Baron's green racer

Philodryas baroni

A Baron's green racer sits on a branch in Hellabrunn Zoo. IUCN Red List endangerment category: Least concern
  • Family
    Colubrids (Colubridae)
  • Habitat
    Gallery forests and savannahs

Characteristic features

The Baron’s green racer can be recognised by its impressive colouration (green, blue or brown) and strikingly long, upturned nose. Females lay about 10 eggs, which hatch after 83 to 90 days. Newborns shed their skin for the first time at around eight to ten days old. They will then be ready to eat their first mice.

A green long-nosed shrub viper in Hellabrunn Zoo.

Mildly venomous

The Baron’s green racer is considered a false viper. Unlike nonvenomous true vipers, it has rear fangs, located right at the back of its upper jaw. Whenever it strikes, it “massages” its venom into the victim through a chewing motion. However, the venom is not dangerous for humans. Its diet consists of mammals, birds, amphibians and fish.

By the horseshoe-shaped retraction of the stomachshields, it can hold itself very well in the air.