Common Viper


As a symbol of wisdom in the legends and tales of various cultures, the snake traditionally personifies as a sophisticated mind and excellent insight, and quickness of reaction with great destructive power. The way of life and habits of the most common poisonous snake in central Russia, the common viper, confirms the image of this reptile.

Viper common: what is it?

Acquaintance to this absolutely unusual snake we will begin with its description. What does a viper look like? It is reptile, reaching a length of 0.7-1 m. The males are usually smaller than the females. The head of the viper is quite elegant, rounded triangular with clearly defined shields - two parietal and one frontal. The nasal opening is located in the center of the front shield. The pupil is vertical. Teeth - movable tubular, located in front of the upper jaw. A clear distinction between head and neck adds grace to this graceful and dangerous creature.

Snake coloring

Nature has not stinted on the colors, painting the viper. A multitude of shades of snake color amaze: the gray or sandy-brown back in almost every individual is speckled with fancy patterns of various tones - from light blue, greenish, pink and lilac to terracotta, ashy and dark brown. It is impossible to determine the dominant color, as there are as many color options for the viper as there are individuals. But a distinctive feature of this type is a zigzag or flat strip, stretching along the entire back. It is usually darker, but there are exceptions. Sometimes there are snakes with a light stripe.
on a dark background. One way or another, but this element is a kind of calling card of an animal, warning of its belonging to a very dangerous species - the common viper.

There is an interesting pattern: males are violet, gray or bluish-blue cold coloration. Females, on the contrary, are much brighterly decorated, in their arsenal there are red, yellow, greenish-brown and delicate sand tones. True, both men and women can wear black. Moreover, they can be exactly the same color, without any identifying stripes. However, it is still possible to distinguish them by looking closely: the males have small white specks on the upper lip, and the bottom of the tail is also clarified. In females - red, pink and white specks on the lips and throat, and the lower part of the tail is bright yellow.

The variety of colors of snakes is striking, and it is all the more surprising that the young adolescents are born completely brown-brown with a terracotta zigzag on the back, and the change in skin begins not earlier than after 5-7 molts, i.e. almost year after birth.

Snakes and vipers: similarities

Scientific studies of past years show that the main difference between these two species is the habitat. Snakes have always lived next to a person, without fear of such a neighborhood. Vipers never sought to communicate with people. Moreover, if people settled near the habitats of snakes, the outcome for these animals was logical. Currently, due to changes in natural conditions and man-made disasters, much has changed. For example, massive fires expel vipers from their usual places. The occurrence of snakes in garden associations in the vicinity of burnt forests has increased significantly. Of course, one cannot explain the appearance of reptiles in crowded places by the change of the serpentine worldview. Often they simply have nowhere to go, and the differences between snakes and vipers become similarities imposed by circumstances.

Snakes and vipers: the differences

There are external differences between these species. The most important is the presence of orange-yellow spots on the sides of the head. The coloring is also different - the snakes have no zigzag pattern on the back. His body is more stretched from head to tail, by the way, rather long. In the viper, the tail is short, sharply tapering.

They differ in the shape of the head and eye pupils. The head of the viper is covered with small shields, they are large in the grass snake. The viper's pupils are vertical, characteristic of the nocturnal reptile. Already - a lover of day vigils, and his pupils are round. A person who knows what a viper looks like will not be difficult to distinguish these animals.

Snake lifestyle

Leading mostly nocturnal, snakes can be active during the day. They can calmly bask in the sun, having chosen the stones, large bumps, even glades. Night is the time of the hunt. Gray Viper (common) - a great hunter. The quick response, accuracy and surprise of the attack leave no chance for mice and frogs in her field of vision.

These reptiles mate between mid-May and early June. Who are ovoviviparous, vipers bear offspring until mid-late August. Cubs are born already poisonous little snakes up to 15-18 cm long.

Behavior and habits

Immediately after birth, babies get rid of the egg shell and crawl away. The growth of young vipers is accompanied by constant molting. Having made the transition to independent living, they feed on various insects, and as they grow older they begin to hunt small birds, field mice, lizards, toads, and frogs. In turn, the youngsters become victims of large birds of prey and animals. But after 2-3 years, the young look the same as the adder, that is, quite an adult.

Winter snakes spend in the soil, burrowing to a depth below the freezing layer. They climb into the holes of moles and voles, grooves from the roots of trees, deep crevices of rocks and other suitable shelters. Often there are clusters of small groups in one place. So they wait out the cold. Rather severe winters cause snakes in snakes, which lasts up to six months. The life of the vipers is about 10-15 years.

Steppe viper

The steppe viper that inhabits southern Europe is a resident of lowland and mountainous steppes and is found in Greece, Italy, France and many other European countries, as well as in Altai, Kazakhstan and the Caucasus. This amazing snake can climb mountains to a height of up to 2.5 thousand meters above sea level. What does a steppe viper look like?

It is a large snake with a length of up to 0.7 m. It is distinguished by a slightly elongated head and somewhat raised edges of the muzzle. The back of the viper is painted in brownish-gray tones, with a light transition to the middle, decorated with a black or brown zigzag strip along the ridge, sometimes divided into spots. The sides of the body are decorated with a series of vague dark spots, and the upper part of the head is decorated with a black pattern. The abdomen is gray, with bright patches. The maximum density of the adder is observed on the steppe plains (up to 6-7 individuals per hectare).


