The list and photographs of 25 representative species of Guatemalan reptiles and amphibians are courtesy of Eric Smith and the Ik' bolay Serpentarium


Species:
Pituophis lineaticollis
Family: Colubridae
Common name: Mazacuata de tierra fría.
Distribution: Moderate and intermediate elevations from central Mexico to central Guatemala.
Habitat: Pine and oak forests. 1,400-2,200 m.
Microhabitat: Terrestrial.
Activity: Diurnal.
Food: Small vertebrates.
Reproduction: Oviparous.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments: Difficult to maintain in captivity. Aggressive.
Non venomous.

Species:
Boa constrictor
Family: Boidae
Common name: boa constrictor, mazacuata.
Distribution: Usually at elevations below 1,500 m from México to Argentina, and the Lesser Antilles.
Habitat: Any type of forests, human changed regions, savannas, swamps, and beaches.
Microhabitat: Terrestrial and arboreal.
Activity: Nocturnal.
Food: Mammals, birds, and lizards.
Reproduction: Viviparous. Exceptionally a female may have litters of more than 50 young.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes: It is believed that a big boa or sierpe guards certain headwaters. It is said that this snake hypnotize its prey.
Comments: This snake can attain more than 5 m long. The largest snake in Central America and Mexico.
Non venomous

Species:
Lampropeltis triangulum
Family: Colubridae
Common name: Coral, coralillo, milk snake.
Distribution: Ontario and Quebec, Canada, to northern South America.
Habitat: Any terrestrial habitat. 0-1,650 m.
Microhabitat: Terrestrial and semi-fossorial.
Activity: Mostly nocturnal.
Food: Small vertebrates.
Reproduction: Oviparous.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes: It is believed that they can feed on cow and human milk from lactating mothers while they are asleep.
Comments: Popular pet.
Non venomous

Species:
Leptodeira septentrionalis
Family: Colubridae
Common name: Ojo de gato, cantil frijolillo, cat-eyed snake.
Distribution: Southern Texas, USA, and Sinaloa, Mexico, to Perú. 0-2,300 m.
Habitat: All kinds of terrestrial habitats.
Microhabitat: Arboreal and terrestrial.
Activity: Nocturnal.
Food: Small vertebrates.
Reproduction: Oviparous.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments: Very common near lowland ponds, where it eats many anurans and their eggs.
Mildly venomous, it's bite can cause swell and pain.

Species: leptophis mexicanus
Family: Colubridae
Common name: Ranera de cabeza verde, ranera de dorso bronce, green-headed tree snake.
Distribution: From Tamaulipas and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico, to South America. 0-1,500 m.
Habitat: Primary and secondary forests, and swampy areas. Common near rivers and beaches.
Microhabitat: Mostly arboreal.
Activity: Diurnal.
Food: Frogs, lizards, and small birds.
Reproduction: Oviparous.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments: Beautiful and common snake.
Mildly venomous, it's bite can cause swell and pain.

Species: Micrurus nigrocinctus
Family: Elapidae
Common name: Coral, coralillo, coral snake.
Distribution: Low to moderate elevations from Chiapas, Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize to northern South America.
Habitat: Virgin or human altered areas. 0-1,500 m.
Microhabitat: Terrestrial and fossorial.
Activity:
Crepuscular and nocturnal.
Food:
Primarily small snakes.
Reproduction: Oviparous.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes: It is believed to sting with the tail due to its defensive posture of coiling the tail and slashing it over its body.
Comments: It is commonly found inside leaf-cutting ant mounds.
Venomous

Species:
Bothriechis bicolor
Family: Viperidae
Common name: Gushnayera, lora, cantil verde, Guatemalan palm-pitviper.
Distribution: Moderate to intermediate elevations from southern Chiapas, Mexico, to southern Guatemala. Disjunct populations in northern Honduras.
Habitat: Cloud forests. 500-2,000 m.
Microhabitat: Primarily arboreal.
Activity: Probably diurnal.
Food: Small vertebrates.
Reproduction: Viviparous.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments:
Commonly found in old or shade coffee plantations.
Venomous

Species:
Bothrops asper
Family: Viperidae
Common name: Ik'bolay, barba amarilla, devanador, cantil cola de hueso, fer-de-lance.
Distribution: Low and moderate elevations from Mexico to northern South America
Habitat: Humid areas. 0-1,150 m.
Microhabitat: Terrestrial
Activity: Nocturnal.
Food: Vertebrates, primarily rodents.. Juveniles may consume insects and other invertebrates.
Reproduction: Viviparous, up to 90 young per parturition.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments: The snake that causes more envenomation accidents in Central America and northern South America. In Guatemala it is involved in more than one thousand serious bites inflicted to humans, many of them fatal. It is extremely abundant in palm plantations and rice paddies. It can reach more than 2.5 m long.
Extremely venomous

