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Russell's viper

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Russell's viper
Daboia russelii A Chawla01.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Genus: Daboia
D. russelii
Binomial name
Daboia russelii
(Shaw & Nodder, 1797)
South East Asia location-Daboia-russelii.svg
Daboia russelii distribution
  • Coluber russelii Shaw & Nodder, 1797
  • Coluber daboie
    Latreille In Sonnini & Latreille, 1801
  • Coluber trinoculus
    Schneider In Bechstein, 1802
  • Vipera daboya Daudin, 1803
  • Vipera elegans Daudin, 1803
  • Coluber triseriatus Hermann, 1804
  • Vipera russelii — Gray, 1831
  • Daboia elegans — Gray, 1842
  • Daboia russelii — Gray, 1842
  • Daboia pulchella Gray, 1842
  • Echidna russellii Steindachner, 1869
Russell's viper (Daboia russelli) in a sensing moment

Russell's viper (Daboia russelii) is a species of venomous snake in the family Viperidae native to the Indian subcontinent. It was described in 1797 by George Shaw and Frederick Polydore Nodder, and named in honour of Patrick Russell who wrote of it in his 1796 work An account of Indian serpents, collected on the coast of Coromandel.


English naturalist George Shaw—with illustrator Frederick Polydore Nodder—in The Naturalist's Miscellany: Or, Coloured Figures Of Natural Objects; Drawn and Described Immediately From Nature formally described the species in 1797 as Coluber russelii, from a specimen presented to the British Museum by Scottish herpetologist Patrick Russell.[1] Russell had written of the species in his 1796 work An account of Indian serpents, collected on the coast of Coromandel, confirming its highly venomous nature by experimenting on chickens and dogs. He added the native people called it katuka retula poda.[2]

The species is named after Patrick Russell (1726–1805),[3] a Scottish herpetologist who first described many of India's snakes, and the name of the genus is from the Hindi word meaning "that lies hid", or "the lurker".[4] In Odia and Bengali this snake is called chandra-boda and chandroborha respectively since it carries lenticular or more precisely lunar marks all over its body. In Manipuri or Meitei this snake is called Lindu and a folk story Kangleipak is associated with it. In Marathi this snake is called ghonas. Apart from being a member of the big four snakes in India, Daboia is also one of the genera responsible for causing the most snakebite incidents and deaths among all venomous snakes on account of many factors, such as their wide distribution, generally aggressive demeanor, and frequent occurrence in highly populated areas.[5]

In English, common names of D. russelii include Russell's viper,[6][7][8][9] chain viper,[7][9] Indian Russell's viper,[10][11] common Russell's viper,[12] seven pacer,[13] chain snake, and scissors snake.[14]

Regional names[edit]

  • Tamil - கண்ணாடி விரியன் (Kannaadi virian)
  • Telugu - రక్త పింజరి (Rakta pinjari)
  • Kannada - ಕೊಳಕು ಮಂಡಲ (kolaku mandala)
  • Malayalam - ചേനത്തണ്ടൻ/വട്ടക്കൂറ/മഞ്ചട്ടി[15] (Chenathandan/Vattakoora/Manchatti)
  • Bengali - চন্দ্রবোড়া (Chandraborha)
  • Marathi - घोणस (Ghonas)
  • Gujarati - ખડચિતડ/ ચિત્તર (chitar)
  • Odia - ଚନ୍ଦ୍ର ବୋଡ଼ା (Chandra Boda)
  • Sinhala - තිත් පොළඟා (Thith Polanga)
  • Tulu - ಕಂದಡಿ (kandadi)


Russell's viper in Pune Zoo
Russell's viper1.jpg

D. russelii can grow to a maximum length (body + tail) of 166 cm (5.5 ft) and averages about 120 cm (4 ft) on mainland Asian populations. Island populations may be slightly smaller on average.[6] It is more slender than most vipers.[16] Ditmars (1937) reported the following dimensions for a "fair-sized adult specimen":[17]

Total length 4 ft., 1 inch 124 cm
Length of tail 7 inches 18 cm
Girth 6 inches 15 cm
Width of head 2 inches 5 cm
Length of head 2 inches 5 cm