The most active viper from the end of March - the beginning of April and until October. Mating time is April-May. The term of the offspring is 3-4 months. The female lays from 4 to 24 eggs, of which in July-August babies appear 10-12 cm long and weighing 3.5 g each. Having reached a body length of 28-30 cm (as a rule, three years after birth), the young become sexually mature. Slow on land, the snake is an excellent swimmer, can climb the low bushes and trees with amazing speed. Being a magnificent hunter, the steppe viper tracks down birds, mice, does not hesitate to lizards, grasshoppers and locusts.

In the recent past, the steppe viper was used to obtain snake venom, but the barbaric extermination resulted in a sharp reduction in its numbers, which stopped this fishery. Today, in all European countries, this species is endangered, protected by the Bern Convention.

Marsh viper

Russell's Viper, chain or marsh viper is considered the most dangerous of the whole family. This species is found in large areas of Central and South-East Asia. The average length of this snake is 1.2 m, but occasionally there are individuals whose size exceeds the mark of one and a half meters.

The head has a slightly flattened triangular shape. Big eyes are speckled with golden streaks. Large fangs reaching 1.6 cm are a serious threat and a magnificent reptile protection. The back is rough, covered with scales, the belly is smooth.

Gray-brown or dirty-yellow tones predominate in the body color of the swamp viper. The back and sides are decorated with lush dark brown spots, surrounded by a black ring with a bright yellow or white outer rim. On the back can be located up to 25-30 such elements, increasing with the growth of the snake. The number of spots on the sides may vary, sometimes they merge into a solid line. On the head from the sides there are also dark divorces in the shape of the letter V.

Behavior, nutrition and reproduction of marsh vipers

Russell's viper vipers mate early in the year. Duration
procreation of offspring is 6.5 months. The appearance of cubs, as a rule, occurs in June-July. In one litter, there are up to 40 and more reptile babies with a body length of 2 to 2.6 cm. Immediately after birth, the first molt is performed. Puberty pups reach two to three years of age.

Being the most venomous snake living in the Asian region, the chain viper is a dangerous night predator. She crawls out to hunt as soon as the sun disappears over the horizon. The diet of the marsh viper does not differ from the menu of other members of the class and consists of rodents, frogs, birds, scorpions and lizards. For people, this snake is deadly.

Snake encounters

As already mentioned, the viper is a poisonous snake. It is necessary to remember this, going to the forest. True, a meeting with a person never enters the plans of this creature, as a rule, it tries to hide as soon as it hears a threatening noise. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to avoid unforeseen contacts during walks in the woods, picking up mushrooms and berries, in swamps, during garden work.

Sensing a threat, the viper actively defends itself: hiss, threateningly rushes forward and makes dangerous throws-bites. Remember: when meeting with a snake it is strictly forbidden to make sudden movements, so as not to provoke the attack of the reptile!

In order to avoid such an unpleasant encounter, extreme caution must be exercised when walking through forest areas where the adder can live. Photos of this representative of the animal world need to carefully examine each person.

Visiting places of possible meetings with these reptiles, you must have the appropriate equipment. High rubber boots worn on wool socks, thick trousers tucked into shoes protect from snake bites. It is good to have a long stick with you, which will help you to look for mushrooms and scare the snake. Most likely, it will crawl away. Not superfluous will be tapping with a stick when moving along the trail. Vipers are hearing impaired, but are able to perceive the slightest vibration of the soil. Only a soft peat cover or fresh arable land do not allow a snake to recognize in time a person’s approach. As a rule, snake bites are not an expression of aggression, but rather a reaction to unexpected or frightening anxiety.

Probably, folk tales and legends, telling of such an amazing creature as a viper (description of some species is presented in the article) are absolutely right: natural wisdom and endurance help these reptiles survive.

Appearance viper

The viper looks like a small snake against the background of its relatives: indeed, on average, this species of snake grows no more than seventy centimeters. The Viper is the largest on the Scandinavian Peninsula - there their length reaches one meter. By the way, female vipers are most often more males.

The head of the viper is quite large and flat. A special part of the body called cervical interception separates the head from the viper's long body. The pupils of this snake are vertical, on its body there are a lot of scutes and scales, giving the viper a truly awesome look.

The viper can be rich black, or have a small light ornament on the back.

In the world you can find black, brown, brownish or gray snakes with a zigzag pattern. But not all vipers have stripes on their backs. In some areas, you can see melanist vipers - snakes with a body completely painted black.

Viper's habitat

The main danger of the viper is that it is quite realistic to meet it in a mixed forest or near a river. In Russia, the adder lives in the European part, and in Siberia, and in the Far East. This snake lives even in the mountains, at an altitude of about three kilometers above sea level.

Vipers climb trees beautifully, ravaging bird nests.

The vipers are settled in their habitats rather unevenly: in some areas their number reaches one hundred individuals per hectare! True, it happens very rarely. In May, the vipers wake up from hibernation and crawl out of the winter shelter. It is then that you can suffer from their bites.

I wonder what the viper eats?

