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Caresheet for Long-nosed viper ( Vipera ammodytes )

Posted by Miqe on January 27, 2010


• Italy, Austria, , Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia-Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, some Adriatic, Ionian and Aegean islands, Albania, Greece, Turkey and Transcaucasia.

Vipera ammodytes gregorwallneri: Southern to Eastern Austria and to Slovenia.
(Not considered by some as a subspecies anymore)
Vipera ammodytes meridionalis: Southern Macedonia southern Albania, Greece to
western European Turkey.
Vipera ammodytes montandoni: Romania, Northern Bulgaria (to the Black Sea) to European Turkey.
Vipera ammodytes ruffoi: Only surroundings of Bolzano, Alto Adige Italy. (Not considered by some as a subspecies anymore)
Vipera ammodytes transcaucasiana: Northern and western coastal near Turkey to Caucasus. ( Considered by some scientists to be a species of it own V. transcaucasiana )
Please note! The subspecies status is still under investigation!!

• This strong, heavily built snake becomes up to 80 cm´s long, some individuals reaches even over 95 cm. Males are larger than females. It has a typical triangular head that sets off clearly from the slim neck. On the head tip they have a diagonally forward arranged horn. 21-23 keeled scalerows. Both males and females have a dorsal zigzag-band. Males are brighter in colouration than females and have sharper markings on the dorsal zigzag-band.

• They prefer warm, dry areas like rocky bushy slopes, and can also be found in edge of woods or in glades. Can be found as high as 2000 meters above sea-level.
They are active during daytime till dusk and like sunny places.


• The animals are not aggressive normally. In case of disturbance they hiss loud and bite sometimes.

Allways handle this species with hook or tong!! Never “free handle”!!

• Theese vipers should be kept in medium sized cages on a mixture of sand, loam and forest earth. Interior with large stones/slabs and roots/branches to make it look natural, make sure that there are hiding places.

SECURITYTIP: Make sure that the terrarium are set up in a way, that makes you able too see the whole interior area without opening it. That way you can always “count-in” you’re animal/s, so that so you don’t become surprised by a hiding snake.

• A drinking container with fresh water is needed at all times.
• Temperatures between 24-28ºC, with a baskingspot under witch 32-35ºC are reached. Temperatures dropping at night to 20 ºC. Spray gently with water in the morning, a little extra in the evening when the animal/s are shedding.
• No UV-B vitamins/lightning are required for the species.

• The species requires a hibernationperiod for about 8-10 weeks at temperatures between 0-7ºC. Livebearers, 5-18 young that are15-22 cm´s long at birth. Males wrestle with each other before mating with the female. Mating season in the nature is April to May, in captivity 1-3 weeks after hibernation is over and the males have shed.


• The venom is probably the strongest of the European vipers, except for
Macrovipera schweizeri and Montivipera xanthina. Haematoxin. Life-threatening or deadly bites are expressed rare, usually it comes to local symptoms of intoxication. Pain is usually strong, a swelling occurs within 2 hours of time.
Among the general symptoms of intoxication one ranks: vomiting, beating of the heart, cramps, shock, possibly swindles and unconsciousness.
In case of bite, visit nearest hospital immediately!

• Mice, young rats. In the nature they eat rodents, rarely lizards and birds.
Good luck with your animal!

This caresheet can be found at Terrarium Morbidum – Captive bred European herptiles at

Link to the caresheet ( pdf-file).

2 Responses to “Caresheet for Long-nosed viper ( Vipera ammodytes )”

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