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Atheris chlorechis (PEL, 1851)

IUCN Red List - Atheris chlorechis - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Viperinae, Serpentes (snakes) 
Common Names 
SynonymVipera chlorechis PEL 1851
Vipera chloroechis — SCHLEGEL 1855: 317
Toxicoa chloroechis — COPE 1859: 341
Echis chloroechis — JAN 1863: 122
Atheris polylepis PETERS 1864: 642
Atheris chlorechis — PETERS 1864: 645
Atheris chloroechis [sic] — BRISCOE 1949
Atheris squamiger chlorechis — HARDING & WELCH 1980
Atheris chloroechis [sic]— MATTISON 1995: 159
Atheris chlorechis — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 355
Atheris chlorechis — RÖDEL & MAHSBERG 2000
Atheris chloroechis [sic] — MATTISON 2007: 161 
DistributionGuinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, probably Benin (Hughes 2013), Nigeria, Cameroon

Type locality: Butre, Ghana (designated by HUGHES & BARRY 1969) Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
TypesLectotype: RMNH 1648 

Type species: Vipera chlorechis PEL 1851 is the type species of the genus Atheris COPE 1862.

Synonymy: Kaiser et al. 2013 considered the generic name Woolfvipera Hoser 2012 invalid and rejected its use instead of Atheris.

Diagnosis (genus): Habitus slender, body laterally compressed, with high ventral and subcaudal counts and a short square head. Dorsal head scales small to moderate, more or less keeled; rostral fragmented, so that a wide shallow rostral is surmounted by 2-8 suprarostrals between the nasals and below the transverse series of internasals that marks the beginning of the dorsal surface of the head; transverse dorsal scale rows with frequent duplications or fusions as one moves from ventrum to dorsum; subcaudals single. Palatine-pterygoid articulation a simple overlapping joint; intra-pulmonary bronchus short.

Etymology of genus: from Greek “athér” for the ear of corn, or generally “tip”, referring to the pointed scales. Greek “chloros” means green

Habitat: trees (arboreal) 
  • Akeret, B. 2010. Terrarienpflanzen. Draco 11 (41): 4-21 - get paper here
  • Böhme, Wolfgang, Mark-Oliver Rödel, Christian Brede & Philipp Wagner 2011. The reptiles (Testudines, Squamata, Crocodylia) of the forested southeast of the Republic Guinea (Guinée forestière), wit a country-wide checklist Bonn zoological Bulletin 60 (1): 35-61 - get paper here
  • Branch, W.R. & Rödel, M.-O. 2003. Herpetological survey of the Haute Dodo and Cavally forests, western ivory Coast, Part II: Trapping, results and reptiles. Salamandra 39 (1): 21-38 - get paper here
  • Briscoe, M.S. 1949. Notes on Snakes Collected in Liberia. Copeia 1949 (1): 16-18 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1989. Atheris Cope 1862 (Reptilia, Serpentes): proposed conservation, and proposed confirmation of Vipera chlorechis Pel [1851] as the valid name of the type species. Bull. zool. Nomencl. 46 (4): 264-266
  • Broadley, D.G. 1998. A review of the genus Atheris Cope (Serpentes: Viperidae), with the description of a new species from Uganda. The Herpetological Journal 8: 117-135.
  • Cope, E.D. 1859. Catalogue of the venomous serpents in the Museum of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, with notes on the families, genera and species. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 1859: 332-347 - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1862. Notes upon some reptiles of the Old World. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 14: 337-344 - get paper here
  • Dobiey, M. & Vogel, G. 2007. Venomous Snakes of Africa/Giftschlangen Afrikas. Terralog 15, Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, 150 pp.
  • Ernst, R. & Rödel, M. O. 2002. A new Atheris species (Serpentes: Viperidae), from Taï National Park, Ivory Coast. The Herpetological Journal 12: 55-61
  • Herrmann,H. W.; Joger,U.; Lenk,P. & Wink,M. 1999. Morphological and molecular phylogenies of viperines: conflicting evidence?. Kaupia (Darmstadt) (8): 21-30 - get paper here
  • Hoser, R.T. 2012. A division of the African tree viper genus Atheris Cope, 1860 into four subgenera (Serpentes: Viperidae). Australasian J. Herpetol. 12:32–35. - get paper here
  • Hughes, B. 2013. Snakes of Bénin, West Africa. Bull. Soc. Herp. Fr. 144: 101-159
  • Hughes, B. & Barry,D.H. 1969. The snakes of Ghana: a checklist and key. Bull. Inst. Franc. Afrique Noire A, 31: 1004-1041
  • Jan,G. 1863. Elenco Sistematico degli Ofidi descriti e disegnati per l'Iconografia Generale. Milano, A. Lombardi. vii + 143 pp.
  • Joger,U. & Courage,K. 1999. Are palearctic ‘rattlesnakes’ (Echis and Cerastes) monophyletic?. Kaupia (Darmstadt) (8): 65-81
  • Kaiser, H.; Crother, B.I.; Kelly, C.M.R.; Luiselli, L.; O’Shea, M.; Ota, H.; Passos, P.; Schleip, W. 2013. Best Practices: In the 21st Century, Taxonomic Decisions in Herpetology are Acceptable Only When Supported by a Body of Evidence and Published via Peer-Review. Herpetological Review 44 (1): 8-23
  • Koetze, J. 2008. De Doelgroep Gifslangen (DGL). Lacerta 66 (1-3): 4-5 - get paper here
  • Loveridge,A. 1933. Reports on the scientific Results of an Expedition to the Southwestem Highlands of Tanganyika Territory. VII. Herpetology. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 74: 197-415 - get paper here
  • Mallow, D. Ludwig, D. & Nilson, G. 2003. True Vipers: Natural History and Toxinology of Old World Vipers. Krieger, Malabar, Florida, 410 pp. [review in HR 35: 200, Reptilia 35: 74]
  • Mattison, Chris 1995. The Encyclopedia of Snakes. New York: Facts on File, 256 pp.
  • Mattison, Chris 2007. The New Encyclopedia of Snakes. Princeton University Press
  • McDiarmid,R.W.; Campbell,J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Menzies, J.I. 1966. The snakes of Sierra Leone. Copeia 1966 (2): 169-179. - get paper here
  • Pel, H.S. 1851. Over de jagt aan de Goudkust, volgens eene tienjarige eigene ondervinding. Ned. Tijdschr. Jagtkunde. 1: 149-173
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1864. Eine neue Art der Baumvipern, Atheris polylepis, aus Liberia. Monatsber. königl. Akad. Wiss. Berlin. 1864 (November): 642-64 - get paper here
  • Phelps, T. 2010. Old World Vipers. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 558 pp. [critical review in Sauria 33 (3): 19 and HR 43: 503]
  • Rödel M O; Mahsberg D 2000. Vorläufige Liste der Schlangen des Tai-Nationalparks/Elfenbeinküste und angrenzender Gebiete. Salamandra 36 (1): 25-38
  • Schlegel, H. 1855. Over eenige nieuwe soorten van vergiftige slangen van de Goudkust. Verslagen en Mededeelingen der Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschapen Amsterdam, (Afdeeling Natuurkunde), 3: 312- 317
  • Segniagbeto G. H., Trape J. F., David P., Ohler A., Dubois A. & Glitho I. A. 2011. The snake fauna of Togo: systematics, distribution and biogeography, with remarks on selected taxonomic problems. Zoosystema 33 (3): 325-360. DOI: 10.5252/z2011n3a4 - get paper here
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