Obviously, the poison viper uses to kill prey. Who is she able to kill? Small rodents, or rather voles and spindles. Vipers, being reptiles, eat, as a matter of fact, their relatives - small lizards and frogs. Small chicks chiffs and buntings that have fallen out of the nest, is a frequent prey of this species of snake.
Young vipers eat differently. It is difficult to call them prey and prey — they are small bugs, caterpillars, ants. However, not yet grown snakes are quite capable of feeding on even small insects.

Mating games vipers

Viper features

A characteristic feature of vipers is a zigzag pattern on the back of a lighter (or contrasting) color. However, sometimes vipers do not have this distinctive pattern. This can be when melanism is observed in a snake - the color of the whole body is black. In this case, the viper can be confused with some other snake.

But with a snake it is difficult to confuse the viper: the latter will be “given out” by the absence of yellow stripes on the head and a short body length (snakes can grow up to two meters, unlike the viper).

The Viper was immortalized even depicted on a postage stamp of the former USSR

Enemies viper in nature

Despite the fact that the viper is poisonous and crawls quickly enough, and it has natural enemies with which it cannot cope. These include hedgehogs, foxes, badgers, ferrets, etc. Oddly enough, the venom of the viper, which acts on humans, has virtually no effect on these animals.

Viper has other dangerous enemies. These are birds. They are able to "attack" the adder from the air. The most dangerous birds for this species are serpent eagles, as well as owls and storks.

Viper - good or harm to humans?

Everyone knows that the viper is a very dangerous snake because it is poisonous. But not everyone knows that the viper will never bite just like that: it always defends itself, and does not attack, acting on the principle “The best defense is an attack”. In fact, the viper bite rarely leads to death, and the effects of the bite - a small tumor and painful sensations - disappear themselves after a few days. However, do not neglect the safety regulations.

You should not think that the viper is necessarily harm for the person. Her poison can be of great benefit if used in small quantities. For this reason, viper venom is an indispensable raw material for medicine. In addition, the adder is a fighter of mice and mouse-like rodents. So you should take care of the vipers and not enter their territory, and then the snake will not only touch the person, but also be able to help the medicine in the future.

Viper in an awesome cast


As the preferred habitat, the adder appreciates those habitats that are characterized by intense temperature fluctuations between day and night. They also appreciate the high level of humidity. The snake prefers bushes or small depressions under the stones, which, although they heat up, but at the same time provide high-quality protection against excessive temperatures. Humus, peat or dry grass are also ideal habitats in which the reptile feels at home.

Natural enemies

Some birds of prey and mammals act as natural enemies. Larger snakes are also among the predators for the adder. Cannibalism for snakes is no wonder, given the fact that the adder itself eats young species of other snakes. Here are the main predators that pose a serious danger to this species.

In the event of an attack on a reptile, it hides under stones or hides in dense vegetation. If you drive her into a corner, she will respond with hissing and rushing at the enemy, biting him and squirting her poison (not always).

Poison Viper ordinary

It belongs to poisonous snakes and creates endogenous poison, which kills prey, and also exposes it to pretreatment. During a dangerous situation, poison is also used to protect, but usually the snake bites attackers without injecting poison. For example, for large opponents, such as fox or boar, the poison is practically harmless.

Когда она кусает человека, то можно наблюдать аналогичные симптомы как при укусе осы. На месте укуса образуется отек, покраснение. Дальше появляются тошнота и рвота. В дальнейшем это может привести к одышке, легким кровотечениям и судорогам. Тем не менее, существует масса случаев, когда человек не чувствовал ничего после ее укуса.

Чтобы защитить себя, рекомендуется носить прочные ботинки и длинные, плотно сплетенные брюки в тех местах, где возможно наличие этих пресмыкающихся. Ни при каких обстоятельствах не пытайтесь прикоснуться к ней, чтобы не спровоцировать защитную реакцию.

Если все же она укусила, нужно сохранять спокойствие. Since many snakes that do not have venom also tend to bite, the definition of a snake is of paramount importance. If this fails, it is recommended to immediately consult a doctor. In no case can one resort to well-known household methods, such as burning, sucking or kolupanie bite.

In addition, alcohol disinfection is not recommended, because the blood is liquid and the poison spreads to the whole body in a matter of seconds. With extremely severe bites and allergic reactions, doctors will give an antidote. However, in order to cause serious harm to an adult, it is necessary that an adult individual 7 times (corresponding to 75 mg of poison) bite it.

In principle, it can be said that the fear of snake bites of this species is unfounded: even with minor shocks, animals tend to retreat on their own. Care must be taken when collecting mushrooms and / or berries, because at this time the person carries a weapon that the snake can rate as a threat.

Snake fangs remind us of injection needles that are used for medical purposes. To bite the teeth straighten. When she does not need her teeth, they disappear into the folds of the oral mucosa.

Why is the snake on the verge of extinction in Europe?

In Russia, the conditions for survival are more favorable for this species. But in Europe, not everything is so smooth. In many European countries, it is in the red list. In some states, the viper is considered endangered, in others it is considered an endangered species.

The main reason for their extinction is the "circumcision" of the habitat. While people are expanding their environment, snake-like habitat is constantly shrinking. Open spaces and forests are disappearing in favor of industry, roads and cities. Even in existing forest areas, preferred reptile breeding sites are steadily declining, for example, by cutting down forests. Thus, there is a constant reduction in the habitat of the vipers. For this reason, man is the main enemy of the viper.

