The Most Dangerous Venomous Snakes: Central and South America

Back to Overview | Continue to Mexican West Coast Rattlesnake


Scientific name: Bothrops asper
Family: Vipers
Subfamily: Pit vipers
Genus: American lanceheads
Length: 8.2 ft (2.5 m)
Venom: Cytotoxic, hemotoxic, neurotoxic

The fer-de-lance boasts a venomous cocktail of different toxins - very complicated, very dangerous and not even fully understood today. The fer-de-lance also boasts long fangs that can administer a large dose of venom, and is very fast as well as easily irritated. Because the snake rises up if it feels threatened, bites above the knee are not uncommon. If they are not treated, the affected limb is often amputated. Since the antidote was developed, the number of deadly cases has sunk to almost zero. In Costa Rica, the fer-de-lance is responsible for around half of all snake bites.

Fer-de-Lance Fer-de-Lance - Photo: Gualberto Becerra/Shutterstock