Russell's viper from the wild

The head is flattened, triangular, and distinct from the neck. The snout is blunt, rounded, and raised. The nostrils are large, each in the middle of a large, single nasal scale. The lower edge of the nasal scale touches the nasorostral scale. The supranasal scale has a strong crescent shape and separates the nasal from the nasorostral scale anteriorly. The rostral scale is as broad as it is high.[6]

Head of the Russell's viper

The crown of the head is covered with irregular, strongly fragmented scales. The supraocular scales are narrow, single, and separated by six to nine scales across the head. The eyes are large, flecked with yellow or gold, and surrounded by 10–15 circumorbital scales. The snake has 10–12 supralabials, the fourth and fifth of which are significantly larger. The eye is separated from the supralabials by three or four rows of suboculars. Of the two pairs of chin shields, the front pair is notably enlarged. The two maxillary bones support at least two and at the most five or six pairs of fangs at a time: the first are active and the rest replacements.[6] The fangs attain a length of 16.5 mm (0.65 in) in the average specimen.[18]

Tushar mone.jpg

The body is stout, the cross-section of which is rounded to circular. The dorsal scales are strongly keeled; only the lowest row is smooth. Mid-body, the dorsal scales number 27–33. The ventral scales number 153–180. The anal plate is not divided. The tail is short — about 14% of the total length — with the paired subcaudals numbering 41–68.[6]

Dorsally, the color pattern consists of a deep yellow, tan, or brown ground color, with three series of dark brown spots that run the length of the body. Each of these spots has a black ring around it, the outer border of which is intensified with a rim of white or yellow. The dorsal spots, which usually number 23–30, may grow together, while the side spots may break apart. The head has a pair of distinct dark patches, one on each temple, together with a pinkish, salmon, or brownish V or X marking that forms an apex towards the snout. Behind the eye is a dark streak, outlined in white, pink, or buff. The venter is white, whitish, yellowish, or pinkish, often with an irregular scattering of dark spots.[6]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Russell's viper from India

D. russelii is found in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Pakistan, Cambodia, Tibet, China (Guangxi, Guangdong), Taiwan and Indonesia (Endeh, Flores, east Java, Komodo, and Lomblen Islands). The type locality is listed as "India". More specifically, this would be the Coromandel Coast, by inference of Russell (1796).[19]

Within its range, it can be common in some areas, but scarce in others.[16] In India, is abundant in Punjab, very common along the West Coast and its hills, in southern India especially in the state of Karnataka and north to Bengal. It is uncommon to rare in the Ganges valley, northern Bengal, and Assam. It is prevalent in Myanmar.[18] It is also common in Thailand in Pattaya and other tourist towns where its main prey, rats, have abundant food.

D. russelii is not restricted to any particular habitat, but does tend to avoid dense forests. The snake is mostly found in open, grassy or bushy areas, but may also be found in second growth forests (scrub jungles), on forested plantations and farmland. It is most common in plains, coastal lowlands, and hills of suitable habitat. Generally, it is not found at altitude, but has been reported as far up as 2300–3000 m (7,500-9,800 ft). Humid environments, such as marshes, swamps, and rain forests, are avoided.[6]

This species is often found in highly urbanized areas and settlements in the countryside, the attraction being the rodents commensal with man.[18] As a result, those working outside in these areas are most at risk of being bitten. D. russelii does not associate as closely with human habitation as Naja and Bungarus species (cobras and kraits).[6]


D. russelii is terrestrial and active primarily as a nocturnal forager. However, during cool weather, it alters its behavior and becomes more active during the day.[6]

Adults are reported to be slow and sluggish unless pushed beyond a certain limit, after which they can become very aggressive. Juveniles, though, are generally more nervous.[6]

When threatened, they form a series of S-loops, raise the first third of the body, and produce a hiss that is supposedly louder than that of any other snake. When striking from this position, they can exert so much force that even a large individual can lift most of its body off the ground in the process.[6] These snakes are strong and may react violently to being picked up.[5] The bite may be a snap, or they may hang on for many seconds.[18]

Although this genus does not have the heat-sensitive pit organs common to the Crotalinae, it is one of a number of viperines that are apparently able to react to thermal cues, further supporting the notion that they, too, possess a heat-sensitive organ.[20][21] The identity of this sensor is not certain, but the nerve endings in the supranasal sac of these snakes resemble those found in other heat-sensitive organs.[22]

