Moorish viper

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Moorish viper
Macrovipera mauritanica IMG 5083.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Genus: Daboia
D. mauritanica
Binomial name
Daboia mauritanica
(Duméril & Bibron, 1848)
Macrovipera mauritanica distribution.png
  • Echidna mauritanica - Duméril & Bibron, 1848
  • Clotho ? mauritanica - Gray, 1849
  • Vipera minuta - Eichwald, 1851
  • Bitis mauritanica - Günther, 1858
  • Vipera confluenta - Cope, 1863
  • Vipera mauritanica - Strauch, 1869
  • Vipera euphratica var. mauritanica - Boettger, 1883
  • Vipera lebetina - Boulenger, 1896
  • Vipera lebetina mauritanica - Schwartz, 1936
  • Daboia (Daboia) lebetina mauritanica - Obst, 1983
  • Macrovipera mauritanica - Herrmann, Joger & Nilson, 1992[1]

The moorish viper (Daboia mauritanica; common names: Moorish viper,[2] Sahara rock viper,[3] Atlas blunt-nosed viper,[4] more) is a venomous viper species found in northwestern Africa. No subspecies are currently recognized.[5]



Reaches a maximum length of 180 cm.[2][6]

Common names[edit]

Moorish viper,[2] Sahara rock viper,[3] Atlas blunt-nosed viper,[4] Atlas adder,[7] mountain adder.[3]

Geographic range[edit]

Northwestern Africa: Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The type locality is "Algiers", according to Gray (1842), "Algeria" according to Schwarz (1936).[1] Limited to the coastal regions of Algeria. Coastal records from Tunisia may refer to M. deserti.[6]

Conservation status[edit]

This species is classified as Near Threatened (NT) according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (v3.1, 2001).[8] Classified as such because this species is likely in significant decline (but at a rate of less than 30% over ten years) due to persecution, accidental mortality and over-harvesting, therefore making it close to qualifying for Vulnerable. The population trend is down. Year assessed: 2005.[9]


Based on molecular evidence, Lenk et al. (2001)[10] suggested that this species, along with M. deserti, should rather be included in the genus Daboia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b 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. ^ a b c 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. ^ a b c U.S. Navy. 1991. Poisonous Snakes of the World. US Govt. New York: Dover Publications Inc. 203 pp. ISBN 0-486-26629-X.
  4. ^ a b Mehrtens JM. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.
  5. ^ "Macrovipera mauritanica". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 9 August 2006.
  6. ^ a b Spawls S, Branch B. 1995. The Dangerous Snakes of Africa. Ralph Curtis Books. Dubai: Oriental Press. 192 pp. ISBN 0-88359-029-8.
  7. ^ Brown JH. 1973. Toxicology and Pharmacology of Venoms from Poisonous Snakes. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas. 184 pp. LCCCN 73-229. ISBN 0-398-02808-7.
  8. ^ Daboia mauritanica at the IUCN Red List. Accessed 2 September 2007.
  9. ^ 2001 Categories & Criteria (version 3.1) at the IUCN Red List. Accessed 2 September 2007.
  10. ^ Lenk P, Kalyabina S, Wink M, Joger U (April 2001). "Evolutionary relationships among the true vipers (Reptilia: Viperidae) inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 19 (1): 94–104. doi:10.1006/mpev.2001.0912. PMID 11286494.

External links[edit]