Echis megalocephalus

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Echis megalocephalus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Viperinae
Genus: Echis
Species: E. megalocephalus
Binomial name
Echis megalocephalus
Cherlin, 1990
  • Echis [(Toxicoa)] megalocephalus - Cherlin, 1990
  • Echis megalocephalus - Golay et al., 1993[1]

Common names: big-headed carpet viper,[2] Cherlin's saw-scaled viper.[3]  

Echis megalocephalus is a venomous viper species found only on one island in the Red Sea off the coast of Eritrea.[1] No subspecies are currently recognized.[4]


Grows to a maximum of 54-62 cm in length. The head scalation is similar to that of E. pyramidum, although it is relatively large overall in comparison to other Echis species. Midbody, there are 31 dorsal scales. The ventrals number 186-202 and the subcaudals 33-37. The color pattern varies, but generally consists of a series of pale, oblique, dorsal blotches set against a darker ground color.[2]

Geographic range

Known only from the type locality: Nokra (Nocra) Island, which is part of the Dakhlak Archipelago, off the coast of Eritrea in the Red Sea.[1]

See also

Cited references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 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 Mallow D, Ludwig D, Nilson G. 2003. True Vipers: Natural History and Toxinology of Old World Vipers. Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, Florida. 359 pp. ISBN 0-89464-877-2.
  3. Species Echis megalocephalus at the Species2000 Database
  4. Echis megalocephalus (TSN 634972) at Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Accessed 12 April 2007.

Other references

  • Cherlin, V.A. 1990 Taxonomic revision of the snake genus Echis (Viperidae). II. An analysis of taxonomy and description of new forms [in Russian]. Proc. Zool. Institute Leningrad 207: 193-223