D. russelii in Bangalore, India


D. russelii is ovoviviparous.[16] Mating generally occurs early in the year, although pregnant females may be found at any time. The gestation period is more than six months. Young are produced from May to November, but mostly in June and July. It is a prolific breeder. Litters of 20–40 are common,[6] although fewer offspring may occur, as few as one.[18] The reported maximum is 75[23] in a single litter. At birth, juveniles are 215–260 mm (8.5–10.2 in) in total length. The minimum total length for a gravid female is about 100 cm (39 in). It seems that sexual maturity is achieved in 2–3 years. In one case, it took a specimen nearly 4.5 hours to give birth to 11 young.[6]


D. russelii hunting

D. russelii feeds primarily on rodents, although especially it will also eat small reptiles, land crabs, scorpions, and other arthropods. Juveniles are crepuscular, feeding on lizards and foraging actively. As they grow and become adults, they begin to specialize in rodents. Indeed, the presence of rodents and lizards is the main reason they are attracted to human habitation.[6]

Juveniles are known to be cannibalistic.[18]


The rough-scaled sand boa, Gongylophis conicus, possibly mimics the appearance of D. russelii.

Some herpetologists believe, because D. russelii is so successful as a species and has such a fearful reputation within its natural environment, another snake has come to mimic its appearance. Superficially, the rough-scaled sand boa, Gongylophis conicus, has a color pattern that often looks like that of D. russelii, though it is completely harmless.[6][17]


The quantity of venom produced by individual specimens of D. russelii is considerable. Reported venom yields for adult specimens range from 130–250 mg to 150–250 mg to 21–268 mg. For 13 juveniles with an average total length of 79 cm (31 in), the average venom yield was 8–79 mg (mean 45 mg).[6]

The LD50 in mice, which is used as a possible indicator of snake venom toxicity, is: 0.133 mg/kg intravenous,[24] 0.40 mg/kg intraperitoneal,[25] about 0.75 mg/kg subcutaneous.[26] For most humans, a lethal dose is about 40–70 mg. In general, the toxicity depends on a combination of five different venom fractions, each of which is less toxic when tested separately. Venom toxicity and bite symptoms in humans vary within different populations and over time.[6] In another study by Meier and Theakston revealed that the lethality of venom of Russell viper varies with change in route of injection as their results predicts the LD50 of 0.4 mg/kg through Intraparietal (I.P) route, 0.75 mg/kg/subcutaneous (S.C) route and 0.3 mg/kg through intravenous (I.V) route.[27] . Envenomation symptoms begin with pain at the site of the bite, immediately followed by swelling of the affected extremity. Bleeding is a common symptom, especially from the gums and in the urine, and sputum may show signs of blood within 20 minutes after the bite. The blood pressure drops, and the heart rate falls. Blistering occurs at the site of the bite, developing along the affected limb in severe cases. Necrosis is usually superficial and limited to the muscles near the bite, but may be severe in extreme cases. Vomiting and facial swelling occur in about one-third of all cases.[6] Kidney failure (renal failure) also occurs in approximately 25-30 percent of untreated bites. Severe disseminated intravascular coagulation also can occur in severe envenomations. Early medical treatment and early access to antivenom can prevent and drastically reduce the chance of developing the severe/potentially lethal complications.

Severe pain may last for 2–4 weeks. Locally, it may persist depending on the level of tissue damage. Often, local swelling peaks within 48–72 hours, involving both the affected limb and the trunk. If swelling up to the trunk occurs within 1–2 hours, massive envenomation is likely. Discoloration may occur throughout the swollen area as red blood cells and plasma leak into muscle tissue.[14] Death from septicaemia or kidney, respiratory, or cardiac failure may occur 1 to 14 days after the bite or even later.[18]

A study in The Lancet showed that out of a sample of people bitten by D. russelii who survived, 29% of them suffered severe damage to their pituitary glands, which later resulted in hypopituitarism.[citation needed] Other scientific studies support the hypothesis that D. russelii bites can cause hypopituitarism.[28][29][30]

