Tuesday 21 May
Alburzi viper (Vipera eriwanensis)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Alburzi viper fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Alburzi viper description
A small, little-known viper, the Alburzi viper (Vipera eriwanensis) was originally described from one specimen in 1933, and only one known author has since tried to adequately describe this snake (2).
The Alburzi viper typically has a grey to brown body, decorated with 54 to 78 zig-zag bands extending from the neck to the tip of the tail. It has a higher number of scales on the head, underside and back than other similar vipers in its range. However, the Alburzi viper is extremely variable in its scale numbers and patterning, probably due to varying local conditions (2).
- Also known as
- Armenian steppe viper.
- Acridophaga renardi, Vipera renadri, Vipera ursini. Top
The Orianne Society - Viper Conservation Initiatives:
- : a winter survival strategy in which the animal passes the winter in a resting state. This period of inactivity is characterised by specific biological and biochemical changes including lowered blood pressure and respiration rate.
- A biome (major regional biological community) that is composed of a swathe of temperate grassland stretching from Romania to China.
- Giving birth to live offspring that develop inside the mother’s body.
IUCN Red List (April, 2011)
- Kutrup, B., Bülbül, U. and Yilmaz, N. (2004) On the distribution and morphology of the steppe viper, Vipera eriwanensis, (Reuss, 1933), from Gaver mountain (Gümüşhane). Turkish Journal of Zoology, 29: 321-325.
- Zazanashvili, N. and Mallon, D. (2009) Status and Protection of Globally Threatened Species in the Caucasus. Contour Ltd, Tbilisi, Georgia.
- Starkov, V.G., Osipov, A.V. and Utkin, Y. (2007) Toxicity of venoms from vipers of Pelias group to crickets Gryllus assimilis and its relation to snake entomophagy. Toxicon, 49: 995-1001.
- Halliday, T. and Adler, K. (2002) The New Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
- Sanz, L., Ayvazyan, N. and Calvete, J.J. (2008) Snake venomics of the Armenian mountain vipers Macrovipera lebetina and Vipera raddei. Journal of Proteomics, 71: 198-209.
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
Alburzi viper biology
Although very little is known about the Alburzi viper, related viper species consume a variety of food items, including small mammals, amphibians and insects (4). All vipers are venomous, and possess long, hollow fangs which can be folded against the roof of the mouth when not in use (5). After striking its prey, the viper waits for its venom to take effect and immobilise, paralyse and kill the prey. Like some closely related species, the Alburzi viper may have fast-acting venom that quickly immobilises its prey before the prey can move away and be lost in the viper’s rocky mountain habitat (6).
For most of the year, the Alburzi viper is active during the day, but during the summer, it becomes active during the morning and evening. It is active during the months of April to October, before a period of hibernation between October and April. A viviparous species, the Alburzi viper gives birth to up to ten offspring at a time (1).Top
Alburzi viper range
The Alburzi viper occurs in Armenia, Azerbaijan and north-eastern Turkey, at elevations between 1,000 and 3,000 metres (1).Top
Alburzi viper habitatTop
Alburzi viper status
The Alburzi viper is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Alburzi viper threats
The primary threat to the Alburzi viper is habitat degradation. Its habitat is used intensively for farmland and it is particularly threatened by overgrazing by domestic livestock (1).Top
Alburzi viper conservation
The Alburzi viper occurs within the grasslands of the Khosrov and Dilijan Reserve in Armenia (1), which should offer its habitat some protection. However, there are no specific conservation measures currently in place for this threatened snake.Top
Find out more
Find out about viper conservation:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
More »Related species
Play the Team WILD game
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.