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Higher TaxaViperidae, Viperinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Bale Mountains adder 
SynonymBitis (Macrocerastes) harenna GOWER, WADE, SPAWLS, BÖHME, BUECHLEY, SYKES & COLSTON 2016
Bitis parviocula — BÖHME 1977
Bitis parviocula — LARGEN & RASMUSSEN 1993: 383–385 (in part)
Bitis parviocula — SPAWLS & BRANCH 1995: 120–121 (in part)
Bitis parviocula — LARGEN & SPAWLS 2010: 615 (in part)
Bitis parviocula — WALLACH et al. 2014: 92 (in part)
Bitis parviocula — WITTENBERG et al. 2014 (in part)
Bitis (Macrocerastes) harenna — BARLOW et al. 2019 

Type locality: Dodola (from maps: 6.98° N, 39.18° E, ca. 2,400 m elevation), Oromia Region, Ethiopia.  
TypesHolotype: ZMUC R68255 (Figs. 1–6 in Gower et al. 2016); deposited by Sven Joergen Birket-Smith (1920–1983); preserved in ethanol; female. The exact date of collection is unknown, but was possibly 1966 or 1967, when Birket-Smith was in charge of the Addis Ababa Natural History Museum (M.J. Largen, pers. comm.). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. A Bitis of the subgenus Macrocerastes (sensu Lenk et al. 1999) that differs from all other species except B. parviocula in lacking horns between the nostrils, in having less than four scales between the rostral and first supralabial, and in having a pale cross bar on the dorsal surface of the head behind the eyes (Figs. 1, 2). Differs from all other species of the subgenus Macrocerastes (including B. parviocula) in having a concavity on the lateral wall of the braincase for the origin of the M. retractor pterygoidei that is limited posteriorly by flange on the parietal, rather than extending onto the prootic (see Groombridge 1980; Fig. 3/4); in being mostly blackish dorsally with narrow pale (cream to yellowish) markings (Fig. 1); in lacking a regular, parallel-sided mid-dorsal stripe (and a series of dark, approximately semicircular markings immediately lateral to this stripe; Figs. 1, 2, 6); and in having a black middorsal marking on the head that extends anteriorly to between the nostrils (Figs. 1, 2). Among species of the subgenus Macrocerastes, the new species differs also from B. rhinoceros and B. gabonica in having a mostly dark rather than pale dorsal surface of the head. Unlike B. nasicornis, the new species lacks posteriorly notched scales. Unlike B. parviocula, the new species has facets on the frontals for articulation with the prefrontals that do not meet medially (Fig. 3), and it also lacks a subhorizontal ridge on the lateral surface of the prootic overhanging the foramen for the mandibular branch of the trigeminal nerve (Fig. 4). See Remarks section for additional possible differences between the new species and its most similar congener, B. parviocula.
CommentSimilar species: B. parviocula 
EtymologyNamed after the Harenna forest and escarpment, in the Bale Mountains National Park, where a live specimen of the new species was recently sighted. For nomenclatural purposes the specific epithet is considered a noun in apposition. 
  • Barlow A, Wüster W, Kelly CMR, Branch WR, Phelps T, Tolley KA. 2019. Ancient habitat shifts and organismal diversification are decoupled in the African viper genus Bitis (Serpentes: Viperidae). J Biogeogr. 46: 1234– 1248 - get paper here
  • Böhme,W. 1977. Eine neue Art der Gattung Bitis (Serpentes, viperidae) aus Äthiopien. Monitore zool. ital. (N.S.) Suppl. 9 (3): 59-68 - get paper here
  • GOWER, DAVID J.; EDWARD O. Z. WADE, STEPHEN SPAWLS, WOLFGANG BÖHME, EVAN R. BUECHLEY, DANIEL SYKES, TIMOTHY J. COLSTON 2016. A new large species of Bitis Gray, 1842 (Serpentes: Viperidae) from the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia. Zootaxa 4093 (1): 041–063 - get paper here
  • Kwet, Axel 2016. Vor 50 Jahren entdeckt, erst jetzt beschrieben: eine neue Viper aus Äthiopien. Terraria-Elaphe 2016 (4): 50 - get paper here
  • Largen, M.J.; Spawls, S. 2010. Amphibians and Reptiles of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 694 pp.
  • Largen,M.J. & Rasmussen,J.B. 1993. Catalogue of the snakes of Ethiopia (Reptilia Serpentes), including identification keys. Tropical Zoology 6: 313-434 - get paper here
  • Martínez del Mármol, G. 2020. The phenotypic variability of the Genus Bitis Gray 1842, with remarks in its resemblance to other vipers. In: Martínez, G., León, R., Jiménez-Robles, O., González De la Vega, J. P., Gabari, V., Rebollo, B., Sánchez-Tójar, A., Fernández-Cardenete, J. R., Gállego, J. (Eds.). Amphibians and Reptiles of Morocco and Western Sahara - get paper here
  • Spawls, S., Branch, B. 1995. The Dangerous Snakes of Africa. Blandford, London, 192 pp.
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Wittenberg, Rod D. & Robert C. Jadin & Allyson M. Fenwick & Ronald L. Gutberlet Jr. 2014. Recovering the evolutionary history of Africa’s most diverse viper genus: morphological and molecular phylogeny of Bitis (Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae). Org Divers Evol, DOI 10.1007/s13127-014-0185-3
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