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Terciopelo also known as Fer-de-Lance (Bothrops asper), on gravel road near Carate, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. Photo by Hal Brindley

Terciopelo (aka Fer-de-Lance)

(Bothrops asper)

This is considered the most dangerous snake throughout most of its range (Southern Mexico down to Ecuador) It is responsible for roughly half of all snake bites in Costa Rica where I photographed this individual.

This ultimate pit viper has powerful venom, but a bite is fully treatable if you can get to a hospital in time.

The name Terciopelo means “velvet” in Spanish and is a fitting name for this beautiful creature. Another common name, Fer-de-Lance, means “spear head” in French and is generally used in North America, but not within the countries where this snake lives. It has many other names throughout its range, including “yellow-jaw tommygoff” in Belize!

Photo: Crossing gravel road near Carate in the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica.