How dangerous is Russell’s viper?

The Russell’s viper (Daboia russelii) a venomous Old World viper, is found throughout Asia, in the Indian subcontinent, much of Southeast Asia in southern parts of China and Taiwan. The species is found in many countries India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, China, Taiwan, and Indonesia

It’s genus, Daboia is monotypic, which makes that it only includes a single species, and also the name derives from the Hindi word meaning”that the lurker” or”that lies hid”. The Russell’s viper is also known by common names like Daboia, Indian Russell’s viper string viper Russell’s viper, string snake, claws snake and seven pacer.

The species has been named in after Patrick Russell (1726–1805), the Scottish herpetologist that initially clarified many of the Indian snakes. Even the Russell’s viper is a part of India of the four snakes, and it’s also the snake species accountable for deaths among all venomous snakes and the snakebite episodes.

The Eastern russell’s viper (Daboia siamensis) is considered a subspecies, even though it’s also sometimes treated as a complete species. It is located in Taiwan China, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia.

These are large snakes with an average length of about 4 feet (120 cm) in the Asian populations, along with a maximum period of approximately 5.5 feet (1.7 m), island populations are smaller in dimension.

The Russell’s viper mind is also distinct from the neck with a long, flattened and triangular shape, and large, conspicuous nostrils on each side of the snout. The background color may vary from dark brown to some brownish-gray, using a pattern consisting of 3 layers of black or brown oval spots with white, black, or both borders.

Sometimes the spots at middle fuse together to produce more of a zigzag design. Specimens are often brownish-orange to clean orange. They have big fangs up to 0.65 inches (16.5 mm) along with a short tail.

Russell’s viper is not confined to any specific habitat, but it’s most commonly seen in deserts, coastal lowlands, savannahs, foothills on montane areas or hills with suitable habitats. The species will have a tendency to avoid populated areas and is found in areas that are open, grassy or bushy, but may be seen in plantations that are forested, scrub jungles and farmlands.

These snakes also avoid humid habitats like marshes, swamps or rain forests. They are also uncommon at higher altitudes, but specimens have been reported to 7500 to 9800 ft (2300-3000 m).

Even the Russell’s viper will require shelter in rodent burrows, old termite mounds, stone figurines, piles of leaves, or other debris. They are also located near human dwellings in search of prey, but not as common as the cobras or even kraits.

These snakes are both terrestrial and mostly nocturnal, particularly during hot weather. In case of cool weather, they will change their behavior and become more energetic during the daytime.

Russell's viper

Adult snakes are somewhat slow and sluggish, but when pushed past their limit they can grow to be very aggressive. On the flip side, juveniles are generally a great deal more nervous. When upset Russell’s viper forms a set of “S” shaped loops raising one-third of their body and can hiss loudly.

How dangerous is Russell’s viper?

These are powerful snakes which can react violently to being picked up, if a snack does occur it might be a breeze, or the snake might hang on for many seconds. After the snake strikes it may exert so much force that a huge specimen may lift the majority of its body off the ground.

The amount of venom produced by the russell’s viper is ample, with adult specimens ranging from 130 milligrams to 268 mg in a single bite. Necrosis is very deep and stays limited to the region of the bite, but in some cases, it may be acute.

When bitten, humans will undergo a wide variety of symptoms such as pain, blistering and swelling at the bite location, bleeding (especially from the teeth ), nausea, nausea, blood in-coagulability and kidney failure.

With ancient medical care and access to this antivenom, the acute or potentially deadly complications are drastically reduced. In the russell’s viper sting predators, a third could suffer damage to their pituitary glands.


The russell’s viper feeds primarily rodents and compact mammals, particularly murid species, they also feed squirrels, shrews, land turtles, scorpions, birds, lizards or plants.

The specimens are crepuscular, and forage actively feeding mainly on lizards, but are also known to be cannibalistic.

The prey is stalked then bitten and discharged when it dies the snakes eats it. As the snake grows and becomes an adult, it succeeds in actuality, the reason is the existence of lizards and rodents.


The Russell’s viper is ovoviviparous, producing eggs that hatch within the body and that the young are born alive. The sexual maturity is reached in about two to three decades, and the minimum duration for a pregnant woman snake is about 39 inches (100 cm).

The species is a very prolific breeder, and litters of 20 to 40 offspring are common, though there might be one hatchling in a litter the recorded maximum is 65 from one litter. At arrival, the juveniles step approximately 8.5 to 10.2 inches (215 to 260 mm).

The breeding season generally occurs early in the year extending from April to July, although gravid females may be found up to September. The Russell’s viper gestation period lasts more than 6 months, and the young are born from May to November, but largely from summer months of June and July.


The 2 most frequent threats to the Russell’s viper snake species are roadkill mortality, also individuals killing it out of fear because of their venom potency and aggression when they encounter humans. They are also killed for their skin and meat.

Their venom can be illegally exchanged in portions of its scope, for various uses including research and medical usage. The species is recorded as”Least Concern” by IUCN, since it is highly elastic and widespread and abundant in human-modified habitats.

2 thoughts on “How dangerous is Russell’s viper?”

  1. This is a very interesting article… However, I am slightly concerned about one part. Under “Reproduction,” it says: “The russell’s viper is ovoviviparous, producing eggs that hatch within the human body and that the young are born alive.” Good grief, I sure hope those eggs don’t hatch within a HUMAN body! Yikes! Oh great… now I’ll have these new nightmares with which to contend. Haha


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