Snakes of Trinidad and Tobago

I am not one of those brave people who have snakes as pets, but I have touched them (in the zoo and at somebody's house who kept a huge boa constrictor as a pet and as a detractor; he had a sign on his gate, saying: Keep out Attack snake).

I see snakes all the time around our house and in our house and I am not happy about it, but I don't kill them either. I let them go or, on occasions I have put them in a container and taken them to the zoo. They tend to wrap themselves around a broom stick and then I can stuff them into a garbage bag or other container, except for the black cribo, it does not do that and the one I tried to catch like that in my living room one night, disappeared in the tiniest of cracks where a built in cupboard meets the floor.

Yesterday there was a Laura inside my room where I have the computer. It was wrapped around the wrought iron which is across the outside door, but he was on the inside. When I got up he became frantic, looking to escape, found one of the wooden louvres , slid through, then literally jumped across the space from the door to the chain link fence and disappeared. I was much more scary to him than he to me. And the Laura is a pretty snake too. It is also called Parrot Snake, I guess Laura actually comes from the Spanish Loro = parrot.

I am adding this section to my homepage because I don't like to see people kill animals unnecessarily. I kill mosquitoes and roaches (which I abhor) and some other things, but not snakes, not frogs and lizards either. I don't go so far as to carry them around, but I don't kill them. So I would like people to be able to distinguish between poisonous snakes and non-poisonous snakes, so they wil not panic each time they see a snake nearby.

A long time I obtained a booklet from the zoo (maybe 30 years ago) which was never reprinted. this has helped me a lot in identifying the snakes in and around my house and to know when I should tackle them myself or call the zoo keepers to come and fetch them. In the booklet it says that there are 37 different types of snakes in Trinidad and Tobago, ranging from the smallest in the world to the largest. Now, isn't that interesting ?

Let's start with my friend, the

Laura or Parrot snake, also called Green Horsewhip

Leptophis ahaetulla Parrot Snake

The top of the head and entire length of body is bright emerald or leaf green. The underside is a muddy brown, just like its "cousin", the horsewhip snake, which is entirely brown.






copyright © Ilka Hilton Clarke - all rights reserved. -Last updated: October 8, 2015