How to distinguish a viper from a snake: distinctive features


Despite the fact that today meeting in the forest or in the field with a poisonous snake is a rarity, sometimes it does happen. Much more often hunters, fishermen and mushroom pickers intersect with a snake, which many mistaken for a viper. And the thing is that between them there is a significant similarity. To avoid danger when meeting you, you need to know how to distinguish between a snake and a viper. To do this, we compare these two reptiles.

Appearance of the grassland

An adult individual can reach a length of one and a half, or even two meters, although on average sizes range from 75 cm to 1 m. The color is mostly gray or black, sometimes it is olive with stains, arranged in chess order. On the body of the snake, there is a change of colors: the farther from the head, the darker the color. In order to know how to distinguish a snake from a viper, it is necessary to remember that a special feature of all snakes is the presence of light spots on the head, they can be yellow, orange or white. They are located in the ear area, so they are also called "yellow ears". The head is oval in shape, the pupils of the eyes are round. The tail of the snake is long and thin. They have no poisonous teeth.

Distinctive features of the viper

This snake has a smaller size, on average the length of the body is about 50 cm. The colors can be very diverse, including black. Trying to determine how to distinguish between a snake and a viper, one needs to know that it cannot be done only by color. There is another trait characteristic of vipers - it is a zigzag of dark color on the back, passing through the whole body. Their tail is shorter, and their body is thicker than that of a snake. The head has a triangular shape, the pupils are placed vertically.

Snakes prefer to settle in damp places. They are good swimmers, they can often be found near reservoirs and marshes. But the main reason for this choice of habitat is the presence of frogs, the favorite delicacy of snakes. They serve as shelter for stones, tree roots, and small holes. The Viper feeds mainly on vole mice and other rodents. Therefore, its habitat is either high steppe grass, or dense shrub thickets in the forest, where it is possible to hide from uninvited guests. Different habitat also allows you to answer the question of how to distinguish between a snake and a viper. They say that where the snakes live, there can be no vipers. But, apparently, this is not quite the right opinion, naturalists often had to see how both representatives of the serpentine kind warmed peacefully in the sun nearby.

Different tempers

Another thing that differs from an adder is its aggressiveness. Their characters are completely different. Never the first person will not attack. Defending himself, he will imitate the attack and imitate the behavior of the adder. Having seen the futility of his attempts to free himself, he can pretend to be dead. When there is great danger, it emits an unpleasant odor that scares many animals away. Viper behaves much more aggressive. It is worth provoking her, and she instantly attacks, and completely ignoring the dimensions of her enemy.

We summarize and memorize

The difference between the adder and the snake is as follows:

  • the adder is smaller than the size of
  • it already has “yellow ears”, a zigzag band runs along the back of a viper,
  • the triangular head of the viper, oval in the grass,
  • the pupils are round at the snakes, vertical for the viper,
  • snakes prefer to live near reservoirs, vipers in the woods,
  • Viper aggressive, already in a hurry to hide.

Differences from a viper from a viper

Before going to the forest for berries or mushrooms, go with a child out of town for a picnic, just relax or work in the garden, you should be aware that in these places you can meet a snake. In order for such a meeting not to bring trouble, you need to know how it differs from an adder, how to behave when meeting a snake, and how to give first aid if a snake bite did happen.

The main differences

As noted, too, unlike the viper, is not dangerous to humans. The Viper is venomous legless reptileIts number is large enough in our country. To distinguish the viper from the grass snake, we list the main distinguishing features of both reptiles. Let's start with the snakes:

  • The average length of adult snakes is 100 cm, although snakes are longer than one meter,
  • snakes have two specks closer to the head of a yellow or orange hue,
  • have a bright color of black, brown or gray shades,
  • in addition to bright color, the skin of the snake contains a pattern in the form of a set of triangles,
  • the head of the snake has an oblong shape with round pupils,
  • snakes live near rivers and reservoirs,
  • shows activity mainly during the day.