Other issues of extinction

But not only the destruction of the natural habitat, but also the pure human malice are partially responsible for the gradual disappearance of this species. Many people still believe that it is perfectly normal to kill both vipers and other snakes for fun.

Wild boars also often seek food under the branches, where they encounter snakes and kill them.

In addition, they serve larger animals, such as birds of prey and mammals, as a natural source of food. Sometimes, even domestic cats become a real danger to snakes.

Another problem is the fragmentation of forests due to the construction and highways that surround the remaining habitats and thus provide genetic impoverishment.

What is being done to protect them?

This species is under strong protection throughout the European Union. It is forbidden to catch or kill them. Any nurseries in which there are snakes and offspring must prove that the offspring were raised in captivity, and not taken from their natural habitat.

There are also special development measures for biotopes in numerous forests that are designed specifically for this species. Solar areas are created in the forests, which are used as a mating site and for the ignition of reptiles, which in turn significantly increases their fertility. Nevertheless, even such serious activities are not enough to ensure the survival of the species on an ongoing basis.

If you are too lazy to read, just watch the video.

The common viper belongs to the family of viper snakes. This reptile is the most common venomous snake in Central Europe. Fortunately she is peaceful enough

Family - Viper snakes

Rod / Species - Vipera berus. Common viper

Length: females - up to 80 cm, males - up to 60 cm, newborn babies -16 cm.

Puberty: with 3-4 years.

Marriage period: April May.

Number of cubs: 5-20.

Habits: common vipers (see photo) with the exception of the winter and mating season are kept alone.

What feeds on: small rodents, lizards, frogs and chicks.

In Europe, such species of viper snakes live: steppe viper V. ursini, aspis viper V. aspis, snub-nosed viper V. latasti, Armenian viper V. xanthina, V. lebentina viper and nose snake V. аmmodytes.

The common viper belongs to the family of viper snakes and inhabits most of Europe. She easily adapts to various conditions. The adder lives in sand dunes and mountainous areas, on elevations and in forests. It can also survive in wet and cold climates.


The common viper spends its whole life in a fairly small area. She knows her own plot very well and can easily find prey on it. Near reservoirs, the viper catches frogs, lizards and water rats. However, its main prey are mice, shrews and other small rodents. With the help of a sensitive sense of smell and reacting to fluctuations in the air, the snake is looking for prey on the ground. She also hunts birds whose nests are located on the ground. The victim, approaching at a convenient distance to attack, the viper lightning-fast attacks and injects poison into it. Often, the victim manages to escape, but the snake catches up with her, because after a few minutes the poison begins to act.

Viper swallows prey entirely, starting with the head. Vipers hunt for lizards, among which more often live-bearing and spindle. Young individuals feed on insects.


Lifestyle viper depends on the time of year. In spring and autumn, the reptile gladly basks in the sun, and in the summer from morning to evening remains in the shade. Prefers wooded expanses, mainly mixed forests. In the mountains, the viper also inhabits the shrubs of coniferous trees.

The Viper is a night animal. During the day, she rests in various shelters. High in the mountains often hunts during the day. The common viper is not very dangerous, it attacks only if the person steps on it or inadvertently grabs it. At the beginning of winter, the snakes hibernate. They spend the winter under stones, ledges of rocks or in the burrows of small mammals. When the air temperature drops, the snake buries even deeper to hide from the cold. Often several snakes together share one shelter.


During the mating season, males seek the favor of females and fight for the right to mate. The two males stand opposite each other, lifting the front of the body, then spin around and kick until one of them manages to press the opponent to the ground. The winner is trying to interest the female and get her attention. Fertilized eggs surrounded by a leathery membrane in the body of the female develop about 3 months. Shortly before the birth of the cubs, the eggs gnaw through the egg's membrane even in the mother's body. Newborn vipers in the amount of 5-20 individuals look like miniature copies of their parents, their length is 9-16 cm. The mass birth of the vipers occurs in August.

From the first minute of their birth, they are completely independent, and yet they remain with their mother for several months. Cubs feed on worms and insects. In the northern and central parts of the range, females produce offspring in a year. By winter, young vipers, along with adults, hide in rotting stumps or under the roots of trees.


Vipers are found from March to October. In the spring and autumn you can observe how they take sun baths. In areas where the vipers are found, earlier, for warning, signs with an inscription stating that in no case can one take snakes in hands were hung out. Viper bite causes death only in exceptional cases, but always causes vomiting and diarrhea. Small children and people whose body is weakened are most at risk if they get bitten. Especially dangerous is a bite in the head and blood vessels located close to the skin surface. The common viper is peace-loving and non-aggressive. Seeing that she is being watched, she is always in a hurry to hide or, lying quietly, lies quietly.


The viper is a medium-sized snake, its length is 60-80 cm. It lives in forests among dense thickets. She hunts at night, sleeps in a cache during the day or basks in a quiet place. In the winter hiding in the holes of rodents, under the stumps, snags. It feeds on small rodents, frogs. Young vipers are born at the end of summer - 5-14 (sometimes 18) 10-15 cm long. Toddlers and adult snakes have poisonous teeth, their bite is dangerous (sometimes there are even deaths). But the viper never attacks a person without a reason; on the contrary, it avoids meeting it as much as it can. Cases of bites occur solely due to the negligence of the person. Therefore, one cannot walk barefoot in the forest, when searching for mushrooms, one should agitate the forest floor with a stick - then there will be no trouble from these reptiles. Snakes are useful because they destroy many rodents, their poison is used in medicine. Dried venom venom retains its quality for at least 25 years.


