Cloudy Snail Eater (Sibon nebulatus) Lichen-Colored Snail Eater (Sibon longifrenis)

A Cloudy Snail Eater and a Lichen-colored Snail Eater Snake found in Limon Costa Rica

We found this average sized snail eater while taking down our bamboo passion fruit trellis. He was lodged in one of the corners about 7-8 feet off of the ground. That let us know that this is an adult snake because the juveniles of this species are terrestrial. These snakes are not harmful to humans they eat mostly snails and slugs using their special jaws and teeth. They use their needle like teeth to extract snails from their shells while their bottom jaw holds and moves the shell to help the process.

Macro snake head

Look at the above image. The eyes are bulging and the head is mostly round. Then look at the image below. The head is flattened and the eyes focused. This is a defensive pose put on by the snake that is believed to mimic a pit viper. It takes on this position when it feels threatened.

Cloudy Snail Eater Snake

These snakes can be found from Mexico to Columbia from sea level to 2400 foot elevations. In Costa Rica there are many variations of snail eaters including the lichen-colored and the banded. 

sibon nebulata It is a very clingy snake that uses its prehensile tail to adhere to branches.
Snail Eater head

 Lichen-colored Snail Eater

Found in Chilimate, Limon at Selva Verde Lodge this snail eater was in 2 meter high brush close to a trail just after dusk.

snail eater Sibon longifrenis

lichen colored snail eater

13 comments on “Cloudy Snail Eater (Sibon nebulatus) Lichen-Colored Snail Eater (Sibon longifrenis)”

  1. Life Leaps Reply

    I can’t imagine the guts and patience it takes to grab such wonderful photos . . . and to be so certain in your identification of the species. Hats of to you. I sooo enjoyed this blog.


    • Kimberly Beck Reply

      Glen – We have so many books and laminated cards to help us identify the animals. I think it’s crazy that all of these animals have already been identified and their behavior studied so that I can learn about each one. Humans can be awesome when they want to be.

  2. Cindy Reply

    Beautiful snake..and due to a previous post I know how hard you work to get these pictures!

  3. Marlene Paul & Caryn Schmitt Reply

    Beautiful pictures and great imfo about the snake. Love your site!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Joseph Reply

    OK, I don’t like snakes at all but somehow you capture a beauty in them that makes me see them in a whole new way. I love the colors and texture of this snail eater. So pretty! Also, the pit viper stance does make it seem dangerous.

    Beautiful photos Kim and Barry!

    • Kimberly Beck Reply

      Joseph – You know we are trying to turn you around on that snake phobia of yours. They are not all bad. I especially like the scorpion and rat eaters!

  5. Scott Reply

    Awesome, awesome shots! And I love how you always take the time to identify and go into detail about the creatures in Costa Rica.

  6. Greg Seymour Reply

    I love each of your snake posts. Learning about each is important and your photography is always impressive…Thanks for posting.

    – Greg

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