The variable bush viper Atheris squamigera, photographed by Werner Blessing.

Belongs within: Colubroidea.

The Viperidae, vipers, are a family of venomous snakes with a characteristic fang arrangement: the maxilla is reduced, with the fangs the only teeth present. The maxilla rotates to either hold the fangs erect (when striking) or flat against the roof of the mouth (when at rest).

Characters (from Bailon et al. 2002): Trunk vertebrae with hypapophysis, neural arch depressed, centrum convex ventrally with poorly marked subcentral margins, prezygapophyseal facets inclined on horizontal, parapophyseal processes present.

    |--+--Azemiops VH02 [Azemiopinae]
    |  |    `--A. feae VH02
    |  `--Bothriechis schlegelii VH02
    `--+--*Cerastes cerastes VH02
       `--+--Atheris squamigera VH02
          `--Causus VH02
               |--C. resimus VH02
               `--C. rhombeatus VH02

Viperidae incertae sedis:
  Vipera Laurenti 1768 [Viperinae] BG-PQ-C02
    |--V. ammodytes BG-PQ-C02
    |--V. antiqua Szyndlar 1987 RB05
    |--V. aspis (Linnaeus 1758) RB05
    |--V. berus [=Coluber berus, Pelias berus] K08
    |    |--V. b. berus K08
    |    `--V. b. bosniensis K08
    |--V. latastei Boscá 1878 RB05
    |--V. lebetina BG-PQ-C02
    |    |--V. l. lebetina M55
    |    `--V. l. schweizeri Werner 1935 [incl. V. lebetina siphnensis Wettstein 1953] M55
    |--V. meotica Zerova in Szyndlar & Zerova 1992 RB05
    |--V. natiensis Bailon, Garcia-Porta & Quintana-Cardona 2002 BG-PQ-C02
    |--V. nikolski H05
    |--V. palaestinae WA05
    `--V. ursinii K08
         |--V. u. ursinii K08
         `--V. u. rakosiensis Méhely 1893 K08
  Provipera boettgeri Kinkelin 1892 (n. d.) BG-PQ-C02
  Daboia Gray 1842 BG-PQ-C02
    |--D. maxima (Szyndlar 1988) RB05
    `--D. russelii RB05
  Bothrops DS86
    |--B. atrox DS86
    |--B. bilineatus DS86
    |    |--B. b. bilineatus DS86
    |    `--B. b. smaragdinus DS86
    |--B. brazili DS86
    |--B. castelnaudi DS86
    |--B. erythrurus [=Trimeresurus erythrurus] M89
    |--B. formosus M89
    |--B. hyoprorus DS86
    |--B. lojanus C07
    |--B. osbornei C07
    |--B. pictus C07
    |--B. roedingeri C07
    `--B. wagleri M89
  Lachesis Daudin 1803 DS86, BR05
    `--L. muta DS86
  Crotalus MH96 [Crotalinae R88]
    |--C. adamanteus F70
    |--C. aquilus KS93
    |--C. atrox GWN71
    |--C. cerastes MBJ83
    |--C. horridus KS93
    |--C. intermedius KS93
    |--C. mitchelli KS93
    |--C. pricei KS93
    |--C. pusillus KS93
    |--C. tigris KS93
    |--C. triseriatus KS93
    |--C. vergrandis MH96
    `--C. viridis KS93
         |--C. v. viridis KS93
         `--C. v. lutosus KS93
  Calloselasma KS93
  Deinagkistrodon KS93
  Trimeresurus jerdonii KS93, L50
  Sistrurus KS93
    |--S. catenatus KS93
    |    |--S. c. catenatus KS93
    |    `--S. c. edwardsi KS93
    |--S. miliarius KS93
    |    |--S. m. miliarius KS93
    |    `--S. m. barbouri KS93
    `--S. ravus KS93
  Agkistrodon KS93
    |--A. bilineatus KS93
    |    |--A. b. bilineatus KS93
    |    `--A. b. russeolus KS93
    `--A. contortrix W-CL06

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BG-PQ-C02] Bailon, S., J. Garcia-Porta & J. Quintana-Cardona. 2002. Première découverte de Viperidae (Reptilia, Serpentes) dans les îles Baléares (Espagne): Des vipères du Néogène de Minorque. Description d’une nouvelle espèce du Pliocène. Comptes Rendus Palevol 1: 227-234.

