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The Variable Bush Viper by Richard Bartlett on 2022-06-27 01:55:00


Small snakes, variable bush vipers are adult at from 18 to 24 inches in length.

Meet Africa’s non-eyelashed, muilticolored viperine answer to the crotaline Eyelashed Pit Viper of Central and South America! This is the variable bush viper, Atheris squamiger. An arboreal species, this 18 to 24 inch long viperine is most at home in forest shrubs rather than canopy reaching trees.

Although in some populations the color of the variable bush viper may be a rather standardized olive-green, in other locales the variations in coloration are nothing short of remarkable. In these latter the little snakes may be of some shade of green, orange, russet, cinnamon, blue, yellow, charcoal, or brownish. Some may even be of one color dorsally and a second color laterally. And on any of these colors the snake may or may not bear a vague or prominent dorsal pattern of dark-edged, darker than ground color, dorsal saddles or chevrons. The belly may vary from immaculate to heavily spotted. Have I yet described a variability sufficient to warrant the name? I would certainly think so.

Atheris squamiger occurs in tropical West and Central Africa

This snake will bite if threatened and envenomation has resulted in human death.
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