A small venomous Central American snake which nests in your eyelashes.

Er, no. The eyelash viper, Bothricechis schlegelii, AKA the eyelash palm pit viper, AKA Bocaracá, is a venomous snake found in the tropical and montane forests of Central America.

  Also found in other places, having stowed away in shipments of bananas.

The eyelash viper is a nocturnal hunter, preying on birds, lizards, frogs, rodents, marsupials, and bats.

  Wait a second. Bats?


  How does a two foot long snake take out a bat?

I'm just telling you what the book says--

  Does it fly?

The bat?

  No, the snake.

No, it doesn't fly.

  So how does a snake—a small snake—they're what, two feet long, tops?

75 centimeters.

  'Cause bats fly. Right? And the bats have gotta be, what, I mean, it's Central America, they must have bats the size of German Shepherds down there.

They eat the little ones.

  The babies?

The smaller species of bat. The bat chihuahuas.


During the day, the viper may remain motionless, perched on--

  Your eyelashes.


  Well, no, not your eyelashes, you're not in Central America. But there are people there who have eyelashes. So these eyelash vipers perch in their eyelashes. The eyelashes of those Central Americans.

No, they perch on low-lying branches of trees, or in shrubbery or tangles of vines. Eyelash vipers are so named, because the horned ridges above their eyes give them the appearance of having eyelashes.

  Well, riddle me this, then. If eyelash vipers don't perch in eyelashes, what do you call the vipers that do perch in eyelashes?



I have no response to that.

  Anything else you can tell me?

Eyelash vipers are rough to the touch because of their keeled scales, which helps with protection from branches and vines. They have wide color variation, having been found in green, yellow, red, gray, and brown, and may have black, pink, or red markings.

Smithsonian National Zoological Park, "Eyelash Viper Fact Sheet," http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/ReptilesAmphibians/Facts/FactSheets/Eyelashpalmpitviper.cfm (accessed July 16, 2013)
Leo Shapiro, "Bothriechis schlegelii BERTHOLD 1846" Encyclopedia of Life, http://eolspecies.lifedesks.org/pages/69888 (accessed July 16, 2013)
Geoffrey G. Sorrell, Diel Movement and Predation Activity Patterns of the Eyelash Palm-Pitviper (Bothriechis schlegelii), Copeia 2009(1):105-109. 2009
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1643/CE-06-284 (accessed July 16, 2013)