- Vipera - Laurenti, 1768
- Pelias - Merrem, 1820
- Chersea - Fleming, 1822
- Rhinaspis - Bonaparte, 1834
- Rhinechis - Fitzinger, 1843
- Echidnoides - Mauduyt, 1844
- Mesocoronis - Reuss, 1927
- Teleovipera - Reuss, 1927
- Acridophaga - Reuss, 1927
- Mesovipera - Reuss, 1927
- Mesohoronis - Reuss, 1927
- Mesohorinis - Reuss, 1927
- Latastea - Reuss, 1929
- Tzarevcsya - Reuss, 1929
- Latasteopara - Reuss, 1935
Vipera is a
genus of venomous vipers. It has a very wide range,
being found from from North Africa to just withing the
Arctic Circle and from the British Isles to Pacific
Asia. 23 species are currently recognized.
Members are usually small and more or less stoutly
built. The head is distinct from the neck and covered
with small scales in many species, although some have a
few small plates on top. The dorsal scales are strongly
keeled, the anal scale is divided and the subcaudals
They can be found in
Great Britain and nearly all of continental Europe, on
some small islands of the Mediterranean (Elba,
Montecristo, Sicily) and the Aegean Sea, as well as in
northern Africa in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. It also
occurs across the Arctic Circle and eastwards though
northern Asia to Sakhalin Island and northern Korea.
Most species prefer cooler environments. Those found
at lower latitudes tend to prefer higher altitudes and
dryer, rocky habitats, while the species that occur at
more northern latitudes prefer lower elevations and
environments that have more vegetation and moisture.
All species are
All members are
viviparous, giving birth to live young.
Most Vipera species have venom that contains
both neurotoxic and hemotoxic components. Bites vary
widely in severity. Smaller, northern species, such as
V. berus, have only slightly less toxic venom, but
inject very little. Others, such as V. ammodytes, are
capable of injecting much more with devastating results.
However, bites from Vipera species are rarely as severe
as those from larger Macrovipera or Daboia.
||Iranian mountain viper
||The Zanjan Valley and
surrounding mountains in northwestern Iran.
||Central Turkish mountain viper
||North-eastern Italy, southern Slovakia,
western Hungry, Slovenia, Croatia,
Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania,
Greece (including Macedonia and Cyclades),
Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia and Syria.
France, Andorra, northeastern Spain, extreme
southwestern Germany, Switzerland, Monaco, the
islands of Elba and Montecristo, Sicily, Italy,
San Marino and northwestern Slovenia.
||Common European adder
||From western Europe (Great Britain,
Scandinavia, France) across central (Italy,
Albania, Bulgaria and northern Greece) and
eastern Europe to north of the Arctic Circle,
and Russia to the Pacific Ocean, Sakhalin
Island, North Korea, northern Mongolia and
Golan Heights, southern Lebanon and Syria.
||The Bulgar Dagh (Bolkar Dagi) mountains,
Nigde Province, south central Anatolia, Turkey.
||The southeastern Dzavachet Mountains in
Armenia and adjacent areas in Georgia.
||Russia (Great Caucasus) and Georgia (high
mountain basin of the Inguri River), eastward to
||Northeastern Turkey, Georgia and Russia
(eastern Black Sea coast.
Europe (France, Portugal and Spain) and
northwestern Africa (the Mediterranean region of
Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia).
||Iran: upper Lar Valley in the Elburz
||Caucasian meadow viper
||The higher range of the Big Caucasus: Russia, Georgia and
||Atlas mountain viper
High Atlas Mountains, Morocco.
||Syria, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon.
||Known only from the Coruh valley in Artvin
Province, northeastern Turkey.
||Eastern Turkey, northwestern Iran, Armenia,
Azerbaijan, and probably Iraq.
||Extreme southwestern France and the northern
regions of Spain and Portugal.
||Southeastern France, eastern Austria
(extinct), Hungary, central Italy, Croatia,
Bosnia-Herzegovina, northern and northeastern
Albania, Romania, northern Bulgaria, Greece,
Turkey, northwestern Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan,
Georgia, Russia and across the Khazakstan,
Kirgizia and eastern Uzbekistan steppes to China
||Ocellated mountain viper
||The mountains of eastern Turkey and adjacent
||Extreme northeastern Greece, the Greek
islands of Simi, Kos, Kalimnos, Leros, Lipsos,
Patmos, Samos, Chios and Lesbos, European
Turkey, the western half of Anatolia (inland
eastward to Kayseri), and islands (e.g. Chalki,
Kastellórizon [Meis Adasi]) of the Turkish mainland shelf.
*) Not including the nominate subspecies (typical
a b c d e
McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake
Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic
Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511
pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN
a b c d e f g
Mallow D, Ludwig D, Nilson G. 2003. True Vipers:
Natural History and Toxinology of Old World
Vipers. Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar,
Florida. 359 pp.
^ Spawls S,
Branch B. 1995. The Dangerous Snakes of Africa.
Ralph Curtis Books. Dubai: Oriental Press. 192
Vipera (TSN 202180).
Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
Accessed on 13 August 2006.
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