Banded Calico Snake (Oxyrhopus petola)

Photographing the Banded Calico Snake

The Banded Calico Snake or Gargantilla falsa as it is known in Costa Rica was a very interesting snake to photograph. She didn’t strike at us or give us trouble but she was a lot to handle because the nature of the Banded Calico snake is to be terrestrial and nocturnal. She was uncomfortable with being high up off the ground on the branch and because we were trying to expose her iridescence we shot her in the morning light. This relatively rare snake naturally occurs in habitats such as ours, the Tropical Humid Rain Forest.

Banded Calico Snake

The underside of the body is completely white. Banded Calico Snake banded calico snake

This close up of the head shows the large nostrils. Banded Calico Snake banded calico snake

The sex of the snake was not known to us until we opened her container to find 14 eggs! An InBIO book said that it was normal for her to have from 5 to 10 eggs in a clutch. She laid 14. The banded calico snake will not lie  on the eggs to keep them warm nor do they overly protect them. They do however stay close which helps to protect the eggs and provides a food source for the mother since she normally doesn’t eat for up to two weeks before laying the eggs.

banded calico snake egg

Her beautiful iridescence was always visible but was more prominent to us when the sun or flash was directly on her.
snake iridesence snake skin oxyrhopus petola

What does a Banded Calico Snake Eat?

Banded Calico Snakes have a diet consisting mainly of lizards and other snakes. It uses constriction to capture its prey and then uses its rear fangs to inject a moderate poison that disables the creatures movement. These snakes may be listed in articles as poisonous. Please remember snakes use their poison to protect themselves and to help digest food. Please do not hurt any snakes you may come across in the wild.

To see and read more about other snakes on our farm go to our Snakes, Reptiles & Frogs pageBanded Calico Snake





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