Friday, May 7, 2010

The GreenTracks Naturalist

The Western Emerald Treeboa (Corallus batesi)

One of the classic Amazonian animals is the beautiful Emerald Treeboa (Corallus caninus). Strictly arboreal, this slow moving snake is seldom seen, even by local residents. Recently, based on DNA studies in which GreenTracks was a participant, the Emerald Treeboa was shown to consist of two species. The snake found in the Upper Amazon Basin is now called Corallus batesi, a name that honors Henry Walter bates, who wrote a classic 19th century book, The Naturalist on the River Amazons. All photos shown here are of Corallus batesi.

Like the Emerald Treeboa, Corallus batesi undergoes a remarkable transition, starting life as a red snake and eventually becoming green.

This marvelously camouflaged reptile has been known to remain in on spot for days. They are active at night and we find them on GreenTracks trips by using flashlights to spot the reflective eye in the trees.



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