Because this venom is so effective at inducing thrombosis, it has been incorporated into an in vitro diagnostic test for blood clotting that is widely used in hospital laboratories. This test is often referred to as dilute Russell's viper venom time (dRVVT). The coagulant in the venom directly activates factor X, which turns prothrombin into thrombin in the presence of factor V and phospholipid. The venom is diluted to give a clotting time of 23 to 27 seconds and the phospholipid is reduced to make the test extremely sensitive to phospholipid. The dRVVT test is more sensitive than the aPTT test for the detection of lupus anticoagulant (an autoimmune disorder), because it is not influenced by deficiencies in clotting factors VIII, IX or XI.[31]

In India, the Haffkine Institute prepares a polyvalent antivenin that is used to treat bites from this species.[18] As of November 2016, a new antivenom was developed by the Costa Rican Clodomiro Picado Institute, and clinical trial phase in Sri Lanka.[32]


Using morphological and mitochondrial DNA data, Thorpe et al. (2007)[33] provided evidence that the eastern subspecies of D. russelii should be considered a separate species, Daboia siamensis.

A number of other subspecies may be encountered in literature,[6] including:

Viper Snake in Pune
Russell's Viper in Pune
  • D. s. formosensis (Maki, 1931) – found in Taiwan (considered a synonym of D. siamensis).
  • D. s. limitis (Mertens, 1927) – found in Indonesia (considered a synonym of D. siamensis).
  • D. r. pulchella (Gray, 1842) – found in Sri Lanka (considered a synonym of D. r. russelii).
  • D. r. nordicus (Deraniyagala, 1945) – found in northern India (considered a synonym of D. r. russelii).

The correct spelling of the species, D. russelii, has been, and still is, a matter of debate. Shaw & Nodder (1797), in their account of the species Coluber russelii, named it after Dr. Patrick Russell, but apparently misspelled his name, using only one "L" instead of two. Russell (1727–1805) was the author of An Account of Indian Serpents (1796) and A Continuation of an Account of Indian Serpents (1801). McDiarmid et al. (1999) are among those who favor the original misspelling, citing Article 32c (ii) of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. Others, such as Zhao and Adler (1993) favor russellii.[19]


