Lachesis (genus)

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Lachesis
A South American Bushmaster, Lachesis muta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Crotalinae
Genus: Lachesis

Lachesis, also known as the "Bushmasters", is a genus of venomous Pit vipers found in forests of Central and South America. The name "Lachesis" is also the name of one of the Three Fates in Greek mythology. There are currently three species found.

Description[change | edit source]

Adult Bushmasters can grow up to the length of 2 meters (6.5 ft) to 2.5 meters (8.25 ft), but there have been some which have grown up to the length of 3 meters (10 ft). The largest one ever found was 3.65 meters (12 ft) long, making the Bushmasters the longest venomous snakes in the Western Hemisphere and the longest vipers in the world. They are not the heaviest vipers in the world, but adults usually weigh up to 3 to 5 kg (6.6 to 11 Ib).

Where they live[change | edit source]

The Bushmasters are found in forest areas of Central and South America. They are also found on the island Trinidad

Reproduction[change | edit source]

Bushmasters are oviparous, meaning that they lay eggs. This makes Bushmasters different to other Pit vipers found in the New World, because other Pit vipers are viviparous, meaning that they give live birth instead of laying eggs. A female can lay around a dozen eggs at a time. The female stays with her eggs until they have hatched and may attack any predator that comes near the nest.

Venom[change | edit source]

The Bushmasters are one of the largest and dangerous snakes in South America, and can inject a large amount of venom into their enemies. Even young Bushmaster's bites are harmful, but Bushmasters are nocturnal (they are active at night), so not a lot of people have been bitten by Bushmasters.

Species[change | edit source]