Tag Archive: vipers

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata (scaled reptiles, all lizards and snakes)
Suborder: Serpentes (snakes are elongated, legless, carnivorous reptiles)
Family: Viperidae  (vipers, venomous snakes)
Subfamily: Crotalinae (Pit Vipers, crotaline snakes, or pit adders)

Genus/species: Agkistrodon contortrix

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: They have distinctive reddish-brown bodies with a crossband pattern consisting of tan, copper, and brown colors that extending throughout its body. Its colors enhance its camouflage in leaf litter in wooded habitats. Heat sensitive pit organs are present between the eye and the nostril.
Length up to 53 inches


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in deciduous forest and mixed woodlands in the central and eastern U.S.A. They are also found in swamps. Subspecies are recognized by slight changes in color pattern shape and hue. The Southern Copperhead extends through Massachusetts, westward to Texas and southeastern Nebraska.

DIET IN THE WILD: Diurnal, ambush predators feeding on small mammals (rodents primarily), birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects.

REPRODUCTION: Usually viviparous but Southern Copperheads can reproduce asexually through parthenogenesis. Females kept in captivity in the absence of males periodically produce one fully developed neonate along with a group of aborted ova.

LONGEVITY: Up to 29 years in captivity. Average 15 years in the wild.


REMARKS: Copperheads are venomous but their venom is somewhat mild compared to other snake species. It usually not fatal to healthy human adults.


California Academy Of Sciences Swamp Feb. 5, 2016

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/24836741386/in/photostream/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1E

Animal Diversity Web  animaldiversity.org/accounts/Agkistrodon_contortrix/

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia  (turtles, snakes, lizards, and relatives)
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae (Vipers)

Genus/species: Tropidolaemus wagleri

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Males are green in color. Females have 4 color phases. In the Malaysian phase seen here, the snake has a black background with yellow bars across it’s back, a yellow belly and green spots, one on each scale. Length to 4 ft. 

Wagler's Pit Viper 8324403992_9febc37327_b

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: They are arboreal living in the lowland tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia, including southern Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, Sumatra, Sulawesi and southern Philippines.

DIET IN THE WILD: Ambush nocturnal predator. Like all pit vipers, T. wagleri has heat-sensing organs (called loreal pits) on its head below and in front of their eyes which are used to sense prey, even when they can’t see it. Juveniles and adult males prefer lizards, especially geckos. Females eat a more varied diet, including rats, birds, frogs and lizards, Needs only 3 meals a month.

REPRODUCTION: Viviparous (bears young alive). Litters contain 6-50 young.

PREDATORS: King Cobra.

Wagler's Pit Viper  3506502014_96d97cbdb9_b

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red list; Least Concern (LC)

REMARKS: They have hemotoxic, venom, preventing blood from clotting. Bites can cause local pain, swelling, bruising, and bleeding but bites are rarely fatal to humans.

The Temple of the Azure Cloud in Penang Island, Malaysia is known as Snake Temple. It was once filled with hundreds of Wagler’s pit vipers. Tourists would be photographed with the snakes. Locals collected the snakes, and, fortunately, the ones used for photography had their fangs removed.

Borneo Cave Cluster B005


Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/790394/details

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/8324403992/in/set-72157620567930293

California Academy of Sciences Docent Rainforest Training class 2014

Ron’s WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-Vu

 Borneo Cave Cluster B005


Gabon Viper

Bitis gabonica

Distribution: Tropical Africa

Habitat: Rainforests and nearby woodlands, mainly at low altitudes. they may also be found in swamps, as well as in still and moving waters. They are commonly found in agricultural areas near forests and on roads at night.

Appearance: 1.8 meters, 10kilograms. Adults reach an average length of 4 – 5 feet (up to 1.5 meters). It has camouflage with a color pattern consisting of a series of pale, sub-rectangular blotches running down the center of the back, interspaced with dark, yellow- edged hourglass markings. The flanks have a series of fawn of brown rhomboidal shapes, with light vertical central bars. The belly is pale with irregular brown or black blotches. The head is white or cream with a fine, dark central line, black spots on the rear corners, and a dark blue-black triangle behind and below each eye. The iris color iscream, yellow-white, orange or silvery. As the gaboon viper grows older, it develops rostral horns on its nose.

Diet: Small mammals.

Remarks: B. gabonica has very long fangs known to exceed 1.5 inches. It is a docile slow moving sit and wait predator with a quick strike.

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