Rough Coffee Snake

The rough coffee snake (Nothopsis rugosus) is an unusual semi-fossorial snake inhabiting lowland tropical rainforests in Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and west Colombia and Ecuador. Very little is known about this snake’s life history, and it is relatively uncommon throughout its range. Nothopsis sports a particularly strange head shape, akin to the dragon snake (Xenodermus javanicus) in Southeast Asia. They can reach just over a foot long and have a cryptic black and light orange dorsum in the Osa peninsula. I spotted this small snake in the leaf litter while I was looking for the black-headed bushmaster (Lachesis melanocephala). I couldn’t help but notice its similar color pattern, though the dramatic size difference suggests to me that mimicry is unlikely. This individual was just about 6-7 inches long, and it was fascinating to feel the rough texture of protruding scales.

Photographed after disturbance [4]


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