How poisonous is Jararaca snake?

The jararaca snake (Bothrops jararaca) is a venomous pit viper endemic to southeastern South America, the species is abundant and an important source of snakebite.

They’re found in southern Brazil, northeastern Paraguay and Misiones province in northern Argentina It’s also located in a number of islands off the coasts of Argentina and Paraguay, a few as far as 35 km overseas.

Their particular title, jararaca derives from the linking of 2 Tupi words”yarará” and”ca”, meaning literally “large snake”. Their common name in English is jararaca.

They are known by many different names in Brazil such as jaraca, jaracá, caissaca, jararaca-do-rabo-branco, jararaca-do-campo, jararaca-do-cerrado, jararaca-dormideira, jararaca-dorminhoca and malha-de-sapo. In Paraguay and Argentina it’s known as yarará but in Argentina can be called yararaca or yararaca perezosa.

Even the jararaca preferred habitats include compact evergreen and deciduous tropical woods but are also found in clean up, semi-tropical upland forests, savanna including open regions in cultivated regions usually near plant cover.

These venomous snakes are ordinarily located under some type of vegetation cover even when they are basking.The jararaca is frequently considered a semi-arboreal snake, however, adult specimens are mostly terrestrial, whereas juvenile snakes are more arboreal, probably hoping to avoid predators.

Even thus the jararaca snake falls prey to many animals, such as mammals like the white-eared opossum (Didelphis albiventris), other snakes, and birds. Vibrate their tail caution when threatened they lift their neck and head and they’ll strike.

The jararaca is a slim and terrestrial snake which grows to a maximum period of approximately 63 inches (160 cm) but their average size is generally much smaller around 23 inches (60 cm).

These snakes are sexually dimorphic and females are noticeably larger not to mention heavier than males.

The jararaca snake coloration is very variable according to the geographic variations in the substrate color, forming a Cryptic camouflage, to prevent predators.

jararaca snake

Normally, their dorsal coloration may be tan, brown, gray, yellow, olive, or nearly maroon, combined with a set of pale-edged, darkish brown somewhat triangular or trapezoidal shaped markings on the faces of the body.

These markings reach the vertebral line and might be partly or even entirely juxtaposed or situated opposite each other, even in the majority of specimens we’ll come across all 3 variants. Ordinarily their coloration is milder in the middle of the body.

Quite often the juvenile jararacas show a brightly colored tip in their tails like that of youthful copperheads or cottonmouths.

They utilize it for caudal luring, to lure prey in near. Their life expectancy in the wild is estimated to be around 15 years, they dwell on average 6.5 years in captivity.​​


Their venom is a complex combination of proteins with unique effects like coagulant, proteolytic, and hemorrhagic. A peptide found within their own venom can be used to create drugs.

​Bites wreak havoc at the envenomation website, severe hypotension. Nose bleeding from skin, gums, and blistering, necrosis, and blebs. In snakes, the more venom has a much anticoagulant effect than that of mature specimens.

A jararaca snake may cause death due to shock, renal failure, and intracranial hemorrhage. Without therapy, the mortality rate is projected at 7%, but, with the use of antivenom along with therapies this rate is further decreased.

By comparison the venom of their close relative the golden lancehead (Bothrops insularis) is regarded as about 5 times more powerful.

Mature jararacas feed mainly on birds and rodents while juvenile specimens will feed largely on frogs, centipedes, and smaller birds. They also help to control agricultural pests’ population quantities.

Like most pit vipers, the jararaca has heat sensing pits located between the nostrils and eyes on both sides of the head. Which enables them to find their warm-blooded prey whilst hunting.


In most Viperidae species man to male fighting does occur to establish dominance before copulation.

The jararaca males might be less inclined to take part in behavior since females are larger than men. Sometimes males will mate with more than one female

The jararaca is a ovoviviparous snake species, even hatchlings initial develop in eggs in the female however are born live.

The mating season occurs between April and May. To be able to delay fertilization as late as September but guys are capable of storing sperm.

Girls have one litter per year and are thought to give birth around 20 young per clutch. After 3 to 4 months of gestation from October through December or even January.

The hatchlings are created at the start of the rainy season between February and April.

Females may only reproduce once every 2 years, based on food availability because they need plenty to create the egg yolk.

The two jararaca males and females reach sexual maturity at 2 years old.


The species doesn’t have a special conservation area. This jararaca has not been assessed for the IUCN Red List, along with other agencies, it is not listed in CITES.

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