Viper can learn according to the following distinguishing features:

  • The average length of an adult viper is 70 - 75 cm, individuals are found and longer, but, as a rule, they do not exceed one meter,
  • the viper, in contrast to the grass snake, does not have round specks near the head, but it has a strip running along the entire length of the back,
  • There are a different color, most often it is gray, blue, brown and black shades, and closer to the tail the color changes to yellow,
  • on the skin of a reptile pattern in the form of zigzags,
  • venomous snake can be recognized by the triangular head and vertical pupils,
  • the reptile has two teeth in front, which contain poison,
  • especially active at night,
  • lives in the forest belt, likes to hide in the stones.

It is important to know these differences, because when a poisonous reptile is bitten, first aid to a victim is very important. With timely response and the first aid provided, a meeting with a viper will not result in unpleasant consequences. How to give first aid for a snakebite?

First Aid for Viper Bite

Viper bite is fast the appearance of edema in the place where the poison hit. The poison in the body causes nausea, headache, shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness. Primary signs are replaced by anemia, shock, increased intravascular blood clotting. Severe cases are characterized by changes in the kidneys and liver.

The bite has the appearance of two small wounds. At the time of the defeat by poison, the person will experience sharp and severe pain, and the site of the lesion will redden and swell within a few minutes. Puffiness will spread in the place of defeat and above it. The further the bite is from the head, the less dangerous it is. In the spring season, the viper venom is more toxic than in the summer.

If you or your friend was bitten by a viper, should free the wound from poison. If there are no wounds or other lesions in the mouth, the poison can be removed by suction. To do this, open the wound, pushing the skin folds around it, until blood appears. Start sucking off the poison and spit out the poisonous substance. This must be done within 10 minutes, but if swelling appears, stop the procedure. Rinse the mouth using a solution of potassium permanganate or plain water.

You should not worry that the sucked poison is harmful, because at the same time an extremely small dose of poison, safe for humans, enters the body. If you react in time and begin to suck the poison out of the wound instantly, you can remove up to half of the toxic substance. Treat the affected area using an antiseptic, and around the bite site is anointed with iodine, brilliant green or alcohol. Tighten the affected area with a tight sterile dressing.

Fix the affected limbso that it is stationary. Eliminate any movement, since in this case the poisonous substance will rapidly enter the blood. The victim should drink plenty of liquids, in addition, it is necessary to take any of the antihistamine drugs: tavegil, suprastin, diphenhydramine and others.

What not to do with a viper bite:

  • take alcohol
  • cauterize the affected place,
  • cut the wound or inject potassium permanganate into it,
  • impose on the place of bite harness.

After rendering first aid to the victim, you should bring him to the doctor as soon as possible. In the hospital, a special serum will be administered to the victim, which will neutralize the toxic substance.

Despite the fact that the deaths caused by the viper bite have not been registered for quite a long time, its poison may cause health problems. That is why it is necessary to react quickly enough and be sure to go to the doctor.

Differences between a snake and a viper in the shape of the head

When meeting with a snake should immediately pay attention to the shape of her head. The difference between a snake and a viper is that the first one has an oval, slightly ovoid head, and the second one has a triangular one that looks like a spear. In the venomous snake from the neck go "eyebrows", they are pronounced, so they can be clearly seen. True, the snake can easily be confused with a viper if he is very angry. In this state, he flattens his head, trying to intimidate the enemy. Of course, there is not always time and opportunity for a close look at a creature that suddenly appeared under its feet. But still the shape of the head almost immediately catches the eye.

The differences in the pupil of the eye

The difference between a viper and a snake is huge, although these creeping outwardly resemble each other. Of course, in combat conditions it is not very convenient to consider the shape of the body or the color, but still if you can study the creeping reptile carefully or watch it from the side, then it will not be difficult to determine whether it is poisonous or not. Eyes say a lot, the vipers have pupils that look like thin sticks located across the body; in snakes they are round or vertical (similar to cat's). In addition, the latter has an iris, which is excellent in color to the overall color of the body. The snakes have very good eyesight, because thanks to him they search for their own food. Their eyes are enlarged, they react quickly to moving objects.

What does the shape of the head guard say?