Species:
Cerrophidion godmani
Family: Viperidae
Common name: Sheta, cantil, tamagás, Godman's montane pitviper.
Distribution: Intermediate and high elevations from south eastern Oaxaca, Mexico, to western Panama.
Habitat: Dry or humid areas. 1,520-3,500 m.
Microhabitat: Terrestrial.
Activity: Diurnal and nocturnal.
Food: Vertebrates and insects.
Reproduction: Viviparous.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments: The common viper on the highlands of Guatemala.
Venomous

Species:
Senticolis triaspis
Family: Colubridae
Common name: Ratonera, Olive rat snake.
Distribution: Low and moderate elevations from Arizona, USA, to northwestern Costa Rica.
Habitat: Dry and seasonal areas. 0-1,500 m.
Microhabitat: Terrestrial and arboreal.
Activity: Diurnal and nocturnal.
Food: Small lizards and mammals.
Reproduction: Oviparous.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments: Juveniles can be beautifully colored with orange blotches.
Non venomous

Species: Norops biporcatus
Family: Polychrotidae
Common name: Iguanita, abaniquillo.
Distribution: Low and moderate elevations from northern Chiapas to northern South America.
Habitat: Mostly in tropical rainforests. 0-770 m.
Microhabitat: Arboreal.
Activity: Diurnal.
Food: Small insects and other invertebrates.
Reproduction: Oviparous.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments: Amazing for its fast color change, usually from bright green to black or dark brown.
Non venomous

Species:
Sceloporus smaragdinus
Family: Phrynosomatidae
Common name: Lagartija, espinudo, verdion, fence lizard.
Distribution: Intermediate and high elevations in Guatemala.
Habitat: Oak and conifer forests, and grass or rocky fields. 1,900-3,300 m.
Microhabitat: Arboreal and rock dweller.
Activity: Diurnal.
Food: Small insects and other invertebrates.
Reproduction: Viviparous.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments:
This lizards tends to sun as frequently as possible in the cold areas where it lives.
Non venomous

Species:
Cnemidophorus motaguae
Family: Teiidae
Common name: Lagartija, Polvorín, murishca.
Distribution: Low and moderate elevations of the Motagua Valley, Salama basing, Guatemala, and several dry valleys in northern Honduras.
Habitat: Dry and seasonal regions. 0-1,400 m.
Microhabitat: Terrestrial.
Activity: Diurnal.
Food: Insects, other invertebrates, and small vertebrates, including lizards even of the same species.
Reproduction: Oviparous.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments:
Big lizards with red tails and yellow spots on the body.
Non venomous


Species:
Lepidophyma flavimaculatum
Family: Xantusiidae
Common name: Scorpión, yellow-spotted night lizard.
Distribution: Low and moderate elevations from Veracruz, Mexico, to northern Honduras, and from southern Nicaragua to the Canal Zone of Panama.
Habitat: Rainforests, common in second growth and plantations. 0-1,500 m.
Microhabitat: Terrestrial and cabernicolous.
Activity: Nocturnal.
Food: Small insects and other invertebrates.
Reproduction: Viviparous.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments: Without eyelids, they clean their eye scales with their tongue.
Non venomous

Species:
Xenosaurus rackhami
Family: Xenosauridae
Common name: Scorpión.
Distribution: Moderate elevations from northern Chiapas, Mexico, and Guatemala.
Habitat: Cloud forests. 900-1,200 m.
Microhabitat: Arboreal and cabernicolous.
Activity: Nocturnal and diurnal.
Food: Small insects and other invertebrates.
Reproduction: Viviparous.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments: Strange animals that belong to a family of lizards that has been disappearing. Presently there are only two genera, this, from Mexico and Guatemala, and Shiniosaurus, from China.
Non venomous

Species:
Corytophanes cristatus
Family: Corytophanidae
Common name: Cutete de montaña, cutete de hacienda.
Distribution: Low and moderate elevations from Veracruz, Mexico, to Costa Rica and Panama.
Habitat: Rainforests, common in primary growth. 0-930 m.
Microhabitat: Arboreal.
Activity: Diurnal.
Food: Small insects and other invertebrates.
Reproduction: Oviparous.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments: Camouflages dramatically in the rainforest.
Non venomous