  • The Viper can inflate the chest. So, basking in the sun, it increases the surface of its body.
  • Place for wintering vipers are among the roots of trees. From year to year they use the same shelters.
  • In the north, the viper's winter shelter is located underground at a depth of 2 m.


Cubs: 5-20 babies are born, covered with thin skin, which they soon lose.

Female: somewhat larger than the male, the band on her brown body is slightly lighter.

Eyes: vertical pupil notices any horizontal movement.

Male: on its gray, brown or red-brown body there is a dark zigzag strip.

Ears: missing inner ear and eardrum. Snakes are deaf and catch only the vibrations of the air.

- habitat common viper

These snakes are not in Iceland, Ireland and most of southern Europe. Distributed in Central and Northern Europe, up to the Arctic and the Far East.


In connection with the reduction of the natural habitat of the common viper is threatened with extinction. The hedgehog is its natural enemy, it is insensitive to the venom of the viper.

The snake is poisonous. Viper, snake's reaction to movement. Full HD 1080p. Video (00:01:16)

When attacking, the snake coagulates and retracts the neck into the middle of the flat circle that forms, so that with each bite you quickly push it 15, at most 30 cm. Retracting the neck is always a sign that the viper wants to bite, immediately after the bite it again quickly retracts the neck preparing for the next attack. When the viper is angry, it is so strongly inflated that even the thinnest one seems fat. Emphasis when attacking a viper makes primarily lightning, but not accuracy. When attacking, she often misses, but immediately makes the next attempt until she succeeds. You need to be careful, as the viper never attacks silently.

How not to mix a snake with a viper? What if you were bitten by a viper. Video (00:03:41)

What is different from the adder, the difference from the adder snake. How to distinguish between a snake and a viper, the difference between a viper and a snake. How not to confuse the snake with a viper, bite viper help. Oh and viper differences and similarities. Viper and Uzh Similarities and differences. WHAT TO DO WITH THE BITE OF A POISONED SERPENT. WHAT WILL BE IF THE BITTER BITTERS
The best prevention from a bite is the lack of contact with the viper, so you shouldn’t find out whether a poisonous snake or not, first of all you need to distance yourself.
Eyes of a viper are bad, dullly see no more than two meters. Despite the fact that the snake is deaf, it perfectly feels the vibrations of the soil with its whole body, thereby feeling the approach of a person.
Snakes love nooks moss, stumps, etc. Already and the viper are not aggressive, and they attack only when they feel danger, in most cases they are ready to escape from the conflict. Snakes are cold-blooded, the sun's rays are an important part of their digestion, pay attention to this in order to avoid undesirable encounters when they warm up in open areas.

Viper common. Video (00:01:09)

The common viper (Vipera berus) is a snake of the viper family (Viperidae). The body length can reach 70 cm. In addition to Russia, it is distributed almost throughout Europe and in North-East China. Keeps on swamps, forest glades, along the banks of rivers. Winters in underground burrows. It feeds mainly on mouse-like rodents and frogs, and young snakes on insects. It is poisonous, but deaths are extremely rare.

Viper - photo and description. Characteristic and structure of the snake.

Most vipers are distinguished by a short, thickened body. The maximum length of the viper’s body can reach 3–4 meters (in the case of the bushmeister it is Latin. Lachesis muta) The length of the smallest snakes does not exceed 30 cm. The weight of the great viper is about 15-17 kg.

For all species of vipers, the flattened rounded-triangular shape of the skull with markedly prominent temporal protrusions and a blunt snout is characteristic. In individual species at the tip of the muzzle, between the nostrils, grow single or paired formations - modified scales. Some species of the viper family have similar protrusions above their eyes, thanks to which the vipers look horned.

The eyes of the viper are small, with vertical pupils that can narrow or expand, filling the entire eye. Thanks to this feature, the viper can be seen both day and night. A scaly roller is located above the eyes, in some species it is especially developed, which gives the snake a serious and vicious look.

The color of the viper's skin can be varied and consist of intricate designs and patterns. But the colors of the viper in any case depends on the habitat and is a good disguise against the background of the surrounding landscape.

The coloring of the common viper consists of light brown and dark brown tones.

The rough wood viper has skin of green color and almost does not stand out against the background of green foliage of trees.

The sand hue skin of the horned viper is an excellent disguise for the snake that dwells in the sand.

All members of the Viper family have a pair of perfectly developed canines, hollow inside, adapted to release the poison that forms in the poisonous glands located behind the snake's upper jaw. The viper's teeth can reach 4 cm in length (as in a bushmeister, for example). Each canine grows on a mobile maxillary bone that can rotate back and forth, like on hinges. In the closed mouth, the viper's canines are in a folded position and are covered with a special film cloth.

During an attack or defense, the mouth of the snake opens at an angle of 180 degrees, the jaw rotates and the fangs bulge forward, and the left and right fang can rotate separately from each other. When the viper's jaws close on the victim's body, there is a sharp contraction of the powerful muscles surrounding the poisonous glands. Viper venom is released in a split second and looks more like a blow than a bite.

