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Home > Snakes > Russell’s Viper

Russell’s Viper

Russell’s viper is a species of venomous snake found in the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and southern parts of China and Taiwan. The species is terrestrial and nocturnal particularly during hot weather. However, the snake changes its behavior during cool weather and becomes more active during the day.



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


    Other Names Chain Viper, Indian Russell’s viper, common Russell’s viper, seven pacer, chain snake, scissors snake
    Length Up to 166 cm (5.5 ft)
    Color Deep yellow, tan, or brown upper surface with three series of dark brown spots running along the length of the body, each spot has a black ring around it, the outer border of which has a rim of white or yellow; distinct dark patches on the head, one on each temple; a dark streak appears behind the eye bordered with white, pink or buff; white, whitish, yellowish, or pinkish underside often with non-uniform scattering of dark spots
    Distribution India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Tibet, Pakistan, China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Cambodia
    Habitat Open, grassy or bushy areas, second growth forests (scrub jungles), forested plantations, farmland, plains, coastal lowlands
    Diet Rodents, squirrels, shrews, land crabs, scorpions, birds, lizards, frogs
    Venom Fact Venomous
    Breeding Season April to July
    Mode of Reproduction Ovoviviparous (producing young ones by means of eggs hatched inside the body of the parent)
    Litter Size 20 to 40 young
    Gestation Period More than 6 months
    Reproductive Age 2 to 3 years of age
    Average Lifespan Up to 15 years in captivity
    IUCN Conservation Status Least Concern

    Russell’s Viper Pictures Gallery

    Published on April 25th 2017 by under Snakes. Article was last reviewed on 14th June 2019.

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