The shape of the shields is another criterion, which is different from the viper. At the first they are of the correct form, large size, arranged symmetrically. At snakes, the shields cover most of the head. About the vipers can not be said. They have three small flaps of irregular shape, which are located on the front of the crown. Next, the vipers begin body scales. On further consideration, these differences are hardly noticeable, but if you can see the snake closely, the shape and number of shields immediately catch the eye.

What can tell the pattern of the head and back?

How to distinguish a snake from a viper by color? This is a very unreliable method of recognizing a poisonous snake, because there are a huge number of dark individuals on whose body it is almost impossible to determine with the naked eye the presence of spots or zigzags. In vipers along the back there are triangles, folding in a strip. There are no zigzag snakes, they may have longitudinal rows, but they consist of specks, specks, while the pattern is always noticeable, it stands out on the body. Some problems arise with a water snake, because it is dark and it has stains staggered. From a greater distance, such a pattern looks like a zigzag, so this snake is often confused with a poisonous viper. Only close you can see that these are not triangles at all, but spots.

The snakes have a variety of colors, among them are individuals of brown, brown, dark olive and even black. There are also bright representatives of the numerous family, dazzling with magnificent patterns. Many snakes imitate vipers for protection, so you need to know a lot of characteristics so as not to confuse them with poisonous snakes.

Viper, Already: Similarities and Differences in Body and Tail Shape

In venomous snakes the body is much shorter compared to non-venomous. It is thicker than uzh, and denser. The transition from the body to the tail of vipers is very sharp, it is dull and short. Non-venomous snakes are long and thin. At us, the transition to the tail is smooth, it is long and thin. In vipers, on the inside of the tail, the color is almost always slightly lighter, has a yellowish tint. Assessing the appearance of the snake, even an inexperienced person can determine who is in front of him - an enemy or a harmless creature.

Scale shape differences

The difference between a snake and a viper is also in the form of scales. They are always present keel - a kind of narrow elevation, available on each scale and dividing it in half. He is like vipers and snakes. The difference is that in venomous snakes the keel does not split the scale in half, leaving it whole, and in non-venomous it is double, therefore it consists of two scales. Of course, it’s impossible to consider all this from a long distance. Determine the shape of scales can only take a snake in his hands or killing her.

Coloring of abdominal plates

How to distinguish a snake from a viper in combat conditions? First of all, you should pay attention to the color of the ventral plates. Virtually all vipers are dark gray or black. In this case, the scutes have yellowish spots, they can be separate or merging, their shape also varies. In snares the belly can be divided into three parts. The top is light, the middle is colored, but the lower part gradually darkens and turns black. The only exception is water perch, which has whitish spots on the plates. Melanists have a normal color.

The presence of poisonous teeth

If it is possible to examine a snake from close up, take it in hand, then you can determine for sure whether it is poisonous or not. To do this, press on the sides of the jaws and pull the skin off the neck from the head. Thus, the mouth will open. Absolutely different arrangement of teeth have already a viper. Comparison can only be made close to and it must be done with extreme caution, because even a dead snake for a long time maintains poison. If you inadvertently inject her tooth, then you can get poisoned. Poisonous fangs are located in front, when the viper opens its mouth, they immediately turn, as if on hinges. The snakes have no poisonous teeth at all.

Already ordinary - the most common snake in Europe

It is the most common creeping in Central and Southern Europe. The common viper and the common viper have a great similarity, which is why people often confuse them. You can distinguish them by the size of the body, as well as bright spots on the sides of the body. The length of the viper is about 80 cm, in rare cases 1 m. Females weigh about 0.5 kg, and males weigh up to 0.2 kg. Common vipers have a black color, on their upper lip they have white or pink specks. There may be an orange zigzag on the back, but it may not be.

An ordinary grass snake has orange, white or yellow spots bordered by dark stripes on the sides of the head. In some individuals, they may be absent or mild. The belly is dark with black spots, the color of the body is dark. The specks on the head resemble ears, but the non-poisonous snake is different from the poisonous ones. Already an ordinary grows up to 1.5 m. It occurs mainly near the marshes, in the thickets of forests. Sometimes the snake settles close to people, it can be found in the trash, in barns, in a pile of leaves.

