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Publication #WEC289

Possible Florida Invader: Green Anaconda1

Steve Johnson and Monica McGarrity2

This fact sheet is best viewed as a pdf, available here: edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/UW/UW33400.pdf

Figure 1. 

Green anaconda (Eunectes murinus).


Credit:

Monica E. McGarrity, University of Florida, 2010


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Report green anaconda sightings immediately:

1-888-IveGot1 (1-888-483-4681; live animals only)

www.IveGot1.org (provide photos if possible)

The Green anaconda (Eunectes murinus) is native to tropical South America. This species is not established in Florida, but escaped or released pets have been encountered in the wild. This is a heavy-bodied, muscular species that may grow to 30 feet long. It is a large, nocturnal predator that kills its prey by constriction. Green anacondas could prey on virtually any and all fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals native to Florida, and several threatened and endangered species could be at risk—including species as large as panthers and crocodiles. Green anacondas are semi-aquatic and prefer still waters; the habitats found in the Everglades would provide a hospitable environment for these snakes. Females can breed within their first few years of life and give birth to up to 100 live young, which grow rapidly. Lifespan ranges from 10–30 years. There are reports of anacondas attacking humans, but such reports are rare and no deaths have been documented.

Identification

Learn to identify and report anacondas at http://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/reddy.shtml

Figure 2. 

The green anaconda's head is greenish and marked on each side with a pair of obvious facial bands—one light band and one dark band.


Credit:

Photo by Patrick Lynch, South Florida Water Management District, 2009; Illustration by United States Geological Survey, 2009


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 3. 

The green anaconda's body is greenish and marked with abundant large, round, dark spots. Spots on the lower sides of the body may have bright-colored (usually orange) centers.


Credit:

Photo and illustration by Monica E. McGarrity, University of Florida, 2010


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 4. 

The green anaconda is a rather aquatic species that prefers still waters—in its native range it is sometimes called the "water boa."


Credit:

Photo by Shawn Mallan, CalPhotos, 2006


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Acknowledgments

This project was made possible in part by a grant from the South Florida National Parks Trust and the Ferris Greeney Family Foundation, and by the USDA-RREA. This document was created as additional reference material for the Introduced Reptile Early Detection and Documentation training program, also known as REDDy. For more information, visit http://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/reddy.shtml.

Footnotes

1.

This document is WEC289, one of a series of the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date August 2010; revised February 2014. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Steve A. Johnson, associate professor and Extension specialist, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611; and Monica McGarrity, extension program assistant, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

This fact sheet was made possible in part by a grant from the South Florida National Parks Trust and the Ferris Greeney Family Foundation, and by the USDA-RREA. Photos/Illustrations by USGS, Monica McGarrity (UF), Patrick Lynch (SFWMD), and Shawn Mallan.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.