Atheris ceratophora

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Atheris ceratophora
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Viperinae
Genus: Atheris
Species: A. ceratophora
Binomial name
Atheris ceratophora
Werner, 1895
  • Atheris ceratophora - Werner, 1895
  • Atheris ceratophorus - Boulenger, 1896
  • Atheris ceratophora - Broadley, 1996[1]

Common names: Usambara bush viper,[2] horned bush viper, eyelash bush viper,[3] more.  
Atheris ceratophora is a venomous viper species found only in a few mountain ranges in Tanzania. This is the only horned, arboreal viper in Africa.[2] No subspecies are currently recognized.[4]


Grown to a maximum length of 54 cm. Females slightly larger than males. The maximum length for a male is reported to be 42 cm, the tail of which measured 8 cm.[5]

Easily recognized by a set of 3-5 horn-like superciliary scales above each eye. The rostral scale has more than twice the length of its width. It has 9 upper labials. The chin shield contacts 3 of the lower labials.[5]

Mid-body, the dorsal scales number 21-25. The ventral scale count is 142-152. There are 41-56 subcaudals.[5]

The color pattern consists of a yellowish-green, olive, gray or black ground color. This may or may not be overlaid by variable markings, sometimes in the form of irregular black spots or cross-bars that may be lined with yellow or white spots. The belly is dirty orange to almost black in color, sometimes with dark spots.[2]

Common names

Usambara bush viper,[2] horned bush viper, eyelash bush viper,[3] Usambara mountain bush viper.[5]

Geographic range

The Usambara and Uzungwe Mountains in Tanzania. The type locality is "Usambara" Mountains [Tanzania].[1] They are probably also found in the Uluguru Mountains.[2]


Found in grass and low bushes about 1 m above the ground[2] in woodlands and forests at altitudes of 700 to over 2000 m.[5]


Most likely nocturnal or crepuscular.[5]

See also

Cited references

  1. 1.0 1.1 McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Spawls S, Branch B. 1995. The Dangerous Snakes of Africa. Ralph Curtis Books. Dubai: Oriental Press. 192 pp. ISBN 0-88359-029-8.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Atheris ceratophora at The World Of Atheris. Accessed 25 March, 2007.
  4. Atheris ceratophora (TSN 634942) at Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Accessed 24 March 2007.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Mallow D, Ludwig D, Nilson G. 2003. True Vipers: Natural History and Toxinology of Old World Vipers. Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, Florida. ISBN 0-89464-877-2.

External links