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Home > Snakes > Gaboon Viper

Gaboon Viper

Gaboon viper is a venomous viper species native to sub-Saharan Africa. It is the largest member in its genus and the heaviest venomous snake found in Africa. The species has the longest fangs and the highest venom yield among other snakes. There are two recognized subspecies of this snake.

    Kingdom Animalia
    Phylum Chordata
    Subphylum Vertebrata
    Class Reptilia
    Order Squamata
    Suborder Serpentes
    Family Viperidae
    Subfamily Viperinae
    Genus Bitis
    Scientific Name Bitis gabonica

    Other Names Swamp Jack, Gaboon Adder, Butterfly Adder, Forest Puff Adder
    Length Around 125–155 cm; largest specimen recorded is 205 cm
    Weight Up to 20 kg
    Color Comprises of a series of uneven, pale subrectangular patches along the center of the back with dark yellow-edged hourglass markings; brown or fawn rhomboidal shapes on the flanks with pale vertical central bars; pale belly with uneven brown or black patches; white or cream head consisting of a fine dark line at the middle, rear corners have black spots; below and at the back of each eye contains a dark blue-black triangle; iris is cream, orange, yellow-white or silvery
    Distribution Guinea, Ghana, Cameroon, Togo, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, eastern Tanzania, Zambia; Sierra Leone and Liberia in West Africa
    Habitat Rainforests, woodlands, grasslands, agricultural areas
    Diet Birds and mammals, rodents, field mice and rats, hares and rabbits
    Hibernation Fact Don’t hibernate
    Venom Fact Cytotoxic
    Breeding Season September – December
    Mode of Reproduction Viviparous (giving birth to live young)
    Litter Size 30 to 60
    Gestation Period Around 7 months
    Reproductive Age 3 to 5 years of age
    Average Lifespan In Wild: Around 18 years
    In Captivity: 20  to 22 years
    IUCN Conservation Status Not Listed

    Gaboon Viper Pictures Gallery

    Published on October 12th 2016 by under Snakes. Article was last reviewed on 4th June 2019.

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