Echis megalocephalus

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

Echis megalocephalus is a venomous viper species endemic to one island in the Red Sea off the coast of Eritrea.[1] No subspecies are currently recognized.[2]

Common names: big-headed carpet viper,[3] Cherlin's saw-scaled viper.[4]


It grows to a total length (body + tail) of 54–62 cm (21–24 in). 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 rows of 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.[3]

Geographic range[edit]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Washington, District of Columbia: Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  2. ^ "Echis megalocephalus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 1 August 2006. 
  3. ^ a b Mallow D, Ludwig D, Nilson G. 2003. True Vipers: Natural History and Toxinology of Old World Vipers. Malabar, Florida: Krieger Publishing Company. 359 pp. ISBN 0-89464-877-2.
  4. ^ Echis megalocephalus at the Reptile Database. Accessed 3 August 2007.

Further reading[edit]

  • Cherlin, VA. 1990. [A taxonomic revision of the snake genus Echis (Viperidae). II. An analysis of taxonomy and description of new forms]. [Proc. Zool. Inst. Leningrad] 207: 193-223. (in Russian).
  • Golay P, Smith HM, Broadley DG, Dixon JR, McCarthy CJ, Rage J-C, Schätti B, Toriba M. 1993. Endoglyphs and Other Major Venomous Snakes of the World. A Checklist. Geneva: Azemiops Herpetological Data Center. 478 pp.

External links[edit]