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Borikenophis portoricensis facts for kids

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Borikenophis portoricensis
Scientific classification

Alsophis portoricensis Reinhardt and L├╝tken, 1863

Borikenophis portoricensis (Vernacular Spanish: Culebra Corredora; Vernacular English: Puerto Rican racer) is a snake endemic to Puerto Rico. It can grow to three feet long.


The Puerto Rican Racer is endemic to the island of Puerto Rico. It slinks around in the trees of the Toro Negro State Forest. It has also been spotted at El Yunque National Forest.


Its body sports a solid brown color with each of his scales edged by a darker brown. The Puerto Rican racer also possesses a neck hood similar, but narrower, to that of a cobra which it exposes by raising the front quarters of their bodies off the ground in a manner similar to that genus. However, unlike the Naja snakes, B. portoricensis does not gratuitously exhibit this behavior as an intimidation tactic and generally employs it while engaging on offensive behavior after being provoked, which typically involves adopting the posture followed by an emboldened strike.

Hunting habits

Like the Toro Negros's other various garden snakes, it is a daytime hunter. It is capable of inflicting a venomous bite. Once it captures its prey, B. portoricensis has a tendency of relocating it prior to feeding. Although still susceptible to infection, it is more resistant to parasites than other local snakes, allowing it to survive exclusively on lizards. The severity of its venom depends on the susceptibility of the victim, it is capable of fully paralyzing small reptiles and rodents rendering them helpless for consumption, but in humans its effects ranges from mild swelling to immobilization and severe numbness that may last up to a month. No fatalities have been reported from the bite of a Puerto Rican racer.

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