The average life span of a viper in nature is 15 years, although some vipers live up to 30 years.

The Viper attacks the frog, plunging its fangs into it.

What do vipers eat in nature?

The snake adder is a typical nocturnal predator. Of all the ways to get food, he prefers to attack an ambush victim. The bitten animal dies from the poison in a matter of minutes, and the viper swallows the prey entirely.

The basis of food for vipers is small rodents, insects, amphibians and birds. Vipers with pleasure eat forest lizards, grass and marsh frogs, voles, spindles and shrews, as well as eggs and chicks of sparrows, skates, buntings, warblers. Young vipers feed on bugs, locusts, and catch caterpillars, butterflies, worms, slugs and ants. Snakes from the genus of African vipers, due to the impressive size of the body (up to 1.8 m), in addition to the usual for all snakes diet attack hares, porcupines, tree monkeys, as well as the dwarf antelope.

Where do the vipers live?

The venomous snakes of the viper family perfectly adapted to their existence in any climatic conditions and landscapes. Vipers live in Europe, Russia, Asia, Africa, and North and South America. Vipers do not live only in Australia, New Zealand and other islands of Oceania.

Where and how do snake vipers winter?

Wintering vipers begins in October and November. For winter “apartments”, various burrows are chosen, going down to the ground to a depth of 2 m, where the positive air temperature remains. With a high population density, several hundreds of individuals often accumulate in one hole. The duration of wintering depends on the range: northern species of vipers hibernate for up to 9 months a year, inhabitants of temperate latitudes emerge to the surface in March-April and immediately begin reproduction.

Viper venom - snake bite effects and symptoms.

The poison of the viper is considered to be potentially dangerous to humans, and the bite of some members of the family of vipers can be fatal and fatal.

Nevertheless, the poison of the viper has found its application, because it is a valuable raw material for the manufacture of medicines and even cosmetics. Poison is a cocktail of proteins, lipids, peptides, amino acids, sugars and salts of inorganic origin. Препараты, полученные из яда гадюки, используют как болеутоляющее при невралгиях и ревматизме, при гипертонии и кожных заболеваниях, для снятия приступов астмы, при воспалительных процессах и кровотечениях.

В организм человека или животного яд гадюки поступает через лимфоузлы и мгновенно попадает в кровь. Последствия укуса гадюки проявляются жгучей болью, вокруг ранки образуется покраснение и отек, которые через 2-3 дня проходят без каких-либо серьезных последствий. При тяжелой интоксикации организма через 15-20 минут после укуса гадюки проявляются следующие симптомы: укушенный ощущает головокружение, тошноту, озноб, учащенное сердцебиение. При повышенной концентрации ядовитых веществ происходит обморок, судороги и кома.

Viper bite - first aid.

What to do if a viper bit:

  • First of all, immediately after the viper's bite, be sure to provide a bitten organ (usually limbs) with rest, fixing it with a similarity to a lanyard or, for example, simply tying a hand in a bent position with a scarf. Limit any active movement in order to avoid the rapid spread of the poison of the viper throughout the body.
  • Viper bite is dangerous and can be fatal to humans, so in any case, regardless of the severity of the victim's condition, you should call an ambulance!
  • Pressing your fingers on the site of the bite, try to slightly open the wound and suck the poison. This can be done by mouth, periodically spitting saliva, but the method is permissible only if the mucous membrane of the mouth does not have any damage in the form of cracks, scratches or sores. You can try to reduce the concentration of poison in the wound using a regular glass cup, using it on the principle of setting medical cans. Suction of the poison is carried out continuously for 15-20 minutes.
  • Then the place of the viper's bite should be disinfected by any available means: cologne, vodka, alcohol, iodine, and apply a clean, slightly pressing bandage.
  • If possible, it is advisable to take an antihistamine tablet to reduce the allergic reaction to the poison of the viper.
  • Take as much liquid as possible - weak tea, water, but refuse from coffee: this drink increases blood pressure and increases excitability.
  • In the event of a serious injury, as a first aid after a viper bite, a person is given artificial respiration and a prolonged heart massage.

Sometimes vipers are confused with representatives of the family of aperiform - snakes, runners and coppers, which often leads to the killing of innocent animals. It is possible to distinguish a poisonous snake from a harmless snake by a number of signs.

What is different too from the viper? The similarities and differences of snakes.

Already - this is a non-poisonous snake, the viper is poisonous and deadly to humans. The similarity between the snake and the viper is obvious: both snakes can have a similar color and can meet a person in the forest, in the meadow or near the water. And yet these reptiles have certain signs by which they can be distinguished:

  • The appearance of the grass snake and the black viper differs, despite the same skin color. An ordinary snake has 2 yellow or orange spots on the head, similar to miniature ears, and the viper has no such marks.

  • Focusing solely on the color of snakes is not worth it, since both snakes and vipers can be similar in color. For example, the color of a water snake may be olive, brown, or black, with various spots. In addition, the black water snake does not have yellow markings on its head, due to which it can be easily confused with a viper. The colors of the viper can also be olive, black or brown, with a variety of patches scattered throughout the body.

