Montivipera xanthina

Montivipera xanthina

Montivipera xanthina

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SPECIES
Montivipera xanthina

Montivipera xanthina is a venomous viper species found in northeastern Greece and Turkey, as well as certain islands in the Aegean Sea. No subspecies are currently recognized.

Animal name origin

Rock viper, coastal viper, Ottoman viper, Turkish viper, Near East viper, mountain viper.

Appearance

Dorsally, it is grey or white with a black zig-zag stripe. Melanistic individuals exist. It has keeled dorsal scales.

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It usually grows to a total length (body + tail) of 70–95 cm (27.6-37.4 in), but reaches a maximum total length of 130 cm (51.2 in) on certain Greek islands in the Aegean Sea.

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Distribution

Geography

Continents
Countries
Biogeographical realms

Montivipera xanthina can be found living in humid areas. It favors rocky and "well-vegetated" areas for its habitat.

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Extreme northeastern Greece, the Greek islands of Simi, Skiathos, Kos, Kalimnos, Samothraki, Leros, Lipsos, Patmos, Samos, Chios and Lesbos, European Turkey, the western half of Anatolia (inland eastward to Kayseri), and islands (e.g. Chalki) of the Turkish mainland shelf.

The type locality given is "Xanthus", and "Asia Minor." Listed as "Xanthos" by Schwarz (1936). Nilson and Andrén (1986) restricted the species to "Xanthos" (Kınık) province Mugla, S. W. Turkish Anatolia" through lectotype designation.

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Montivipera xanthina habitat map
Montivipera xanthina habitat map

Habits and Lifestyle

Very aggressive, this snake will strike without provoking, and most bites inject venom.

Lifestyle

Diet and Nutrition

Population

Population number

This species is classified as least concern according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed as such due to its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.It is, however, listed as strictly protected (Appendix II) under the Berne Convention.

References

1. Montivipera xanthina Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montivipera_xanthina
2. Montivipera xanthina on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/61537/86548598

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