  1. ^ Shaw, George (1797). "The Russelian Snake". The Naturalist's Miscellany. 8: 291–293.
  2. ^ Russell, Patrick (1796). An account of Indian serpents, collected on the coast of Coromandel. London: W. Bulmer and Co. Shakespeare-Press. p. 10.
  3. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Daboia russelii, pp. 229-230).
  4. ^ Weiner ESC, Simpson JA (editors) (1991). The Compact Oxford English Dictionary: New Edition. USA: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-861258-3.
  5. ^ a b Whitaker Z (1989). Snakeman: The Story of a Naturalist. Bombay: India Magazine Books. 184 pp. ASIN B0007BR65Y.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s 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.
  7. ^ a b Snakes of Thailand: Venomous snakes at Siam-Info. Retrieved 20 October 2006.
  8. ^ Daboia russelii at the Reptile Database. Accessed 2 August 2007.
  9. ^ a b . Retrieved 20 October 2006.
  10. ^ Captive Care of the Russell's viper at Retrieved 14 March 2007. Archived April 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Somaweera A (2007). Checklist of the Snakes of Sri Lanka. Peradeniya, Sri Lanka: Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya. PDF Archived 2008-09-20 at the Wayback Machine at Sri Lanka Reptile. Retrieved 14 March 2007.
  12. ^ Mehrtens JM (1987). Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ a b United States Navy (1991). Poisonous Snakes of the World. New York: United States Government/Dover Publications Inc. 203 pp. ISBN 0-486-26629-X.
  15. ^ "Poisonous snakes".
  16. ^ a b c Stidworthy J (1974). Snakes of the World. Revised Edition. New York: Grosset & Dunlap Inc. 160 pp. ISBN 0-448-11856-4.
  17. ^ a b Ditmars RL (1937). Reptiles of the World: The Crocodilians, Lizards, Snakes, Turtles and Tortoises of the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. New York: The MacMillan Company. 321 pp.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h Daniels JC (2002). Book of Indian Reptiles and Amphibians. USA: Oxford University Press. 252 pp. ISBN 0-19-566099-4. (Russell's viper, pp. 148–151).
  19. ^ a b McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré TA (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).
  20. ^ Krochmal AR, Bakken GS (August 2003). "Thermoregulation is the pits: use of thermal radiation for retreat site selection by rattlesnakes". J. Exp. Biol. 206 (Pt 15): 2539–45. doi:10.1242/jeb.00471. PMID 12819261.
  21. ^ Krochmal AR, Bakken GS, LaDuc TJ (2004). "Heat in evolution's kitchen: evolutionary perspectives on the functions and origin of the facial pit of pitvipers (Viperidae: Crotalinae)". J. Exp. Biol. 207 (Pt 24): 4231–8. doi:10.1242/jeb.01278. PMID 15531644.
  22. ^ York DS, Silver TM, Smith AA (1998). "Innervation of the supranasal sac of the puff adder". Anat. Rec. 251 (2): 221–5. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0185(199806)251:2<221::AID-AR10>3.0.CO;2-Q. PMID 9624452.
  23. ^ "Russell's Viper delivers 75 snakelets". Bangalore Mirror.
  24. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2012-01-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-07-18. Retrieved 2012-01-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-02-05. Retrieved 2012-01-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ Meier, J; Theakston, RD (1986). "Approximate LD50 determinations of snake venoms using eight to ten experimental animals". Toxicon. 24 (4): 395–401. doi:10.1016/0041-0101(86)90199-6. PMID 3715904.
  28. ^ Tunpe (1987). "Acute and Chronic Pituitary Failure Resembling Sheehan's Syndrome Following Bites by Russell's Viper in Burma". The Lancet. 330 (8562): 763–767. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(87)92500-1. PMID 2888987. S2CID 41839362.
  29. ^ Tun-Pe; Warrell, D. A.; Tin-Nu-Swe; Phillips, R. E.; Moore, R. A.; Myint-Lwin; Burke, C. W. (1987). "Acute and chronic pituitary failure resembling Sheehan's syndrome following bites by Russell's viper in Burma". Lancet. 2 (8562): 763–767. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(87)92500-1. PMID 2888987. S2CID 41839362.
  30. ^ Antonypillai, C. N.; Wass, J. A. H.; Warrell, D. A.; Rajaratnam, H. N. (2010). "Hypopituitarism following envenoming by Russell's Vipers (Daboia siamensis and D. russelii ) resembling Sheehan's syndrome: First case report from Sri Lanka, a review of the literature and recommendations for endocrine management". QJM. 104 (2): 97–108. doi:10.1093/qjmed/hcq214. PMID 21115460.
  31. ^ Antiphospholipid Syndrome Archived 2006-11-17 at the Wayback Machine at SpecialtyLaboratories. Retrieved 27 September 2006.
  32. ^ Rodrigo M (2016). Trials to start for home-grown anti-venom. Available at:
  33. ^ Thorpe RS, Pook CE, Malhotra A (2007). "Phylogeography of the Russell's viper (Daboia russelii) complex in relation to variation in the colour pattern and symptoms of envenoming". Herpetological Journal. 17: 209–18.

Further reading[edit]