  • And yet, if you look at the spots, you can see the following difference between snakes: the snakes on the body are staggered, many of the vipers have a zigzag strip on the back that runs along the whole body, and there are also specks on the sides of the body.

  • Another difference between the snake and the viper is that the pupil of the viper is vertical, it is round at the snake.

  • In the viper's mouth are sharp teeth, which are clearly visible when the snake opens its mouth. Our teeth are missing.

  • Far longer than the viper. The length of the body of the grass is usually 1-1.3 meters. The length of the adder usually varies between 60-75 cm, although there are species that reach 3-4 meters (bushmeister). In addition, the vipers look much plump.
  • The tail of the viper is shortened and thick, at the snakes - thinner and longer. In addition, in vipers, the transition from body to tail is clearly defined.
  • Vipers differ from snakes in a triangular shape of the skull with clearly marked brow ridges; in snakes, the skulls are oval-ovoid.

  • The anterior shield of the viper is one-piece, and the snake consists of 2 scales.
  • When meeting people, the snakes try to retreat and hide, the viper is likely to show complete indifference or aggression if you step on this poisonous snake or just touch it.
  • Snakes love moist habitats, so they can often be found near water bodies, where they swim and catch frogs. Vipers feed mainly on mice, so they choose other habitats: forests, steppes, thick grass.
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What is the difference between a viper and a verdigris?

  • The Viper is a venomous snake, a parasite is not poisonous.
  • For many vipers, a dark-colored zigzag strip runs along the back, while in the verdigris a pattern of specks or dark spots is “scattered” on the back. But there are black vipers that do not have bands.

  • The head of the viper has a triangular shape with pronounced arcs above the eyes. Copperheads have a narrow, elongated head.
  • In the mouth of the viper are the teeth with which the snake bites its prey. Coppers have no teeth.
  • The pupa is round, whereas in the viper it is vertically slit-shaped.

  • The anterior dorsal plate consists of a pair of scales, but in the viper it is solid.
  • Having noticed a man, the coypod will hasten to hide in a shelter, the viper will either not pay attention to the person, or start an offensive.
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What is the difference between a snake and a viper?

  • There are teeth in the mouth of the viper and the snake, but at the same time the bite of the poisonous viper is dangerous and can be fatal, and the snake bite, although it causes pain, does not pose a mortal danger, since the snake does not have poisonous glands.
  • In the viper, the head and body are separated by a shortened jumper that imitates the neck, and the skull is intercepted by the skid.
  • The back of most vipers is either monochromatic, black, or has a dark stripe zigzagging along the entire back. The color of the skid can be monochromatic, with transverse dark spots on the back or in the mesh.

  • The snake has a distinctive pattern on the upper part of the skull - a strip of dark color between the eyes, the adder has no such decoration.
  • The adder is much shorter and looks more plump than a snake. The snakes can grow up to 1.5 meters in length, and the standard size of the adders is 60-70 cm. Only the largest vipers have a body length of 2 meters.
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Types of vipers - photo and description.

Modern classification identifies 4 subfamilies of vipers:

  • Pit Viper, they are rattlesnakes or rattlers (lat. Crotalinae): they are distinguished by the presence of 2 infrared fossae, which are located in the recess between the eyes and nostrils,
  • toad viper (Latin Causinae): belong to the egg-laying type of snake, which is rare among all members of the family,
  • vipers (lat. Viperinae) - the most numerous subfamily, whose representatives live even in conditions of the Polar region (common viper),
  • azemiopinae - the subfamily represented by a single genus and species is the Burmese viper-fairy.

Today, science knows 292 species of vipers. Below are several varieties of these snakes:

  • Common Viper (lat. Vipera berus) - a relatively small representative of the family: the body length is usually in the range of 60-70 cm, although in the northern part of the range there are individuals more than 90 cm long. The adder's weight varies from 50 to 180 grams, and the females are slightly larger than the males. The head is large, slightly flattened, the muzzle is rounded. The color of the viper ordinary is quite changeable and many-sided: the color of the main background of the back is black, light gray, yellow-brown, reddish-brown, bright copper. In most specimens, along the back there is a pronounced pattern in the form of a zigzag strip. The abdomen of the viper is gray, brown-gray or black, sometimes supplemented with whitish spots. The tip of the tail is often colored in a bright yellow, reddish or orange tone. This species of vipers has a fairly wide habitat. The common viper lives in the forest belt of Eurasia - it occurs from the territories of Great Britain and France to the western regions of Italy and the east of Korea. He feels cozy in the hot Greece, Turkey and Albania, penetrating the Arctic Circle at the same time - found in Lapland and in the countries on the coast of the Barents Sea. In Russia, the common viper lives in Siberia, Transbaikalia and the Far East.

  • Nose Viper(lat. Vipera ammodytes) differs from other species by a soft, sharp, scaly outgrowth at the tip of the muzzle, resembling a snub nose. The length of the viper is 60-70 cm (sometimes 90 cm). The body color is gray, sandy or reddish-brown (depending on the species); a zigzag dark stripe or a series of rhombic stripes runs along the back. The adder is nosed on rocky landscapes from Italy, Serbia and Croatia to Turkey, Syria and Georgia.

