IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)


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Cerastes gasperettii

Common names: Arabian horned viper, desert horned viper,[3] Middle Eastern horned viper.[4]

Cerastes gasperettii, commonly known as the Arabian horned viper, is a venomous viper species found especially in the Arabian Peninsula[2] and north to Israel and Iran. It is very similar in appearance to C. cerastes, but the geographic ranges of these two species do not overlap.[5] No subspecies of C. gasperettii are currently recognized.[6]


The specific name, gasperettii, is in honor of John Gasperetti, an American surveyor, engineer, and herpetologist, who collected the holotype specimen.[7][8]


The average total length (body + tail) is 30–60 cm (12–24 in), with a maximum total length of 85 cm (33 in). Females are usually larger than males.[3]

Geographic range[edit]

In the Arabian Peninsula it has been found in Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. It is found in the Arava valley, located on the border between southern Israel and Jordan, eastwards through Jordan and Iraq to Khuzistan Provence in southwestern Iran.

The type locality given is "Beda Azan [23°41'N., 53°28'E.], Abu Dhabi [Abū Zaby]" [United Arab Emirates].[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Egan DM, Amr ZSS, Al Johany AMH, Els J, Pappenfuss T, Nilson G, Sadek R, Disi AM, Hraoui-Bloquet S, Werner YL, Anderson S. 2012. Cerastes gasperettii. In: IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. www.iucnredlist.org.
  2. ^ a b c McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Washington, District of Columbia: Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  3. ^ a b Mallow D, Ludwig D, Nilson G. 2003. True Vipers: Natural History and Toxinology of Old World Vipers. Malabar, Florida: Krieger Publishing Company. 359 pp. ISBN 0-89464-877-2.
  4. ^ Mehrtens JM. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.
  5. ^ Spawls S, Branch B. 1995. The Dangerous Snakes of Africa. Dubai: Ralph Curtis Books. Oriental Press. 192 pp. ISBN 0-88359-029-8.
  6. ^ "Cerastes gasperettii". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 30 July 2006. 
  7. ^ Werner YL. 2002. Middle Eastern herpetology loses John Gasperetti, 1920-2001. Zoology in the Middle East 27: 5-6.
  8. ^ Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Cerastes gasperettii, pp. 98-99).

Further reading[edit]

  • Farag AA, Banaja A. 1980. Amphibians and Reptiles from the western region of Saudi Arabia. Bull. Fac. Sci. King Aziz Univ., Riyad 4: 5-29.
  • Joger U. 1984. The Venomous Snakes of the Near and Middle East. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag. 175 pp. ISBN 3-88226-199-4.
  • Leviton AE, Anderson SC. 1967. Survey of the reptiles of the Sheikdom of Abu Dhabi, Arabian Peninsula. Part II. Systematic account of the collection of reptiles made in the Sheikdom of Abu Dhabi by John Gasperetti. Proc. California Acad. Sci., Fourth Series 35: 157-192, 12 figures, 8 tables. (Cerastes cerastes gasperettii, new subspecies, pp. 183-186, Figure 12, Table 5).
  • Werner YL, Le Verdier A, Rosenman D, Sivan N. 1991. Systematics and zoogeography of Cerastes (Ophidia: Viperidae) in the Levant: 1. Distinguishing Arabian from African "Cerastes cerastes ". The Snake 23: 90-100.

External links[edit]


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