The Mexican Vine Snake. One of its most distinctive characteristics is its extremely slender appearance, normally no wider than a pencil.
The Mexican Vine Snake (Oxybelis aeneus), is a small, mildly venomous snake that lives throughout most of southern, eastern and western Mexico, excluding Baja California.
One of the most distinctive characteristics of the Mexican Vine Snake is its extremely slender appearance, normally no wider than a pencil, ranging from 30 inches to 75 inches in length (70cm-190cm).
The snake is mildly venomous and is not considered very dangerous to humans. If bitten by one, it would cause an itching sensation but would cause no severe harm. While the small amount of venom produced by these snakes is not enough to kill a human, it is an effective method for producing paralysis and killing their prey. They feed mainly on small animals and reptile including lizards, frogs, insects and sometimes birds.
Like most reptiles, Mexican Vine Snakes lay eggs. Their dens are built underground in which their eggs are stored out of harm’s way. Their breeding season is in late spring and early summer, and Vine Snakes often lay three to five eggs which hatch around 3 months later.
It is difficult to provide an exact number for population due to the fact that they inhabit such a large area, from the southern Arizona down to northern South America as well as the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. However, the estimated population size is somewhere in the range of 100,000 to 1,000,000. Although the snake population has been considered stable, the recent increase of deforestation has been a threat to Mexican Vine Snake habitat.
The primary habitat of Mexican Vine Snakes is in heavily forested areas because their tree dwelling nature. However, they can also establish themselves in fallen trees or underground.
Despite the threat to their habitat, the adaptations work to their advantage. In fact, they are often mistaken as branches or vines due to their perfect camouflage; with coloring varying from grey to brown. Vine Snakes are also well adapted to protect themselves, releasing a foul smelling secretion when threatened.
These fascinating creatures are just one aspect of the diverse and unique wildlife that can be found throughout Mexico.