Thought to be an ambush predator, Lataste’s viper employs a ‘sit-and-wait’ strategy to capture prey (6). Its diet comprises mainly reptiles and small mammals, although other types of prey, including arthropods, amphibians and birds, are also taken. The diet varies according to season and age (6), and may even result in occasional cannibalism during periods of low prey densities (3). Despite its small size, Lataste’s viper is considered to be one of the most aggressively defensive of all Vipera species; if threatened, it will strike repeatedly while producing a loud hiss (4).
Lataste’s viper is a viviparous snake (5), meaning females give birth to live young that have developed within the body, with each female reproducing every three years on average (2). In the Iberian Peninsula, mating was observed between autumn and spring (2), while in Morocco it was recorded in April and May, with a possible second mating season in autumn (5). The average litter size ranged from two to thirteen individuals (2).