Bushmaster Viper

***See more on BUSHMASTER VIPER below***

Are you researching information about the viper species of snakes?

Do you want to specifically find out more about the bushmaster?

Are you interested in snakes and want to know more about their habitat, the way they look and more such details?

If yes, this article can help you get all that information that you are looking for, and help you learn quite a few interesting facts about them! In fact, this article is specifically dedicated to learning more about the bushmaster, whether you are a student or just someone who is curious to find out more about them.

In this article, you can read about the scientific and common names of this viper, where it lives, what it looks like and much more. Sounds interesting? Then do read on.

What is the scientific name of this viper?

The scientific name of the bushmaster is Lachesis.

Is the bushmaster related to the bush viper?

No, the bushmaster and the bush viper are different species and not related.

Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions]

Why are they called bushmaster vipers?

The reason that the Lachesis or the bushmaster is called this is because it likes to mainly inhabit areas that are dense and forested, and have a thick growth of bushes.

What are the different known species of bushmaster vipers?

As of now, there are three known species of the bushmasters that are currently recognized. They are as follows:

The L.muta or the Lachesis muta:

  • This is said to be the largest type amongst the three different species.
  • It is also known as the Southern American bushmaster or the Atlantic bushmaster.
Christopher Murray [Public domain]

The L.stenophrys or the Lachesis stenophrys:

  • Some research hints at the possibility that this species can in some way overlap the L.muta in size and may be almost the same length.
  • It is also known as the Central American bushmaster.

The L.melanocephala or the Lachesis melanocephala:

  • This is the smallest of all the three species that are known, being only slightly smaller.  
  • It is also known as the black-headed bushmaster.

Do they all still exist today?

All three known species of the bushmaster vipers do exist even today.

Are they all found in the same places around the world?

The bushmaster is found in Central as well as South America. It is also found in the island of Trinidad.  

The L.muta or the Lachesis muta species:

  • It is found in South America, including the island of Trinidad.
  • It is also present in the equatorial forests that are located to the east of the Andes.
  • Other areas where it is present include Colombia, Peru, eastern Ecuador, eastern and southern Venezuela and many parts of Brazil.

The L.stenophrys or the Lachesis stenophrys species:

TimVickers [Public domain]
  • It is found in Central America.
  • This species is mainly present in the Atlantic lowlands of Costa Rica and Panama as well as in southern Nicaragua.
  • It is also found in the Pacific lowlands in Central and Eastern Panama.

The L.melanocephala or the Lachesis melanocephala species:

  • It is found in Costa Rica.

What do these vipers look like?

Body and head:

  • Their head is triangular in shape while the neck is narrow.
  • The body is usually cylindrical and tapered.
  • It is covered in heavily overlapping scales.


  • The back of the bushmaster can usually be of the following colours – tan, brown, grey, yellowish, pale pink ground colour or reddish.
  • Often, dark brown or very dark black diamond shaped marks can be seen going down the back, with prominent yellow edges.
  • They may have a darker stripe that goes back corner of the mouth all the way till the eye.
  • The colour of the belly in the bushmaster is usually lighter as compared to the back.

Is the bushmaster really the largest viper in the world?

The bushmaster is known to be the longest type of viper found in the world.

  • An adult bushmaster can vary in length from about 6.6 to about 9.8 feet.
  • In some cases, a bushmaster can also grow to as long as 13 feet.
  • As a result, this clearly makes it the longest venomous snake that is found in the Western Hemisphere.
  • Also, the male bushmaster vipers are longer in size than the females.   

Bushmaster vipers videos:

1. The Bushmaster – Feared and Deadly!

  • Makes a loud hissing sound.
  • Glides slowly around branches.
  • Prominent black stripes next to the eyes.

2. The Bushmaster Snake!

  • Pointy and sharp tail.
  • Dark zig-zag pattern all across the body.

3. Catching a bushmaster!

  • The colour of the bushmaster is the same as the surroundings.
  • Lies in wait.

With their natural habitat reducing fast, these species can find it difficult to find areas that are suitable for their survival.

Additional Research