Fer-de-Lance (Bothrops asper) – The Deadliest Snake

Fer de Lance (Bothrops asper) an adult and a juvenile found in San Miguel de Matina, Costa Rica.

Barry shot this Fer de Lance using two separate backgrounds. A similar colored tree branch to show the amazing, natural camoflauge of this snake and a large bunch of poisonous, tropical berries as a contrast to display the intricate markings and implied poisonous-ness. We found this small snake curiously close to our house under a pile of leaves at approximately 5 am in San Miguel de Matina, Limon Costa Rica. These snakes are extremely dangerous and expel twice the lethal dosage of venom with one bite. They will usually retreat from danger but small ones such as this guy will strike first because of his inexperience, just like a child with a pistol.

Like all of our other snake images, we find the snake on our farm and put him in a bucket for a day to calm down. Barry makes a blind of banana leaves in the background and creates a “set” of local flora and then shoots the snake during mid-day when it is less active. After shooting, we feed it a gecko or small lizard and let it go in the forested part of our property. All of the neighbors have told us that killing the Fer-de-Lance is the responsible thing to do because there have been recent biting’s and in the past many deaths. Barry is going to call a rescue center and see if they want it. I wish that we could get a predatory bird to take it.

Fer de Lance Snake Costa Rica

Juveniles have Light Colored Tails

fer de lance snake costa rica bothrops

Found in Tall Grass

bothrops snake fer de lance

An Adult Fer-de-Lance

Since the time we photographed the small bothrops above, we have seen five different Fer-de-Lance’s on the property. One we believe to have been a pregnant female due to the fact that she was quite large and basking in the sun. They shouldn’t be out in the open during the day unless they are pregnant. She was at least 2 meters long.

The others we have found have been a bit smaller than that but still quite healthy. I came upon the one pictured below as I was walking through the stream. I normally stay towards the center of the stream because I feel that the snakes will be on the banks. This snake however was right in front of me swimming through a pool of water. It had its head raised up out of the water and was traversing the water with ease. This snake for some reason chilled my bones and I see snakes almost on a daily basis.

bothrops asper

Fer-de-Lance Adult

bothrops asper

Quick, Rapid Movements

Bothrops Asper

Crossing the Stream

7 comments on “Fer-de-Lance (Bothrops asper) – The Deadliest Snake”

  1. Marlene Reply

    You guys are phenomenal to do this type of dangerous photography for the world to see. The pictures you take are so much more vivid and alive than in books. Keep up the good work and please be careful!!!

  2. Cody Conway Reply

    Question: Why do you photograph all snakes on branches it seems? Fer-de-lance, while some young MAY be arboreal – as put the snake was found under leaves on the ground. Thus making these images incredible awkward to the viewer aware of the subject. Just curious. Beautiful shots regardless.

    • Kimberly Beck Reply

      Answer: We didn’t intend for you to feel awkward. We hope that people can enjoy seeing the entire snake in detail. As you probably already know, wild snake photography can be dangerous. We take every precaution while taking the shots which include keeping the snake at a safe distance on a branch. We don’t feel like the image is deceptive to the viewer. We are not wikipedia nor a biology website. We are only capturing beautiful images of beautiful creatures.

      Thank you for checking us out.

      Kim & Barry

  3. Pingback: Snake Photography| How to Set up |10 Degrees Above | Costa Rica

  4. Gmo Busta Reply

    Fer de Lance? Is this beautiful snake the famous “terciopelo”.

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