How not to confuse the water with the viper?

This snake lives in the southern regions, because it is very thermophilic. She loves to swim, dive, and she is suitable for both fresh and salt water. It feeds on water fish, frogs, small birds, shrimps. From the heat, he hides under water, sleeps on the ground in dry grass, under stones or in the holes of small rodents. Overwinters in dense bushes or crevasses. Already and the viper there are practically no differences in color, because the color of the two representatives of the family is very different. You can distinguish them only by drawing.

Watery can have an olive-grayish, olive, brown, greenish color. Its main difference is the dark spots on the back, arranged in a checkerboard pattern. Such a pattern is often confused by people with zigzags of the viper, but on closer examination it becomes clear that these are spots, not triangles. The belly of the water snake is reddish or yellowish with black spots. Sometimes there are completely black specimens, it is incredibly difficult to distinguish them from the viper.

Is it brutal poisonous?

This snake prefers to settle in wet areas, near water bodies, in meadows, in thickets of forests, but sometimes it is even found in cities. How to distinguish a snake from a viper? Of course, in color and shape of the body. The tiger snake has a dark olive or dark green back with black spots or transverse stripes that taper closer to the tail. There may be dark triangular spots on the neck or a black collar. His eyes are big, his upper lip is yellow.

What really differs from an adder is that it is safe for humans, although this statement is controversial. The tiger snake is considered to be conditionally poisonous, the cause of which is the mandibular teeth in the depths of the mouth. If you already bit a person with short front teeth, then you should not worry, the wound will heal without a trace. А если змея широко раскрыла рот и захватила тело заднечелюстными зубами, при этом выпустив в рану много секрета верхнегубных желез и слюны, то стоит побеспокоиться о своем здоровье. Дело в том, что укус тигрового ужа может спровоцировать сильное отравление.

Чем питаются ужи и гадюки?

Змеи отлично плавают, поэтому могут находить пищу не только на суше, но и в воде. Различия между ужом и гадюкой в рационе практически незаметны. Они могут лакомиться мелкими пернатыми, лягушками, грызунами, ящерицами. But only snakes can eat fish, because vipers are not ichthyophages.

What to do if the viper bit?

Not everyone is able to quickly determine whether a poisonous or non-poisonous snake met on the way, and in some cases, the creeping creature already bites, and then you only notice it. If there is even the slightest idea of ​​how to distinguish between a snake and a viper, then it is necessary to carefully examine the attacker and make a decision whether he is threatened with health and life or not. Usually the snake does not seek to bite a person, accidents occur when people accidentally get into its nesting place or step on it. Viper hissing should not be regarded as an attempt to attack. Thus, she warns about her presence and offers to leave healthy and unharmed.

If you still can not avoid the bite, you should try in any way to reduce the amount of poison that has entered the wound. If possible, you can suck it out, if you can not cope on your own, and no one is around, then you need to take a glass or other container and try to push the toxic substance out. Within an hour, it is imperative to reach the medical center in order to introduce an antidote. If it is impossible to come to the hospital, then you need to prepare for edema of the limb, and after the whole body, severe pain. To avoid an allergic reaction, it is worth drinking the tablet "Suprastin."

It is very important not to move. It is recommended to lie down horizontally and slightly raise your legs. So it will be easier for the body to fight poison. Alcohol is contraindicated, in this case, you need only a rich sweet drink. At home, a person needs to lie down for several days, until the swelling subsides. In the hospital the patient is placed in a hospital for a week, put droppers.

From the bite of the adder, only 1% of the bitten die. But it should be remembered that the poison is hardest tolerated by people with weakened immunity, as well as young children. Also bad will have to those who are bitten by a viper by the neck. In these cases, you can not sit at home with folded arms, you must immediately visit a medical facility. The introduction of the antidote, the observance of bed rest, abundant drinking - all this will quickly put the patient on his feet. It is important to know how to distinguish between grasshopper and viper in order to take action in time.

