Natural History and Captive Management of the St. Lucia Pitviper, Bothrops caribbaeus

Wiley, Kristen

Harrison, Jim

Kentucky Reptile Zoo

200 L&E Railroad Place

Slade, Kentucky, USA

Smith, Chris

5725 Dogwood Dr.

Highridge Missouri, USA

The Saint Lucia Pitviper (Bothrops caribbaeus) is an endemic native to the island of St. Lucia. Due to its isolated nature, this snake has been largely overlooked and basic information about its biology is largely lacking. In our presentation we will discuss the natural history of this large pitviper, including its diet, occurrence near humans, and current conservation efforts. Reproductive behavior in captivity will be compared to what is known about reproduction in the wild. The feeding behavior of juvenile individuals in captivity also will be discussed. In-depth studies of the ecology of this species, including radio-telemetry, are needed to better understand its role in the island system it inhabits.

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