bushmaster, large venomous snake, Lachesis muta, of Central America and N South America. It is a member of the pit viper family, which also includes the rattlesnake. The largest New World snake, it reaches a length of 8 to 12 ft (2.5–5.5 m). It is gray and brown, with a diamond pattern. Unlike most pit vipers, which bear live young, the bushmaster lays eggs. It is classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Reptilia, order Squamata, family Crotalidae.