You can't judge this snake by its color

December 10, 2014, 1 p.m.

If you think you can guess a species of snake by its colors, the Amazon tree boa will throw you for a loop. The stunning yellow specimen with black speckles, photographed in Guyana, reveals just one of the many, many colors that these snakes may show.

According to the Jacksonville Zoo, "The basic color can be anywhere from black, brown, or gray, to literally any shade of red, orange, yellow, or any color in between. Some are totally patternless, while others may be speckled, banded, or saddled with rhomboid or chevron shapes. Some reds will have yellow patterns; some yellows may have red or orange patterns. The ‘garden phase’ refers to boas with drab coloration, mostly brown or olive, with varied patterning, while the ‘colored phase’ refers to animals with combinations of red, orange, and yellow coloring."

Some snake species are colored specifically to blend into their environments, and other species purposefully stand out with vivid colors and patterns to show off their venomous potential. However, Amazon tree boas are as varied as the flowers growing in the jungles in which they live.

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