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Echis coloratus GÜNTHER, 1878

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Viperinae, Serpentes (snakes) 
SubspeciesEchis coloratus coloratus GÜNTHER 1878
Echis coloratus terraesanctae BABOCSAY 2003 
Common NamesE: Palestine Saw-scaled Viper
G: Arabische Sandrasselotter 
SynonymEchis colorata GÜNTHER 1878
Echis froenata DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 1449
Echis coloratus — HAAS 1957: 83
Echis coloratus GASPERETTI 1988
Echis froenatus CHERLIN & BORKIN 1990
Echis coloratus — WELCH 1994: 57
Echis coloratus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 378
Echis coloratus — DOBIEY & VOGEL 2007
Echis coloratus — POOK et al. 2009 
DistributionE Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Israel, N Oman, Jordan

coloratus: NW Arabia, S Levant (Sinai), Wadi Arava), Egypt (east of Nile), Jordan. Type locality: Jebel Sharr, Midian, Arabia, elevation 4,500 ft.

terraesanctae: Israel, Jordan. Type locality: Ma’ale Efrayim, Samaria, Cisjordan. 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.
 
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.20.84 (coloratus)
Holotype: HUJ-R 8926 [terraesanctae] 
CommentVenomous!

Distribution: Erroneously reported from Socotra. See distribution map in Babocsay (2003). Populations from United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been described as E. omanensis, hence E. coloratus does not occur in the UAE.

Similar species: May be confused with Echis omanensis BABOCSAY 2004.

The main differences between Echis omanensis and Echis coloratus involve the gular scales under the head being rounder and more numerous in the new species. The tail is longer, with more sub-caudal scales, and there are differences in some of the scales around thenostrilsandinthepatternof darkgreyblotcheson the head, back and flanks.

Reproduction: oviparous. 
References
  • Al-Quran, S. 2009. The Herpetofauna of the Southern Jordan. American-Eurasian J. Agric. & Environ. Sci., 6 (4): 385-391
  • Babocsay, G. 2003. Geographic variation in Echis coloratus (Viperidae, Ophidia) in the Levant with the description of a new subspecies. Zoology in the Middle East 29: 13-32 - get paper here
  • Babocsay, G. 2004. A new species of saw-scaled viper of the Echis coloratus complex (Ophidia: Viperidae) from Oman, Eastern Arabia. Systematics and Biodiversity 1 (4): 503–514
  • Bar, Aviad and Guy Haimovitch 2012. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Israel. Pazbar LTD, 246 pp. - get paper here
  • Corkill, N. L. and Cochrane, J. A. 1966. The snakes of the Arabian Peninsula and Socotra. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 62 (3): 475-506 (1965)
  • Disi, A.M.; Modry, D.; Necas, P. & Rifai, L. 2001. Amphibians and reptiles of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 408 pp.
  • Dobiey, M. 2005. Zwei neue Sandrasselottern. Reptilia (Münster) 10 (51): 14-15 - get paper here
  • Dobiey, M. & Vogel, G. 2007. Venomous Snakes of Africa/Giftschlangen Afrikas. Terralog 15, Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, 150 pp.
  • Duméril, A. M. C., BIBRON, G. & DUMÉRIL, A. H. A., 1854. Erpétologie générale ou histoire naturelle complète des reptiles. Tome septième. Deuxième partie, comprenant l'histoire des serpents venimeux. Paris, Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret: i-xii + 781-1536 - get paper here
  • Egan, D. 2007. Snakes of Arabia. Motivate Publishing, Dubai, 208 pp.
  • Günther, A. 1878. On reptiles from Midian collected by Major Burton. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1878: 977-978 - get paper here
  • Haas, Georg 1957. Some amphibians and reptiles from Arabia. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 29 (3): 47-86 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Joger,U. & Courage,K. 1999. Are palearctic ‘rattlesnakes’ (Echis and Cerastes) monophyletic?. Kaupia (Darmstadt) (8): 65-81
  • Jongbloed, M. 2000. Field Guide to the reptiles and amphibians of the UAE - Wild about reptiles. Barkers Trident Communications, 116 pp.
  • Lehmann,M. 1980. Haltung und Nachzucht von Echis carinatus leakeyi x Echis coloratus. Herpetofauna 2 (4): 32-34 - get paper here
  • Leviton,A.E.; Anderson,S.C.; Adler, K.; Minton,S.A. 1992. Handbook to Middle East Amphibians and Reptiles. SSAR, Oxford, Ohio (Contr. to Herpetol. No. 8), 1-252
  • McDiarmid,R.W.; Campbell,J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Opinion 1176 1981. Echis colorata [sic] Guenther, 1878 (Reptilia; Serpentes) given nomenclatural precedence over Echis froenata [sic] Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854. Bull. zool. Nom. 38 (2): 110-111. - 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]
  • Pook, Catharine E.; Ulrich Joger, Nikolaus Stümpel, Wolfgang Wüster 2009. When continents collide: Phylogeny, historical biogeography and systematics of the medically important viper genus Echis (Squamata: Serpentes: Viperidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 53 (3): 792-807 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, K. P. & Marx, H. 1956. The herpetology of Sinai. Fieldiana 39 (4): 21-40 - get paper here
  • Sindaco, Roberto; Riccardo Nincheri, Benedetto Lanza 2014. Catalogue of Arabian reptiles in the collections of the “La Specola” Museum, Florence. Scripta Herpetologica. Studies on Amphibians and Reptiles in honour of Benedetto Lanza: pp. 137-164 - get paper here
  • Smith, H. M. 1976. Comments on Echis coloratus Dumeril, Bibron and Dumeril, 1854 (Reptilia). Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 32 (4): 199 - get paper here
  • Stimson, A.F. 1974. Echis coloratus Günther 1878 (Reptilia, Serpentes): proposed validation under the plenary powers. Z.N.(S.) 2064. Bull. zool. Nom. 31 (4): 223-224. - get paper here
  • Tsairi, H. & Bouskila, A. 2004. Ambush site selection of a desert snake (Echis coloratus). Herpetologica 60 (1): 13-23 - get paper here
  • van der Kooij, Jeroen 2001. The herpetofauna of the Sultanate of Oman: Part 4: The terrestrial snakes. Podarcis 2 (2): 54-64
  • Venchi, Alberto and Roberto Sindaco 2006. Annotated checklist of the reptiles of the Mediterranean countries, with keys to species identification. Part 2 -Snakes (Reptilia, Serpentes). Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale "G. Doria", Genova, XCVIII: 259-364
  • Yosef, Reuven; Juan Ramirez Roman, and Piotr Zduniak 2012. Habitat Choice of Palestine Saw-Scaled Viper (Echis coloratus) in an Extreme Environment. Journal of Herpetology 46 (4): 671-674. - get paper here
 
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