Formidable and beautiful snake body wide, massive and heavy, triangular head and short tail. Adults typically measure about 140 cm long.
The head is large and triangular, very distinct from the neck, with the bulge behind the eyes for the very obvious location of the poisonous glands.
Very mobile, slightly bulging eyes situated in position quite above and the vertical pupil and iris of pale grey, cream, yellow, or orange; slightly more dark copper color escarchado. 15 - 21 scale circumorbitarias. 12-16 interoculares scales.
Focusing on the snout, presents two small horns just ahead of the nostrils (very large in B.g. rhinoceros).
Two dark spots of triangular form together the lower and back part of the eye with the upper lip (approximately at the level of the 7th and 8th supralabial and the 10th and 15th in B.g. gabonica), the subspecies in B.g. rhinoceros shows only the subsequent stain.
Teething solenoglifa, their enormous fangs boast record length among all venomous reptiles in the world, and can reach up to 55 mm (to make an idea, almost like the altur)(a of the famous Zippo lighters).
The dorsal scales are strongly keeled (except for the outer rows) and arranged in rows 28-46 in the middle part of the body.
Typically, males have 132 ventral scales and females mostly a number something minor.
Anal scale without splitting.
About 25 pairs of subcaudal scales in males and 23 females.
The background coloration ranges from pink to Brown. The back in all its length this journey through a line of spots in cartridge form, connected among themselves for reasons obscure hourglass-shaped. Both sides also presented series of geometric spots in ochre tones more or less dark or almost black.
The belly is clear with irregular Brown or black spots.
The sexes are distinguished by the length of the tail in relation to the total length of body roughly 12% in males and females 6 %
On the other hand, we find the famous Gabon Viper (Bitis gabonica, Fig. 1), found in jungles and savannas of sub-Saharan Africa. It is the largest Member of the genus Bitis, and the species of vipérido moreheavy in the world; It has the poison of increased performance of all venomous snakes and the tusks of larger, with 5.5 cm in length. There are two currently recognized subspecies.
• Total length: 140 cm, exceptionally up to about 200 cm.
• Weight: 8-9 Kg.
|Scientific name||Bitis gabonica|
Viperidae; subfamily Viperinae
Primarily nocturnal and solitary habits, preferably live in tropical forests and its surroundings, usually at low altitude, but also dealing with plantations, grasslands, swamps, reforested areas or even evergreen forests. They are not aggressive and rarely attack without provocation.
Topographical distribution ranges from sea level to 1,500 m (with records up to 2,100 m).
Slow travel because of his girth, his hunting technique is based primarily on the ambush (supported by the incredible speed of its bite, their ability to perceive vibrations of the soil and by the sophisticated design of your skin which makes virtually invisible when between the chiaroscuro of the jungle they agazapan among dead leaves)Although hunting episodes have also been described active.
Your posting is almost straight, relying on the ventral scales.
They feed on a wide variety of birds and mammals. Depending on its size, can be caught from birds and mice to pigeons, rats, rabbits and hares (can potentially eat any animal deemed "adequate" and sized go them ahead, references to exist)(catch prey more large).
Unlike all other species of snakes, with the help of his heavy body as support, the Bitis keep prey literally "strung" with their large fangs waiting arising by the poison effect, saving you the effort of track after the bite.
In the breeding season, males face in elaborate ritual combat intertwining necks and body to get the opponent to put his head on the floor.
Ovoviviparous species, gestation lasts about a year, at the end of which (usually at the end of the summer) the female between 16 and 60 pups from 25 - 32 cm long and 25-45 g of weight, covered with a thin membrane that arise immediately after birth.
Due to its long gestation period, their reproductive cycle is 2-3 years (or even 5 years).
• Litter size: 16-60 pup.
• Gestation period: Ovovivípara, approximately one year.
• Longevity: 10-15 years in the wild; up to 20 years in captivity.
Cameroon, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Uncertain in Liberia and Sierra Leone in West Africa.
• Bitis gabonica gabonica (Duméril, Bibron)((& Duméril, 1854)), Eastern Gabon Viper.
• Bitis gabonica rhinoceros (Schlegel, 1855), Viper, Gabon in West Africa.
The differences found in the composition of the venom between this subspecies and the nominal species, have recently led to some authors to high species level. (Bitis rhinoceros).
• Similar species:
B. arietans (Puff adder)
B. atropos (Berg adder)
B. caudalis (Horned adder)
B. cornuta (Many-horned adder)
B. Heraldry (press adder)
B. inornata (Plain mountain adder)
B. nasicornis (Rhinoceros viper)
B. parviocula (Ethiopian mountain adder)
B. peringueyi (Peringuey's desert adder)
B. rubida (Red adder)
B. schneideri (Namaqua dwarf adder)
B. worthingtoni (Kenyan horned viper)
B. xeropaga (Desert mountain adder)
Bitis gabonica gabonica (Duméril, Bibron & Duméril 1854)
Cerastes nasicornis (Hallowell 1847)
Echidna gabonica (Duméril, Bibron & Duméril 1854: 1428)
Bitis gabonica (Schmidt 1923: 142)
Bitis gabonica gabonica (Mertens 1951)
Arietans Bitis gabonica (Broadley 1959)
Bitis gabonica gabonica (Broadley & Howell 1991: 23)
Urobelus gabonicus (between 1999)
(Macrocerastes) Bitis gabonica (Lenk et al. 1999)
Bitis gabonica (Mcdiarmid, Campbell & Touré 1999: 363)
Bitis gabonica (Rödel & Mahsberg 2000)
Bitis gabonica (Vogel 2007 & Dobiey)
Although the toxicity of their venom, equal weight is rather low compared to other venomous snakes, this is offset by the large number can inoculate in each bite.
Gabon snakes bites are not very frequent, partly because of its Habitat, in part by the quiet nature of the animal.
Currently, the majority of accidents with these found occur during the handling of specimens in captivity.
Type of poison: cytotoxic and neurotoxic
Action: Urgent transportation to the hospital.
Level of dangerousness: potentially highly lethal.
Main symptoms: local swelling, formation of blisters, necrosis, coagulopathy, hemorrhages, cardiotoxicity.
|Other names||Escurço del Gabón [ca]. Gabunviper [de]. Víbora del Gabón [es]. Gaboon viper, Butterfly adder, Forest puff adder, Swampjack [en]. Vipère du Gabon [fr]. Vipera del Gabon [it]. Víbora do Gabão [pt].|
|Media source||Arjan Haverkamp, Brian Gratwicke|
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