Snake bites give the body a big shake, oddly enough, but in the future it has a positive effect on human health. If the viper attacks again, then its poison will not have such an effect on the body. Over the course of their lives, professional snake catchers receive more than a hundred bites, while they are alive and well. Therefore, you should not be afraid of vipers in panic, but all the same precautions must be observed. If the snake is seen from afar, then you should not show excessive curiosity and approach it. Sometimes it happens that the viper lies on the path, closing the passage. In this case, you need to take a long stick, move it in front of the snake and it will crawl away.


The habitat is the same for both snakes, it is:

  • deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests,
  • overgrown shrubs
  • swamps
  • surroundings and wet meadows,
  • mountains and wooded hills.

That is, such areas where it is easy to hide and hide, to breed and hunt. The viper is also similar in that it is found not only far from human settlements, but also nearby with human habitation. For example, in the country gardens. In search of heat can get into a village house or farm building. Both snakes can move equally well in the water and on land, climbing the trees perfectly.

Viper and perishing - similarities and differences in appearance and physical abilities

What a viper looks like, and how they are similar, and what obvious differences are immediately apparent - presented in the photos. Knowing about them, the snake will easily distinguish from each other even an amateur and will not allow contact with a venomous reptile.

Already - nimble snake with swift movements, swims well. The length of the body of an adult individual is 1-2 m, more than one fifth of the length is the tail of a snake, which, with an amplitude, allows it to move faster. The body of this reptile is thin, elegant, the head is oval. On the head from two sides in the region of the auditory ossicles attached to the jaw are yellow or bright orange spots. The eyes of the Uzh are round, which is characteristic of non-poisonous reptiles. In addition, the color of the iris is the same as the main color of the snake.

The belly of the grass snake is light gray, sometimes with dark stripes running along the body. The color of the back depends on the subspecies of the reptile, it can be gray, brown, dark green, but always with a “chess” pattern, which can be almost invisible, and can be pronounced.

What distinguishes the adder from the snake is fundamentally - this is less mobility, although it also swims quite quickly in the water. The length of the snake is up to 80 cm, the constitution is dense, the length of the tail is approximately one eighth of the length of the body. The head is pointed - almost triangular in shape, on the face there are crossed dark stripes running from the eyes to the corners of the mouth. The eyes are similar to the slits, with vertical "cat" pupils. Well visible two front teeth.

The color and backs and belly of vipers are the same - the snake is completely gray, brown, green or black. A skin pattern that covers the whole body, the characteristic - zigzag. But there are also species with a single-colored color without a pattern - just dark gray or black.

About water snakes

The hardest thing to distinguish between water snake and viper. Erroneously, these snakes are considered a hybrid of grasshopper and viper. In fact, water snakes, common in the Russian south, are not dangerous for humans, they are not poisonous. They love to swim in the salty sea, and in fresh river water.

Color of water snakes - olive, olive-greyish, brown or marsh-green. A snake of this species can be distinguished by oval (and not triangular, like a viper) stains on the back, staggered (for vipers, the pattern is always zigzagged). The skin on the abdomen of the water snake is reddish or yellowish with black specks.

But completely black copies of snakes to distinguish from the vipers to the inhabitant (the usual southern tourist) is really incredibly difficult.

Viper and perishing - differences in the way of food and food

In principle, the adder eats the same thing:

  • frogs
  • lizards,
  • small birds,
  • bird eggs.

But hunt and eat - in different ways.

Already attacking the victim suddenly, as it is characterized by leaping and swiftness. Swallows prey completely and slowly - it takes up to several hours to draw a caught animal into the esophagus. Snakes may not eat at all for more than 2 weeks, which does not affect their physical activity and dexterity. The fact is that these reptiles quickly gain weight - they have an adequate supply of subcutaneous fat, which makes it easy to endure even long winter hibernation.

The viper is prey for long and patiently watching. Then it attacks, stings, waits for the moment when the victim weakens from the poisonous bite and only then starts the meal. Her own poison, which has come to her with the blood of the victim, does not cause any harm to the viper itself, since the snake’s stomachic juice tends to neutralize it.

