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Yellow Anaconda Fact File

Eunectes notaeus

Credit: Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Weight

25-35kg

(55-77lbs)

Length

3.3-4.4m

(10.8-14.4ft)

Lifespan

Wild 15-20 years

Captive 15-20 years

Diet

Carnivore

Mammals, Birds

Conservation Status

IUCN

Least Concern

The yellow anaconda is found in South America where they can be found in semi-aquatic habitats.

These animals are smaller than their close relative the green anaconda which is often regarded as the largest snake in the world. At a maximum the yellow yellow anaconda will measure 4.4m (14.4ft) long.

They are carnivores which constrict their prey before swallowing it whole. Their diet includes mammals up to the size of capybara, reptiles such as caiman and birds.

This species is threatened by hunting for meat and oil, capture for the pet trade and habitat loss.

Read on to learn more about these remarkable reptiles below.

Appearance

What does the yellow anaconda look like?

As their name suggests the yellow anaconda is covered by scales which are colored yellow. This is patterned with black or dark brown saddles, blotches or streaks. On the underside they have lighter yellow skin with black patterns.

Each snake has a unique pattern on the underside of the tail which can be used to identify them.

These animals have a range of physical adaptations which help them with their semi-aquatic lifestyle. The eyes and nostrils sit towards the front of the face to help them when hunting in the water.

These animals are smaller than the closely related green anaconda. They still reach impressive lengths of between 3.3 and 4.4m (10.8-14.4ft). Their weight varies between 25 and 35kg (55 to 77lbs).

Females are often larger than the males.

Diet

What does the yellow anaconda eat?


The yellow anaconda is a carnivore. They primarily feed on small vertebrates including birds and mammals. Some reptiles such as caimans and snakes along with fish are also consumed.

During drought they have been known to scavenge for dead fish.

These snakes are non-venomous and will capture their pre and kill them through constriction. Prey is swallowed whole and can be much larger than their mouth.

Females feed more regularly than males. Prey takes a long time to digest and they may not eat for weeks or months following eating.

Yellow Anaconda (Eunectes notaeus)

Credit: Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Range

Where can you find the yellow anaconda?

South America is the native home of the yellow anaconda. Here they can be found in Argentina; Bolivia; Brazil and Paraguay.

Habitat

What kind of environment does the yellow anaconda live in?

These animals are found in aquatic ecosystems such as swamps, flooded marshes and rivers. They are semi-aquatic and spend much of their time in the water.

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Reproduction

How does the yellow anaconda produce its young?

Mating takes place from August to October in Argentina but there may be some variations to this across their range.

Breeding takes place in the water. At the start of the breeding season females will emit pheromones to attract males. They may gather in large groups and create what is known as a breeding ball. The largest male will emerge the victor and gain breeding rights.

After a period of 160-180 days the female will give birth to her young. She does not lay eggs instead giving birth to live young. Each clutch can include anywhere between 5 and 37 hatchlings.

Young emerge from their mother surrounded by a protective membrane which they must break out of.

At birth they measure an average 60cm (23.6in) long. Within the first year of life they double in size.

Young are independent as soon as they are born.

Sexual maturity is reached between two and three years old.

Females tend to produce young once every two years. Males will attempt to mate each breeding season.

Behavior

What does the yellow anaconda do with its day?

A group of anacondas is known as a bed or a knot.

These animals are considered solitary and only come together during mating season.

Yellow Anaconda (Eunectes notaeus)

Credit: Bernard DUPONT from FRANCE, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Predators and Threats

What is impacting the survival of the yellow anaconda?

As adults these animals face no major predators. Juveniles may be taken by crab-eating foxes, lizards such as tegus and caiman. Larger individuals may cannibalize smaller individuals.

The fast growth rate of young helps them to reach a size where they can evade predation. They also produce a strong odor to prevent predators attacking them.

The yellow anaconda appears to be a common species in much of its range and the population is currently considered stable.

A range of threats are faced by this species including habitat loss as wetlands are converted to agriculture.

They are also killed for their skin and meat or as retaliation when they take livestock. Some small numbers are collected for the pet trade but this is believed to have little effect on their numbers.

These animals may be impacted in the future as hydroelectric power is being developed in greater amounts across their range.

They have benefited from the creation of man-made habitat such as artificial ponds, reservoirs and rice fields.

Quick facts

These animals may also be known as "water boas." This name may also be applied to the closely related green anaconda. Another name for this species is the Paraguayan anaconda.

Yellow Anaconda (Eunectes notaeus)

Credit: © Patrick JEAN / Nantes Natural History Museum

References

Zoo.amarillo.gov. 2021. Yellow anaconda – Amarillo Zoo. [online] Available at: <https://zoo.amarillo.gov/animal-attractions/reptiles/yellow-anaconda/> [Accessed 29 November 2021].

Perrier, J., 2018. Yellow Anaconda Care Sheet. [online] Reptiles Magazine. Available at: <https://reptilesmagazine.com/yellow-anaconda-care-sheet/> [Accessed 29 November 2021].

Animals.sandiegozoo.org. 2021. Anaconda | San Diego Zoo Animals & Plants. [online] Available at: <https://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/anaconda> [Accessed 29 November 2021].

Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission. 2021. Yellow Anaconda. [online] Available at: <https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/reptiles/snakes/yellow-anaconda/> [Accessed 29 November 2021].

Ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu. 2021. Yellow Anaconda. [online] Available at: <https://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/snakes/yellowanaconda.shtml> [Accessed 29 November 2021].

Ferme aux crocodiles. 2021. Yellow anaconda – Eugène – Ferme aux crocodiles. [online] Available at: <https://www.lafermeauxcrocodiles.com/en/animaux/anaconda-jaune-eugene-2/> [Accessed 29 November 2021].

World Land Trust. 2021. Yellow Anaconda: Species in World Land Trust reserves. [online] Available at: <https://www.worldlandtrust.org/species/reptiles/yellow-anaconda/> [Accessed 29 November 2021].

Waller, T., Camera, B., Cacciali, P., Miranda, E., Buongermini, E., Micucci, P., Smaniotto, N., Strüssmann, C., Barros, M. & Draque, J. 2021. Eunectes notaeusThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021: e.T44580058A44580062. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-2.RLTS.T44580058A44580062.en. Downloaded on 29 November 2021.

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