Atheris matildae

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Atheris matildae
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Genus: Atheris
Species: A. matildae
Binomial name
Atheris matildae
Menegon, Davenport & Howell, 2011

Atheris matildae, also known as Matilda's horned viper, is a species of arboreal forest viper endemic to Tanzania.

Discovery[edit]

It was discovered in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania during a 2010–2011 biological survey. The exact location of the viper is unspecified, to protect it from being collected for the illegal pet trade.[1] The snake was described as a new species on December 6, 2011, in a study published in the journal, Zootaxa. A captive breeding colony has already been established by the authors of the study.[1]

Behavior[edit]

The species is most likely a nocturnal hunter, waiting by streams to ambush frogs.

Description[edit]

It resembles Atheris ceratophora, the Usambara bush viper.[2][3]

Conservation status[edit]

Matilda's horned viper occupies only a small area further threatened by logging and charcoal production.

Origin of name[edit]

A. matildae was named after Matilda, the daughter of Tim Davenport, the director of the Wildlife Conservation Society in Tanzania and a member of the three-person team to have discovered the snake.[4]

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Menegon M, Davenport TRB, Howell KM. 2011. Description of a new and critically endangered species of Atheris (Serpentes: Viperidae) from the Southern Highlands of Tanzania, with an overview of the country's tree viper fauna. Zootaxa 3120: 43-54. (Atheris matildae sp. nov.)