o Italy, Austria, , Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia-Montenegro, Bosnia-
Herzegovina, Macedonia, some Adriatic, Ionian and Aegean islands, Albania,
Greece, Turkey and Transcaucasia.
o Vipera ammodytes gregorwallneri: Southern to Eastern Austria and to Slovenia.
Not a subspecies anymore
o Vipera ammodytes meridionalis: Southern Macedonia southern Albania, Greece to
western European Turkey.
o Vipera ammodytes montandoni: Romania, Northern Bulgaria (to the Black Sea) to
o Vipera ammodytes ruffoi: Only surroundings of Bolzano, Alto Adige Italy. Not a
o Vipera ammodytes transcaucasiana: Northern and western coastal near Turkey
Please note! The subspecies status is still under investigation!!
o 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.
o 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.
o 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
o 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.
o 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
o A drinking container with fresh water is needed at all times.
o 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.
o No UV-B vitamins/lightning are required for the species.
o 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.
o The poison 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!
o Mice, young rats. In the nature they eat rodents, rarely lizards and birds.
Good luck with your animal!