Can a Horned Viper kill you?

The horned viper venom isn’t very toxic and a sting while not usually deadly, can still have some severe consequences. victims could be saved.

In the Arabian Peninsula, the species occurs in southwestern Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait and parts of Qatar. That is improbable, although there are reports of this species being found in Lebanon.

The average length for the horned viper is all about 12 to 24 inches (30–60 cm) but may reach 33 inches (85 cm).

These snakes have a strong body, narrow neck a milder mid-body section, and a tapering tail that may have a black tip. Females are larger than males in dimension, although there is A substantial sexual dimorphism present with females having eyes and smaller heads compared to males.

The color pattern varies from brown, yellowish, red to grayish and many frequently matches the soil color where the snake occupies. From the back light brown and slightly rectangular patches can be found, sometimes crossbars may be fused into by these blotches and the bottom is white.

The species most distinctive characteristic is that the existence of supraorbital”horns” over every eye from which derives their name. Nevertheless, in certain people these “horns” may be smaller in dimension or even absent, making”hornless” specimens. These scales that were altered are used to guard the snake’s eyes against sand and help it using camouflage.

The horned viper is really a nocturnal creature, being active from dusk until dawn. They wriggle the body side to hide themselves in the sand.

For this reason they prefer dry areas with fine and loose sand and the occasional rock outcrop, rather at greater elevations less likely to the harsh desert temperatures.

They proceed by sliding the body sideways, at a type of motion is called”sidewinding” such as that of the sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes) found on the American continent.

The species can also be known by several other common names such as desert horned viper, desert sidewinding horned viper, Saharan horned viper, horned desert viper, Sahara horned viper, North African horned viper, African desert horned viper, larger cerastes, along with asp.

horned viper

The title horned viper is occasionally utilized to refer other unrelated species like the horned puff adder (Bitis caudalis) of southwest Africa or even the sand viper (Vipera ammodytes) found in southern Europe, the Balkans and the Middle East.

The desert horned viper might have been the snake that inflicted Cleopatra’s deadly wound if she committed suicide, and the other contender is that the Egyptian cobra (Naja haje).


There are no subspecies are currently recognized but other two species have been known within their own genus, Cerastes, the Arabian horned viper (C. gasperettii) as well as also the Sahara sand viper (C. vipera).

Can a Horned Viper kill you?

The horned viper venom isn’t very toxic and a sting while not usually deadly, can still have some severe consequences. The viper has hinged hollow fangs that unfold in the posture when the snake opens its mouth, letting the snake to deliver the venom really effectively.

Their venom contains 13 unique toxins and it is composition changes by geographical location inside the snake’s variety, with the most powerful mix causing untoward consequences.

A bite causes many symptoms such as enormous localized swelling, intense pain, excessive bleeding or clotting, necrosis, nausea, stomach pain, sweating, exhaustion, vomiting, hematuria, kidney failure, and heart problems.

The venom yield fluctuates from 20 to 100 milligrams of dried venom, with a estimated lethal dose for humans around 40 to 50 mg. The LD50 values range from of 0.4 mg/kg (intravenous) and 3.0 mg/kg (subcutaneous).


The horned viper feeds mainly on lizards however sometimes takes additionally on birds and mammals found in its desert and temperate habitat. All these snakes are ambush predators, they lie under stones beneath the desert sand, with eyes visible and their horns.

If their unsuspecting victim come close enough they hit with a stunning rate, holding on to the prey waiting before the venom takes effect.


These snakes locate their mating partners using the sense of smell to feel pheromones present in the air. The mating season occurs in the spring from April to June. This species is oviparous, and the female lays anywhere from 8 to 24 eggs in burrows or beneath stones. The female may store the sperm on the human body for several weeks before laying the eggs.

The soft-shelled eggs hatch after an incubation period of 50 to 80 times, along with the hatchlings measure about 5 to 6 inches (12–15 cm) in total length. The species may live for 10 to 15 years or even more and becomes sexually mature at about 2 years of age.


The horned viper hasn’t yet been assessed for the IUCN Red List. The horned viper people numbers are steady, Though this species occupies some the world environments and the species isn’t considered endangered.

However, like many other snakes, even the habitat destruction, over-collection (such as venom extraction), contamination and the introduction of invasive species have had a negative impact on these.

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