The color pattern consists of a green ground color overlaid dorsally with a series of yellow blotches that are bordered in black. Between the botches, an irregular, often broken, dorsal stripe can be seen. The yellowish green belly is often lighter than the dorsum. On the head, a dark postocular stripe is present. The iris is usually yellowish-green, sometimes bronze, with black specks or reticulations. Over 90% of all specimens have the usual dark dorsal pattern, but a few are uniform green and have no postocular stripes. The juvenile coloration includes a pale lime green ground color and a colorful tail tip.
This species is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCNRed List of Threatened Species with the following criteria: B1ab(iii,v) (v3.1, 2001). A species is listed as such when the best available evidence indicates that the extent of occurrence is estimated to be less than 20,000 km², the population to be severely fragmented or known to exist at no more than 10 locations, and that a continuing decline has been observed, inferred or projected in the area, extent and/or quality of habitat and in the number of mature individuals. It is therefore considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild. The population trend is down. Year assessed: 2007.
^ abMcDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
^ abcdCampbell JA, Lamar WW. 2004. The Venomous Reptiles of the Western Hemisphere. 2 volumes. Comstock Publishing Associates, Ithaca and London. 870 pp. 1500 plates. ISBN 0-8014-4141-2.
^Mehrtens JM. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.