Saharan horned vipers are carnivores. Currently, there are no recognized subspecies of this species. If to touch the horns of the Saharan horned viper, they will fold flush against its head allowing the snake to move with ease through sand and burrows. Habitat destruction, pollution, over-collecting (due to venom) and introduction of new species negatively affect number of horned vipers … It is mainly active at night, spending the day in seclusion in the sand, abandoned burrows or under rocky outcrops. Article was last reviewed on 7th June 2019. These snakes have a reasonably placid temperament, but if threatened, they may hiss, assume a C-shaped posture and rapidly rub their coils together producing a rasping noise. Dorsally, a series of dark, semi-rectangular blotches run the length of their bodies. The Saharan horned viper is a venomous snake native to the deserts of northern Africa and parts of the Middle East. Due to their diet habits, these snakes are important predators in the ecosystem they live. In the Arabian Peninsula, they occur in Yemen, Kuwait, extreme southwestern Saudi Arabia and parts of the country in Qatar. They help to control populations of rodents that often disturb livestock and food sources of local people. It is mainly active at night, spending the day in seclusion in the sand, abandoned burrows or under rocky outcrops. Saharan horned vipers are found in arid North Africa (Morocco, Mauritania, and Mali, eastward through Algeria, Tunisia, Niger, Libya and Chad to Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia) through Sinai to the northern Negev. It often is easily recognized by the presence of a pair of supraocular "horns", although hornless individuals also occur. These blotches may or may not be fused into crossbars. These snakes are oviparous, laying 8-23 eggs that hatch after 50 to 80 days of incubation. The desert horned viper moves swiftly across the loose sand by sidewinding, throwing oblique loops first with its top half and then with its lower half. There are no major threats facing Saharan horned vipers at present. Horned desert viper is a poisonous viper species native to North Africa and parts of the Middle East. Desert horned vipers are found in arid desert environments, including sandy dunes, rock outcroppings, dry riverbeds and occasionally gravel plains. In captivity Saharan horned vipers mate in April. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerastes_cerastes. A sharp upright scale above each eye resembles a horn. These snakes inhabit northern Africa’s Sahara Desert, from Egypt and Morocco south to Niger, Mali, … They become reproductively mature at 2 years of age. Currently, there are no recognized subspecies of this species. When approached, they strike very rapidly, holding on to the captured prey until the venom takes effect. This snake inhabits stony deserts and semi-arid habitats on the altitude of up to 4900 feet. Your email address will not be published. Published on November 29th 2016 by staff under Snakes. In the wild they are typically ambush predators, lying submerged in sand adjacent to rocks or under vegetation. They spend their days resting burrowed in the sand, hiding in holes, under rocks or in abandoned burrows. Horned desert viper is a poisonous viper species native to North Africa and parts of the Middle East. With its sharp-edged scales it can shuffle into the sand with amazing speed, burying itself up to the eyes. Horned viper is a type of venomous, terrestrial snake that is native to North Africa and Middle East. It often is easily recognized by the presence of a pair of supraocular "horns", although hornless individuals also occur. Desert horned vipers tend to be found in cooler areas where the average annual temperature does not exceed 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and in areas of low elevation. The color pattern of these snakes consists of a yellowish, pale grey, pinkish, reddish or pale brown ground color, which almost always matches the substrate color where … The species is known to possess a quiet and calm temperament. The belly is white and the tail, which may have a black tip, is usually thin. Required fields are marked *. Desert Sidewinding Horned Viper, Saharan Horned Viper, Desert Horned Viper, African Desert Horned Viper, North African Horned Viper, Greater Cerastes, asp and Horned Viper, 30 to 60 cm; largest recorded specimen measures 85 cm, Ground color ranges from yellowish to pale grey to reddish, pinkish, or pale brown; upper surface consists of a series of dark, semi-rectangular uneven patches running along the length of the body, the patches may or may not blend into crossbars; white belly while the tail may have a black tip, Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria, Mali, Niger, Libya, Chad, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia (North Africa); Sinai peninsula; southern Israel, Yemen, Kuwait, extreme southwestern Saudi Arabia, parts of Qatar (Middle East), Dry, sandy areas with scanty rock outcroppings. These snakes favor dry, sandy areas with sparse rock outcroppings, and tend not to prefer coarse sand. Saharan horned vipers are solitary and nocturnal creatures. They typically move about by sidewinding, during which they press their weight into the sand or soil, leaving whole-body impressions. Their diet consists mainly of lizards, but also small rodents, and birds. In Egypt, these snakes are called el-ṭorîsha (حية الطريشة); in Libya, they are called um-Goron (ام قرون). Other common names of this species include desert sidewinding horned viper, Sahara horned viper, desert horned viper, North African horned viper, African desert horned viper, greater cerastes, asp and horned viper. Your email address will not be published. The color pattern of these snakes consists of a yellowish, pale grey, pinkish, reddish or pale brown ground color, which almost always matches the substrate color where the animal is found. They may also be found around oases. Females usually lay their eggs under rocks and in abandoned rodent burrows. Horned viper may refer to: Cerastes (genus), North African desert vipers, a group of small, venomous species found in the deserts and semi-deserts of northern North Africa eastward through Arabia and Iran; Bitis caudalis, the horned puff adder, a venomous species found in … The Saharan horned viper is a venomous snake native to the deserts of northern Africa and parts of the Middle East. Horned vipers are ecologically important because they keep number of rodents under control. The hatchlings measure 12-15 cm (about 5-6 inches) in total length and completely independent from parental care. The species is known to possess a quiet and calm temperament.
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