Vipera aspis zinnikeri

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Vipera aspis zinnikeri
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Genus: Vipera
Species: V. aspis
Subspecies: V. a. zinnikeri
Trinomial name
Vipera aspis zinnikeri
Kramer, 1958
  • Vipera aspis zinnikeri
    Kramer, 1958
  • Vipera (Rhinaspis) aspis zinnikeri Obst, 1983[1]
Common names: Gascony asp, Gascony viper,[2] Gascony asp viper.[3]

Vipera aspis zinnikeri is a venomous viper subspecies[4] endemic to the Pyrenees region of Spain and France.[5]


It was named after "W. Zinniker", a Swiss herpetologist.[2]


V. a. zinnikeri is relatively small in size, with a maximum total length (body + tail) of 65 cm (26 in). Also, the head is long and narrow compared to other subspecies of this species. The total number of ventrals plus subcaudals is 175-187 in males and 170-183 in females.[3]

The color pattern is much like that of Vipera berus. The dorsal pattern is fused into a broad, wavy or zigzag dark stripe that contains a straight-edged, pale stripe about three scales wide. This pattern stands out clearly against the ground color, which is particularly light along the edges of the dorsal pattern. Series of dark vertical bars or extended ovals run along the flanks, opposing the indentations of the dorsal pattern.[3]

The aforementioned middorsal stripe may be pale beige or grey. The ground color of some specimens may approach clear orange.[2]

Geographic range[edit]

This race is found in the Pyrenees region of northeastern Spain and southwestern France.[5] Steward (1971) states that they occur in the Department of Gers in Gascony, southwestern France.[3] Street (1979) describes its range as "Gascony, Andorra and a nearby Spanish locality."[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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. ^ a b c Mehrtens JM. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.
  3. ^ a b c d Steward JW. 1971. The Snakes of Europe. Cranbury, New Jersey: Associated University Press (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press). 238 pp. LCCCN 77-163307. ISBN 0-8386-1023-4.
  4. ^ "Vipera aspis zinnikeri". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 15 August 2006. 
  5. ^ a b Vipera aspis at the Reptile Database. Accessed 13 December 2007.
  6. ^ Street D. 1979. The Reptiles of Northern and Central Europe. London: B.T. Batsford Ltd. 268 pp. ISBN 0-7134-1374-3.

Further reading[edit]

  • Kramer E. 1958. Eine neue Rasse der Aspisviper aus dem südwestlichen Frankreich Vipera aspis zinnikeri n. subsp. Vierteljahrschrift Naturforschende Gesellschaft Zürich 103: 321-326 + 2 Figures.

External links[edit]