- Common names: Central American bushmaster.
Lachesis stenophrys is a venomous pitviper species endemic to Central America and northern South America. The specific name, stenophrys, is derived from the Greek words stenos, meaning "narrow", and ophrys, meaning "brow" or "eyebrow". No subspecies are currently recognized.
Adults commonly grow to more than 200 cm (6 feet 6¾ inches) and may exceed 330 cm (10 feet 10 inches) in total length. Ditmars (1910) reported a specimen from Costa Rica that was 11 feet 4 inches (348.7 cm). Many accounts exist of much larger specimens, but these are poorly documented. Solórzano (2004) cites historical records that put the maximum length at 360 cm (11 feet 9¾ inches).
It has a broadly rounded head and a snout that is not elevated. Typically, the species has a pronounced middorsal ridge that is most distinct on the last quarter of the body.
Found in Central America in the Atlantic lowlands of southern Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, as well as the Pacific lowlands of central and eastern Panama. In South America it occurs in the Pacific lowlands of Colombia and northwestern Ecuador, the Caribbean coast of northwestern Colombia and inland along the Magdalena and Cauca river valleys. The type locality given is "Sipurio" (Limón Province, Costa Rica).
Occurs in tropical rainforest and lower montane wet forest where annual precipitation averages 2,000-4,000 mm, which is heavy to extremely heavy rainfall. In the drier areas of Nicaragua, it can be found in gallery forests as well as forests that are seasonally dry, but then never far from sources of water. This species is hardly ever encountered outside of old growth forest.
Campbell and Lamar (2004) also recognize a fourth species, L. acrochorda (García, 1896), which McDiarmid et al. (1999) treat as a synonym of L. stenophrys. Campbell and Lamar refer to it as the Chochoan bushmaster and described it as being found in western Panama and northwestern Colombia.
- List of crotaline species and subspecies
- Crotalinae by common name
- Crotalinae by taxonomic synonyms
- McDiarmid 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).
- Mehrtens JM. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.
- Campbell 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.
- "Lachesis stenophrys". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 4 August 2008.
- Cope, E.D. 1876. On the Batrachia and Reptilia of Costa Rica. With Notes on the Herpetology and Ichthyology of Nicaragua and Peru. Journ. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia ["1875"] Series 2, 8: 93-183. ("Lachesis stenophrys, Cope, sp. nov.", p. 152.)
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