The Hispaniola Boa / Boa de la Hispaniola (Epicrates striatus)
This boa is a native to this island and can be found mostly on the Dominican Republic part of Hispainola. The Boa de la Hispaniola also known here as the Culebra Jabá has been seen on other Caribbean islands as well. This snake, like all snakes, plays an important roll in the environment by controlling pests such as rodents and birds that are bad for agriculture. This snake is the largest snake found in Dominican Republic measuring up to 4 meters in length. They are nocturnal and like to hang out in tall grasses near water, in caves and hollow tress. Sometimes, if you are lucky you may see one sunning itself in tree branches, on a rock or maybe on a dirt road but spotting one is not easy. They are also good swimmers. Their colors vary from shades of black, brown, gray and even red. As with all constrictors the mother gives birth to live young. She carries her eggs inside for between 192 to 218 days and she can carry about 25 babies at a time.
Dominicans are afraid of snakes, like many people the world over. The government and environmental people are trying to make the people aware that the snake is not poisonous. It is a good thing for the environment. They are trying to deter the killing of this much-needed creature.
The Dominican Zoo, Parque Zoológico Nacional Arq. Manuel Valverde Podestá República Dominicana, in Santo Domingo (ZOODOM) has this and other reptiles on display in their completely remodeled snake house.
The Jaragua Sphaero also known as the Dwarf Gecko scientific name: Sphaerodactylus ariasae. This little lizard was discovered in 2001 by a Penn State University sceintist. This little creature fits on a Dominican Peso that is about the same size as a U.S. quarter. The Jaragua Sphaero measuring 16 to 18 mm, about ¾ of an inch, from the snout to the base of the tail, is one of the world's two smallest known reptiles. It is found in Jaragua National Park on the remote island of Beata. It feeds on insects and fruits. More information on the quest for the sphaero at National Geographic
Picture of an adult female Jaragua lizard from Beata Island on a U.S. dime.