Oxybelis aeneus

Oxybelis aeneus
Mexican Vine Snake
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Oxybelis
Species: O. aeneus
Binomial name
Oxybelis aeneus
(Wagler, 1824)

Dryinus aeneus Wagler, 1824
Coluber acuminatus Wied, 1824
Dryinus auratus Bell, 1825
Dryophis vittatus Girard, 1854
Dryiophis aeneus Garman, 1887
Oxybelis argenteus Bocourt, 1897
Oxybelis microphthalmus Barbour & Amaral, 1926
Oxybelis potosiensis Taylor, 1941
Oxybelis aeneus auratus Wright & Wright, 1957

Oxybelis aeneus, the Mexican Vine Snake or Brown Vine Snake, is a colubrid snake that ranges from southern Arizona in the United States,[1] through Mexico to northern South America and Trinidad and Tobago. It feeds mainly on lizards, but also eats frogs and birds.

This is an extremely slender snake that reaches up to 1.9 metres (6.2 ft) in length. Its colour may vary from gray to brown with a yellow underside. In Arizona it is also called 'pike-headed tree snake'.[2] In Trinidad and Tobago, it is known as a 'Horse Whip' or 'Vine Snake'. Mostly arboreal and diurnal, this snake is quite often mistaken for a vine. When threatened, this snake sometimes releases foul smelling secretions from its vent. O. aeneus is a mildly venomous rear-fanged snake, but it is not considered dangerous. However, a bite can cause an itching sensation.

Oxybelis aeneus is oviparous. Clutch sizes of 3-6 have been published. In Arizona, hatching occurs in September.[3]


  1. ^ Brennan, Thomas C.. "Brown Vine Snake (Oxybelis aeneus)". Online Field Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Arizona. http://www.reptilesofaz.org/Snakes-Subpages/h-o-aeneus.html. Retrieved 2009-06-25. 
  2. ^ Wright, A.H. and A.A. Wright. 1957. Handbook of Snakes of the United States and Canada. Comstock. Ithaca and London.
  3. ^ Goldberg, S.R. Reproduction in the Mexican vine snake Oxybelis aeneus. Texas Journal of Science. Feb. 1, 1998.
  • Boos, Hans E.A. (2001). The snakes of Trinidad and Tobago. College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 1-58544-116-3.