  • Hawgood BJ (November 1994). "The life and viper of Dr Patrick Russell MD FRS (1727–1805): physician and naturalist". Toxicon. 32 (11): 1295–304. doi:10.1016/0041-0101(94)90402-2. PMID 7886689.
  • Adler K, Smith HM, Prince SH, David P, Chiszar D (2000). "Russell's viper: Daboia russelii not Daboia russellii, due to Classical Latin rules". Hamadryad. 25 (2): 83–5.
  • Boulenger GA (1890). The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. London: Secretary of State for India in Council. (Taylor and Francis, printers). xviii + 541 pp. ("Vipera russellii", pp. 420–421, Figure 123).
  • Boulenger GA (1896). Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume III., Containing the...Viperidæ. London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiv + 727 pp. + Plates I.- XXV. ("Vipera russellii", pp. 490–491).
  • Breidenbach CH (1990). "Thermal cues influence strikes in pitless vipers". Journal of Herpetology. Society for the Study of Reptiles and Amphibians. 24 (4): 448–50. doi:10.2307/1565074. JSTOR 1565074.
  • Cox M (1991). The Snakes of Thailand and Their Husbandry. Malabar, Florida: Krieger Publishing Company. 526 pp. ISBN 0-89464-437-8.
  • Daniels JC (2002). Book of Indian Reptiles and Amphibians Mumbai: Bombay Natural History Society/Oxford University Press. viii + 238pp.
  • Das I (2002). A Photographic Guide to Snakes and other Reptiles of India. Sanibel Island, Florida: Ralph Curtis Books. 144 pp. ISBN 0-88359-056-5. (Russell's viper, "Daboia russelii", p. 60).
  • Dimitrov GD, Kankonkar RC (February 1968). "Fractionation of Vipera russelli venom by gel filtration. I. Venom composition and relative fraction function". Toxicon. 5 (3): 213–21. doi:10.1016/0041-0101(68)90092-5. PMID 5640304.
  • Dowling HG (1993). "The name of Russell's viper". Amphibia-Reptilia. 14 (3): 320. doi:10.1163/156853893X00543.
  • Gharpurey K (1962). Snakes of India and Pakistan. Bombay, India: Popular Prakishan. 79 pp.
  • Groombridge B (1980). A phyletic analysis of viperine snakes. Ph-D thesis. City of London: Polytechnic College. 250 pp.
  • Groombridge B (1986). "Phyletic relationships among viperine snakes". In: Proceedings of the third European herpetological meeting; 1985 July 5–11; Charles University, Prague. pp 11–17.
  • Jena I, Sarangi A (1993). Snakes of Medical Importance and Snake-bite Treatment. New Delhi: SB Nangia, Ashish Publishing House. 293 pp.
  • 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.
  • Mahendra BC (1984). "Handbook of the snakes of India, Ceylon, Burma, Bangladesh and Pakistan". Annals of Zoology (Agra, India) 22.
  • Master RW, Rao SS (July 1961). "Identification of enzymes and toxins in venoms of Indian cobra and Russell's viper after starch gel electrophoresis". J. Biol. Chem. 236: 1986–90. PMID 13767976.
  • Minton SA Jr. (1974). Venom Diseases. Springfield, Illinois: CC Thomas Publishing. 386 pp.
  • Morris PA (1948). Boy's Book of Snakes: How to Recognize and Understand Them. A volume of the Humanizing Science Series, edited by Jacques Cattell. New York: Ronald Press. viii + 185 pp. (Russell's viper, "Vipera russellii", pp. 156–157, 182).
  • Naulleau G, van den Brule B (1980). "Captive reproduction of Vipera russelli". Herpetological Review. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. 11: 110–2.
  • Obst FJ (1983). "Zur Kenntnis der Schlangengattung Vipera". Zoologische Abhandlungen. Staatliches Museums für Tierkunde in Dresden. 38: 229–35. (in German).
  • Reid HA (1968). "Symptomatology, pathology, and treatment of land snake bite in India and southeast Asia". In: Bucherl W, Buckley E, Deulofeu V (editors). Venomous Animals and Their Venoms. Vol. 1. New York: Academic Press. pp 611–42.
  • Shaw G, Nodder FP (1797). The Naturalist's Miscellany. Volume 9. London: Nodder and Co. 65 pp. (Coluber russelii, new species, Plate 291).
  • Shortt (1863). "A short account of the viper Daboia elegans (Vipera Russellii)". Annals and Magazine of Natural History. 11 (3): 384–5.
  • Silva A de (1990). Colour Guide to the Snakes of Sri Lanka. Avon (Eng): R & A Books. ISBN 1-872688-00-4. 130 pp.
  • Sitprija V, Benyajati C, Boonpucknavig V (1974). "Further observations of renal insufficiency in snakebite". Nephron. 13 (5): 396–403. doi:10.1159/000180416. PMID 4610437.
  • Smith MA (1943). The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-region. Reptilia and Amphibia. Vol. III.—Serpentes. London: Secretary of State for India. (Taylor and Francis, printers). xii + 583 pp. ("Vipera russelli", pp. 482–485).
  • Thiagarajan P, Pengo V, Shapiro SS (October 1986). "The use of the dilute Russell viper venom time for the diagnosis of lupus anticoagulants". Blood. 68 (4): 869–74. doi:10.1182/blood.V68.4.869.869. PMID 3092888.
  • Maung-Maung-Thwin, Khin-Mee-Mee, Mi-Mi-Kyin, Thein-Than (1988). "Kinetics of envenomation with Russell's viper (Vipera russelli) venom and of antivenom use in mice". Toxicon. 26 (4): 373–8. doi:10.1016/0041-0101(88)90005-0. PMID 3406948.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
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