[BR05] Bouchet, P., J.-P. Rocroi, J. Frýda, B. Hausdorf, W. Ponder, Á. Valdés & A. Warén. 2005. Classification and nomenclator of gastropod families. Malacologia 47 (1-2): 1-397.

[C07] Cadle, J. E. 2007. The snake genus Sibynomorphus (Colubridae: Dipsadinae: Dipsadini) in Peru and Ecuador, with comments on the systematics of Dipsadini. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 158 (5): 183-284.

[DS86] Dixon, J. R. & P. Soini. 1986. The Reptiles of the Upper Amazon Basin, Iquitos Region, Peru. Milwaukee Public Museum: Milwaukee.

[F70] Fitch, W. M. 1970. Distinguishing homologous from analogous proteins. Systematic Zoology 19 (2): 99-113.

[GWN71] Gorman, G. C., A. C. Wilson & M. Nakanishi. 1971. A biochemical approach towards the study of reptilian phylogeny: evolution of serum albumin and lactic dehydrogenase. Systematic Zoology 20 (2): 167-185.

[H05] Höser, N. 2005. Schriftenschau: Ökologisches Journal des Wolgagebietes. Herausgeber: Russische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Saratover Filiale des A. N.-Severtsov-Instituts für Probleme der Ökologie und Evolution. Mauritiana 19 (2): 316.

[KS93] Knight, A., D. Styer, S. Pelikan, J. A. Campbell, L. D. Densmore, III & D. P. Mindell. 1993. Choosing among hypotheses of rattlesnake phylogeny: a best-fit rate test for DNA sequence data. Systematic Biology 42 (3): 356-367.

[K08] Korsós, Z. 2008. History of the Herpetological Collection of the Hungarian Natural History Museum. Annales Historico-Naturales Musei Nationalis Hungarici 100: 37-93.

[L50] Liu, C.-C. 1950. Amphibians of western China. Fieldiana: Zoology Memoirs 2: 1-400.

[M55] Mertens, R. 1955. Der Typus von Vipera lebetina schweizeri. Senckenbergiana Biologica 36: 297-299.

[MH96] Miller, S. A., & J. P. Harley. 1996. Zoology (3rd ed.) Wm. C. Brown Publishers: Dubuque (Iowa).

[M89] Modigliani, E. 1889. Materiali per la fauna erpetologica dell'isola Nias. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova, Serie 2a 7: 113-124.

[MBJ83] Munger, J. C., M. A. Bowers & W. T. Jones. 1983. Desert rodent populations: factors affecting abundance, distribution, and genetic structure. Great Basin Naturalist Memoirs 7: 91-116.

[RB05] Rage, J.-C., & S. Bailon. 2005. Amphibians and squamate reptiles from the late early Miocene (MN 4) of Béon 1 (Montréal-du-Gers, southwestern France). Geodiversitas 27 (3): 413-441.

[R88] Rieppel, O. 1988. The classification of the Squamata. In The Phylogeny and Classification of the Tetrapods, vol. 1. Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds (M. J. Benton, ed.) pp. 261-293. Clarendon Press: Oxford.

[VH02] Vidal, N., & S. B. Hedges. 2002. Higher-level relationships of caenophidian snakes inferred from four nuclear and mitochondrial genes. Comptes Rendus Biologies 325: 987-995.

[WA05] Wasserberg, G., Z. Abramsky, N. Valdivia & B. P. Kotler. 2005. The role of vegetation characteristics and foraging substrate in organizing a centrifugal gerbil community. Journal of Mammalogy 86 (5): 1009-1014.

[W-CL06] Watkins-Colwell, G. J., T. A. Leenders, B. T. Roach, D. J. Drew, G. Dancho & J. Yuckienuz. 2006. New distribution records for amphibians and reptiles in Connecticut, with notes on the status of an introduced species. Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History 47 (1-2): 47-62.

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