IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)


Read full entry

Atractaspis engaddensis

Atractaspis engaddensis is an African venomous snake found in Israel, including Palestinian territories, Sinai, Jordan, SW/C Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.


It can also be called Israeli Mole Viper.[2] It is a venomous snake native to Africa and its body is usually dark black color and it has small eyes with round pupils. The tail is short and pointy. Its approximate size is one meter long.


They prefer hatchling snakes but they can also eat small mammals like baby rodents.


Three isotoxins, named sarafotoxins S6a1, S6b and S6c, with strong cardiotoxic activity were isolated from the venom of a snake, Atractaspis engaddensis. All three sarafotoxins are homologous peptides (four or less than four residue replacements) consisting of 21 amino acid residues. Their structure and activity are novel among snake venom components. The venom from the snake Atractaspis engaddensis has a very high lethal potency, with an i.v. LD50 of 0.06-0.075 micrograms per g body weight in mice. The action of the venom is rapid and death results from seemingly neurotoxic effects. However, even at high concentrations, the venom does not block contractions of skeletal muscles that are directly or indirectly stimulated. The most prominent action of the venom is seen in the function of the heart in anesthetized mice, with or without artificial respiration. The changes observed in the ECG are similar to those recorded in human victims and are the result of an A-V block that is caused by an apparent direct action of the venom on the heart.



Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Belongs to 0 communities

This taxon hasn't been featured in any communities yet.

Learn more about Communities


EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!