Species:
Duellmanohyla soralia
Family: Hylidae
Common name: Ranita de árbol.
Distribution: Moderate elevations of the Sierra del Merendón of Guatemala and Honduras.
Habitat: Montane rain and humid forests. 450-1,450 m.
Microhabitat: Arboreal.
Activity: Nocturnal.
Food: Small invertebrates.
Reproduction: Oviparous, with aquatic eggs and larvae laid in streams.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments: A recently discovered and named frog, whose tadpoles possess a funnel-like mouth which traps dissolved particles, specially when they swim upside down.
Non venomous

Species:
Hyla perkinsi
Family: Hylidae
Common name: Ranita de árbol.
Distribution: Known only from moderate elevations at Finca Chiblac, Sierra de los Cuchumatanes, Guatemala.
Habitat: Montane rain and humid forests. 700-900 m.
Microhabitat: Arboreal.
Activity: Nocturnal.
Food: Small invertebrates.
Reproduction: Oviparous, with aquatic eggs and larvae.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments: A recently discovered and named frog. Males call from high above the ground on vegetation along streams.
Non venomous

Species:
Chapinophis xanthocheilus
Family: Colubridae
Common name: Culebrilla chapina, guatemalan snake.
Distribution: Intermediate elevations of the Sierra de las Minas, Guatemala.
Habitat: Cloud and probably also humid pine forest. 1,829-2,300 m.
Microhabitat: Probably fossorial.
Activity: Apparently diurnal.
Food: Unknown.
Reproduction: Probably oviparous.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments: A recently discovered and named snake, the genus is endemic to Guatemala.
Non venomous


Species:
Abronia matudai
Family: Anguidae
Common name: Matuda's abronia.
Distribution: Intermediate elevations of the Sierra Madre del Sur of Chiapas and Guatemala.
Habitat: Cloud forest. 1,400-2,000 m.
Microhabitat: Arboreal.
Activity: Diurnal.
Food: Small invertebrates.
Reproduction: Viviparous, with usually five offspring..
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments: Males are green and females are brown.
Non venomous

Species:
Corallus annulatus
Family: Boidae
Common name: Annulated boa.
Distribution: Low elevations from Izabal, Guatemala to northern South America.
Habitat: Rain and very humid forests. 0-100 m (in Guatemala).
Microhabitat: Arboreal.
Activity: Nocturnal.
Food: Small mammals, birds, and lizards.
Reproduction: Viviparous.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments: Recently discovered in Guatemala.
Non venomous

Species:
Leptophis ahaetulla
Family: Colubridae
Common name: Parot snake, ranera verde.
Distribution: Low elevations from central Veracruz, on the Atlantic, to southern South America.
Habitat: Rain and very humid forests. 0-1,000 m.
Microhabitat: Arboreal.
Activity: Diurnal.
Food: Frogs, birds, and lizards.
Reproduction: Oviparous.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments:
Beautiful snake that reaches almost 2.5 m in total length.
Non venomous

Species:
Plectrohyla avia
Family: Hylidae
Common name: Green treefrog.
Distribution: Intermediate elevations in the volcanic area of Chiapas and Guatemala.
Habitat: Rain and very humid forests. Approximately 1,650-2,200 m.
Microhabitat: Arboreal.
Activity: Nocturnal.
Food: Small vertebrates and invertebrates.
Reproduction: Oviparous.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments: Rare to find, inhabits high vegetation along streams.
Non venomous

Species:
Bolitoglossa lincolni
Family: Plethodontidae
Common name: Lungless salamander.
Distribution: Intermediate and high elevations in the Sierra de los Cuchumatanes and the Montañas de Cuilco.
Habitat: Cloud and humid pine-oak forests. 1,800-2,900 m.
Microhabitat: Arboreal and terrestrial.
Activity: Nocturnal.
Food: Small invertebrates.
Reproduction: Oviparous.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments: The most beautiful salamander in Guatemala.
Non venomous

Species:
Bolitoglossa rostrata
Family: Plethodontidae
Common name: Lungless salamander.
Distribution: Intermediate and high elevations in the higlands of Central and Western Guatemala.
Habitat: Pine-oak forests. 2,700-3,500 m.
Microhabitat: Terrestrial.
Activity: Nocturnal.
Food: Small invertebrates.
Reproduction: Oviparous.
Guatemalan legends and popular believes:
Comments: One of the most common salamander in the highlands of Guatemala.
Non venomous

Ik' bolay Serpentarium home page

Antigua homepage

Guatemala homepage

Return to LAFTA & BUSINESS homepage

All text and photographs Copyright 1998 All rights reserved Eric Smith. Authorization of Use. Any person is hereby authorized to view this website and webpages for information purposes only. No part of this text, photographs website and webpages can be distributed, copied, or reproduced without prior written consent of Eric Smith and Travellog.com