Micrelaps muelleri

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Micrelaps muelleri
מחרוזן הטבעות (דו-גוני).jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Atractaspididae
Genus: Micrelaps
Species: M. muelleri
Binomial name
Micrelaps muelleri
Boettger, 1880
Common names: Müller's black-headed snake,[1] Mueller's two-headed snake,[citation needed] Erdviper.[2]

Micrelaps muelleri is a species of venomous rear-fanged snake in the family Atractaspididae. The species is endemic to the Middle East.


No subspecies are currently recognized.[3] Micrelaps muelleri is the type species for the genus Micrelaps.[2]


The specific name, muelleri, is in honor of Swiss herpetologist Fritz Müller.[1]

Geographic range[edit]

It is found in Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.[2]


Micrelaps muelleri is black, with whitish zigzag-edged rings, which may be narrower or wider than the spaces between them, mostly interrupted ventrally.

Adults may attain 40.5 cm (15.9 in) in total length, with a tail 3 cm (1 18 in) long.

Dorsal scales smooth, without apical pits, arranged in 15 rows. Ventrals 251-275; anal plate divided; subcaudals 26-32, also divided.

Head very flattened. Rostral nearly twice as broad as deep, just visible from above. Internasals a little broader than long, shorter than the prefrontals. Frontal small, not broader than the supraocular, 1⅔ times as long as broad, hardly as long as its distance from the rostral, half as long as the parietals. Supraocular as long as broad. A small postocular, in contact with the first temporal. Temporals 1+1 or 1+2. Seven upper labials, third and fourth entering the eye. Three or four lower labials in contact with the anterior chin shield. Anterior chin shields as long as the posterior chin shields.[4]


Its preferred habitat includes Mediterranean-type shrubby vegetation, and arable land.[5]

Conservation status[edit]

This species is classified as Least Concern (LC) according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (v3.1, 2001).[5] This is because it does not qualify for Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable or Near Threatened. Widespread and abundant species are included in this category. Year assessed: 2005.[6]


  1. ^ a b Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Micrelaps muelleri, p. 184).
  2. ^ a b c Species Micrelaps muelleri at The Reptile Database. Accessed 17 August 2007.
  3. ^ "Micrelaps muelleri ". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 17 August 2007. 
  4. ^ Boulenger GA. 1896. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume III., Containing the Colubridæ (Opisthoglyphæ and Proteroglyphæ), Amblycephalidæ, and Viperidæ. London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiv + 727 pp. + Plates I-XXV. (Micrelaps muelleri, p. 249).
  5. ^ a b Micrelaps muelleri at IUCN Red List. Accessed 17 August 2007.
  6. ^ 2001 Categories & Criteria (version 3.1) IUCN Red List. Accessed 17 August 2007.

Further reading[edit]

Böttger O. 1880. "Die Reptilien und Amphibien von Syrien, Palaestina und Cypern ". Bericht über die Senckenbergische naturforschende Gesellschaft in Frankurt am Main 1880: 132-219. (Micrelaps muelleri, new species, pp. 137–138). (In German and Latin).