Atheris katangensis

Atheris katangensis

Atheris katangensis

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Atheris katangensis

Atheris katangensis is a venomous viper species found in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Zambia. No subspecies are currently recognized.

Animal name origin

Shaba bush viper, Katanga Mountain bush viper, Upemba bush viper, Katanga bush viper, Katanga tree viper.

Appearance

It attains a maximum total length (body + tail) of only 40 cm (16 in), making this the smallest member of the genus Atheris.

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The head is flat, triangular, distinct from the neck, and covered with small keeled scales. The snout is rounded. Midbody there are 24–31 rows of dorsal scales. The tail is short. Males and females have 45–59 and 38–42 subcaudal scales respectively.

The color pattern consists of a purple-brown or yellow-brown ground color, overlaid with paired dorsolateral lines of a contrasting shade. These lines may break into a zigzag pattern and run from head to tail. The belly is yellowish, as is the tip of the tail.

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Distribution

Geography

It is found in the Upemba National Park, Katanga Province (Shaba Province) in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Zambia.

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The type locality given is "Mubale-Munte (région du confluent), sous-affluent de la rive droite de la Lufira, Park National de l'Upemba".

Gallery forest along rivers at altitudes between 1,200 and 1,500 meters (about 4,000–5,000 ft).

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References

1. Atheris katangensis Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheris_katangensis

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