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Iberian Snub-nosed Vipers, Vipera latastei ssp. by Richard Bartlett on 2023-03-20 08:43:00


This is a juvenile V. l. gaditana. Note the yellowish tinge on the tailtip, This would have been brighter on a neonate.

Although we often hear about the Asp Viper and the European Adder, seldom do we hear about a 3rd, species, the Snub-nosed Viper.

As currently known, the Snub-nosed Viper Vipera latastei,ssp. comprises 3 subspecies, 2 of which range in Spain and the 3rd that ranges from Spain southward to North Africa. The 2 subspecies restricted to Spain are V. l. latastei and V. l. arundana. The third, V. l. gaditana ranges more widely.

None are colorful, having a ground color of light to dark gray with darker gray to black markings. The vertebral pattern may vary from a well defined darker zigzag stripe to well separated black blotches. Dark lateral blotches may be well defined to nearly obscure. The common name describes the rostral area, slightly snubbed or upturned. Neonates have a yellowish tailtip that is used in luring lizard prey to within striking range.

As a group the Snub-nosed Vipers are fairly small and relatively stout. Adult size varies from 18 to 25 inches. They utilize a wide variety of habitats, from vegetated seashore dunes to woodlands, rocky escarpments, and populated areas. Research seems recently to Concern is now being shown

In the wild, females are said to give birth to about a dozen neonates every 2 or 3 years.
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