Description: It has a stocky body. Its ground color varies from brown to gray and it has dark brown or black dorsal blotches. It has no pattern on its head.
Characteristics: It is chiefly a nocturnal snake. It comes out in the early evening hours to feed on lizards, rodents, and frogs. As the name implies, this species can strike with force as it actually leaves the ground. Its venom is hemotoxic. Humans have died from the bites inflicted by large jumping vipers. They often hide under fallen logs and piles of leaves and are difficult to see.
Habitat: Found in rain forests, on plantations, and on wooded hillsides.
Length: Average 60 centimeters (24 inches), maximum 120 centimeters (48 inches).
Distribution: Southern Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, and El Salvador (Figure E-14).
Figure E-14. Jumping Viper Habitat