, and birds. They also feed on other reptiles including lizards and other snakes. Like other viper species, these venomous snakes are nocturnal hunters. They advance towards the prey stealthily at a high speed, then strike it by injecting the venom inside its body. After a while, they swallow the prey completely.

Are they poisonous?

The venom injected by a Central American bushmaster (Lachesis stenophrys) is extremely poisonous or deadly and capable of causing death. It is a venomous snake of pit viper species and is known for its multiple-bite strikes. The venom activates plasminogen and fibrinogen once it reaches the blood circulation. It thereby lowers blood pressure along with the formation of blood clots respectively. It also damages the walls of blood capillaries and obstructs blood flow. The venom also causes severe infection in the muscle fibers.

Would they make a good pet?

No, Central American bushmasters cannot be kept as pets. These reptiles are extremely aggressive and venomous. However, they are often kept in captivity for research purposes or inside zoos.

Did you know...

Central American bushmasters chase their prey by using heat-sensing pit organs. These are present between their eyes and nostrils and help to locate prey by sensing body temperature in the form of heat waves. The pit organs consist of heat-sensitive receptors on their membrane. Radiation through heat waves reaches these receptors. It allows the snake to detect the position of the prey.

How long does it take for a Bushmaster to kill you?

Central American bushmaster bites take just a few minutes to kill someone. However, very few cases of their bites have been recorded as they rarely come into contact with humans.

Are bushmaster snakes aggressive?

Central American bushmaster aggression is observed when they are provoked or threatened. This snake is known for its aggressive behavior and multiple-bite strikes. It captures its prey by advancing forward at a high speed and strikes it repeatedly. A female Central American bushmaster snake becomes quite aggressive while incubating its eggs and guarding the nest.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other reptiles from our painted turtle facts and giant garter snake facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable American bushmaster coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>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.</p>

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