  • Steppe Viper (Western Steppe Viper) (lat. Vipera ursinii) - a poisonous snake that lives in lowland and mountain steppes, in alpine meadows, in ravines and semi-deserts. Steppe vipers are found in countries of southern and southeastern Europe (in France, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Albania), in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Russia (in the Caucasus, in the southern part of Siberia, the Rostov region, Altai). The length of the viper with a tail reaches 64 cm, the females are larger than the males. The coloring of the snake is brown-gray, along the ridge runs a dark brown or black zigzag strip. Dark spots are scattered on the sides of the body.

  • Horned keffiyeh(lat. Trimeresurus cornutus, Protobothrops cornutus) stands out among the congeners with small horns above the eyes. The body of the viper up to 60-80 cm long is painted in creamy and lime color and is studded with dark brown specks. The snake spends almost all its life on trees and shrubs, descending to earth only for mating. Horned keffiyeh is a typical inhabitant of the south and southeast of Asia, living in China, India and Indonesia.

  • Burmese Viper Fairy, or chinese viper(lat. Azemiops feae) - oviparous, very rare among vipers. She got her name not because of the fairy-tale character, but in honor of the zoologist Leonardo Fea. The length of the viper is about 80 cm. Large snake-like snakes grow on the snake's head. The top of the body is greenish-brown, the bottom is creamy, the head is most often yellow, with yellow stripes on the sides. It is found in Central Asia in the south-east of Tibet, in Burma, China and Vietnam.

  • Noisy Viper(lat. Bitis arietans) - one of the most beautiful and most dangerous species of African vipers. The bite of a viper rustling in 4 out of 5 cases is fatal. The snake got its name for the indignant hiss, issued in case of danger. The body of the viper is disproportionately thick with a girth of up to 40 cm with a length of about 2 m. The color of the viper can be golden-yellow, dark beige or red-brown. Along the body there is a drawing consisting of 2 dozen brown marks in the shape of the Latin letter U. A noisy adder lives throughout Africa (with the exception of the equator), as well as in the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula.

  • Rhino Viper(lat. Bitis nasicornis) It is distinguished by a special decoration on the face, consisting of 2-3 vertically protruding scales. The body is thick, can reach a length of 1.2 m, and is covered with a beautiful pattern. On the back are blue patterns-trapezium with a yellow border, connected by black diamonds. The sides are covered with black triangles, alternating with olive-colored diamonds with a red border. The head of the viper with bright blue "cheeks" is covered with black arrows with yellow edging. It prefers to settle in the wet, swampy forests of Equatorial Africa.

  • Kaisaka, or labaria(lat. Bothrops atrox) - the largest adder of the genus of spearheads, growing up to 2.5 m in length. A distinctive feature of kaisaki is the lemon-yellow color of the chin, thanks to which the snake is called “yellow beard”. Slender body covered with gray or brown skin with a diamond-shaped pattern on the back. Kaisaka dwells throughout Central America, Argentina and the coastal islands of South America.

  • Rhombic Drummer(lat. Crotalus adamanteus) - The record holder among rattlesnakes in the number of “milking out” of poison (660 mg from one snake). A large viper can grow over 2 m in length and weigh more than 15 kg. Along the back, painted in shades of brown, passes a series of 24-35 black, diamond-polished diamonds with a light yellow border. This viper lives only in the USA: from Florida to New Orleans.

  • Gyurza, or Levant Viper(lat. Macrovipera lebetina) - the most dangerous and poisonous viper, the poison of which is inferior in toxicity only to the poison of the cobra. Refers to the egg-laying type of snake. The length of the body of an adult canopy can reach 2 meters, the weight of the viper is 3 kg. Body color is gray-brown, with dark spotting, susceptible to variability within the range. Some individuals are distinguished by a black body with a purple tint. The adder is widespread in the dry foothill areas, as well as on the outskirts of large cities in North-West Africa, Asia, Transcaucasia, Dagestan and Kazakhstan.

  • Dwarf African Viper (lat. Bitis peringueyi) - the smallest viper in the world, the body length of an adult individual does not exceed 20-25 cm. Due to its modest body size, it is a relatively safe form of vipers living in the deserts of Namibia and Angola.

  • Bushmeister or surakuku (lat. Lachesis muta) - the largest viper in the world, a rare species, reaching a length of 3-4 meters with a body weight of 3 to 5 kg. Inhabits tropical rainforests of South and Central America.

How do vipers breed?

Most snakes reach sexual maturity at the age of 2 years. Reproduction of viviparous species of vipers occurs in May. Viper eggs are formed in the womb of the female, and the young hatch there. The brood is born at the end of summer or at the very beginning of autumn. The number of young viper depends on the length of the female - in a viper of medium size (up to 1 m in length), usually 8-12 babies are born.

A viper gives birth in the following way: a snake is twisted around a tree trunk, and the tail keeps on weight, “scattering” young on the ground, fully formed and ready for independent existence. The length of newborn vipers is 10-12 cm. Small vipers shed here and then, then the number of molts is 1-2 times a month.

Oviparous species of vipers mate from April to early summer. The laying of the medium-sized adder contains from 8 to 23 eggs, large species lay up to 38-43 eggs. Depending on the type of incubation period lasts from 25 days to 4 months. The laying of the snake settles itself in safe places: burrows, under snags or in sand.

The female warms the clutch by contractions of its muscles and in every possible way protects up to the moment when the young begin to hatch. After that, the snake crawls in different directions.