Despite the venomousness of vipers, other animals eat them in the wild. They are food for foxes, hedgehogs, martens and badgers. The heron, the stork, the kite hunt from the birds for vipers - these birds eat both the snakes themselves and their eggs.

Breeding method and offspring

In this, too, the viper is similar, although the latter is the egg-bearing reptile. The mating period in both reptiles begins in the spring, when they come out hibernating. Eggs are both laid in the course of June, pre-arranging reliable nests in secluded places. In the female, 8-28 young serpents hatch, in the female viper - 8-20 babies.

The benefits and harm of snakes and vipers for humans

Snakes exterminate the field and garden rodents. In content in captivity - unpretentious care and undemanding of food. Sensing danger, do not attack a person, but try to escape. If you cannot disappear from the person’s field of view, they take a defensive posture, hiss and make short lunges in the direction of the threatening object. If the danger has not disappeared, release a sharply smelling enzyme to scare off the enemy.

The Viper is dangerous with poisonous bites, but when frightened, it will not rush at the first person if it did not intend to attack. When threatened, this snake coils, pulls out the neck and makes a hiss, opening its mouth wide and turning its jaw - its fangs are visible. Almost always a viper bite takes the life of a medium-sized animal. For a person, in most cases, the bite does not end with death. On the basis of poison vipers make medicines and apply it in traditional medicine.

So, the main differences - as a brief reminder to tourists:

  • non-poisonous snake eyes are always round,
  • the pattern on the skin on the skin is oval-colored; the viper has triangular spots arranged in a zigzag pattern,
  • the head of the ear in the area of ​​the ears is decorated with bright spots, the viper has two poisonous teeth.

But in size and color snakes can be confused with each other. Most importantly, if it is not clear who exactly is in front of you - too, or a viper, remain calm, making it clear to reptiles that they are set up peacefully and will not cause harm. Then the snake calmly crawls away. We hope now you will be able to distinguish the grass from the viper at the meeting, good luck!

The features of the snakes

Snake does not carry a man of danger, which can not be said about the viper. It is important to be able to distinguish these snakes. The latter is a poisonous reptile, which is quite a lot on the territory of our country.

Project "Encyclopedia of Differences":

Already reaches medium size. Large oblong head distinctly delimited in relation to the neck. The length of the snakes is 0.8-1 meters, but there are also representatives of a length of 1.5-2 meters

Allocate the following features:

  • There are two spots near the head, which may be yellow or orange.
  • Their head is distinguished by an oblong shape with round pupils,
  • On the surface of their skin contains a pattern represented by multiple triangles,
  • They are mostly active during the daytime,
  • They may have a gray, brown or black color,
  • Their average length reaches 100 cm, but there is a larger one,

Distinctive features of the viper

Project "Encyclopedia of Differences":

The adder is the most common of venomous snakes in the territory of central Russia. The common viper is a small snake, reaching a length of about 75 cm, but sometimes there are adders up to 1 m long. The head is round-triangular, clearly separated from the neck, there are three large scutes on the top of the head

There are the following signs of the viper:

  • The adder pattern is executed by multiple zigzags,
  • The Viper is distinguished by a large number of colors - brown, blue, gray or black,
  • Closer to the tail, the color changes to yellow,
  • She has two large teeth, filled with poison,
  • A venomous snake has a triangular head, and the pupils are vertical,
  • It is active mostly at night,
  • Its average length is 70-75 cm,
  • She has no round specks near her head, but she may have a strip along the entire length of her back.

Note! Viper predominantly inhabits forests. She prefers to hide behind the stones. Therefore, you should not lift stones if you are in an unfamiliar place.

First aid for bites

The viper has a poisonous bite.. If a person is bitten by a viper, he has shortness of breath, nausea, headaches and weakness. At the next stage, anemia, increased blood clotting and shock can occur. If there are no wounds in the mouth, it is necessary to free the wound from the poison by suction and spitting. The procedure is carried out for 10 minutes. Then it is important to rinse your mouth with water, and as soon as possible you should consult a doctor.