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Publication #WEC290

Possible Florida Invader: Yellow Anaconda1

Steve Johnson and Monica McGarrity2

This fact sheet is best viewed as a pdf, available here: edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/UW/UW33500.pdf

Figure 1. 

Yellow anaconda (Eunectes murinus).


Credit:

Helder Duarte, CalPhotos, 2010


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Report yellow anaconda sightings immediately:

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

www.IveGot1.org (provide photos if possible)

The yellow anaconda (Eunectes notaeus) is native to tropical South America. This species is not established in Florida, but escaped or released pets have been encountered in the wild. Yellow anacondas grow to 15 feet long, only about half the size of green anacondas. They are large, nocturnal predators that kill prey by constriction. Yellow anacondas could prey on nearly all fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals native to Florida, and several threatened and endangered species could be at risk. Yellow 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 80 live young. Lifespan ranges from 10–20 years.

Identification

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

Figure 2. 

The yellow anaconda's head is distinctively marked with five broad, dark stripes.


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 yellow anaconda's body is yellowish tan, and marked with abundant large, round dark spots. Spots on the lower sides of the body may have light-colored centers, but the centers are not orange like the side spots of green anacondas.


Credit:

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


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Figure 4. 

Young yellow anacondas look nearly identical to adults.


Credit:

Patrick Jean, Wikimedia Commons, 2010


[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 WEC290, 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), Helder Duarte, and Patrick Jean.


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.