Search This Blog

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Species Fact Profile: Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus)

Green Anaconda
Eunectes murinus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Range: Northern South America, Trinidad
Habitat: Flooded Savannahs
Diet: Vertebrates (Size Proportionate to Snake)
Social Grouping: Asocial
Reproduction: Mate during dry season (February-May), multiple females attracted to single female, competing for access.  Female gives live birth to 20-40 (but up to 80) offspring, about 60 centimeters long each.  Young are independent immediately, reach sexual maturity at 6 years old
Lifespan: 10 Years (Wild), 25-30 Years (Captivity)
Conservation Status: CITES Appendix II

  • Generally considered to be the largest (not longest) snake in the world, with lengths of 6-9 meters and weights of up to 200 kilograms.  Unverified historic reports and travelers' tales describe snakes of much larger size, but these are unconfirmed.
  • Females may be up to five times larger than males, the greatest size difference between the sexes of any terrestrial vertebrate
  • Upper-parts are olive green, boldly marked with dark oval spots, which grow smaller on the sides.  Head has distinctive stripe running from the eyes to the back of the head, often edged with orange
  • Highly aquatic, spends most of its time in the water -eyes and nostrils are positioned at the top of the head to enable the snake to see and smell while mostly underwater
  • Will feed on any vertebrate of appropriate size - juveniles eat fish, lizards while adults take animals the size of caiman and capybara.  Very large animals could take animals the size of deer or tapir.  Attacks on humans have (very rarely) been reported
  • Females may occasionally eat males that come to breed with her after mating
  • Survive periods of drought by burying themselves in mud and entering state of dormancy; if water is available, they will remain active year-round
  • Hunted for skins, meat, and pet trade; also killed by local people fearful of risk of anaconda attacks
  • Small feral population has become established in Florida, leading to strict new rules about the importation and interstate movements of anacondas and other large constrictors
  • Origin of the name "Anaconda" means "Elephant Killer" in Tamil; the Latin name translates to "Good Swimmer of Mice"

No comments:

Post a Comment