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Rare Beauties

The two Ungaliophis boas are an elusive duo.

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George W. Folkerts
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Middle American dwarf boas of the Ungaliophis genus are a rarely encountered group of small, semiarboreal snakes. Years ago, specimens would appear every once in a while via fruit shipments, which is why the popular name “banana boa” eventually adhered to Ungaliophis panamensis (also called the Panamanian dwarf boa). The occasional discovery of the other species, U. continentalis, in epiphytic growth proved monumental in affecting its popular name: the bromeliad boa. Having an interest in this elusive genus of snakes, I had only played with the idea of actually observing one in the wild.

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