You are here » home advanced search search results Proatheris superciliaris

Proatheris superciliaris (PETERS, 1855)

Can you confirm these amateur observations of Proatheris superciliaris?

Add your own observation of
Proatheris superciliaris »

Find more photos by Google images search: Google images

Higher TaxaViperidae, Viperinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Lowland Swamp Viper, Domino-bellied viper, Lowland viper 
SynonymVipera superciliaris PETERS 1855
Vipera superciliaris — PFEFER 1893: 89
Bitis superciliaris — KRAMER 1961
Vipera superciliaris — SWEENEY 1963
Atheris superciliaris — MARX & RABB 1965
Atheris superciliaris — STEVENS 1973
Atheris superciliaris — BROADLEY & HOWELL 1991: 23
Atheris superciliaris — WELCH 1994: 21
Proatheris superciliaris — BROADLEY 1996
Proatheris superciliaris — JOGER & COURAGE 1999
Proatheris superciliaris — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 387
Proatheris superciliaris — DOBIEY & VOGEL 2007
Proatheris superciliaris — WALLACH et al. 2014: 578
Proatheris superciliaris — SPAWLS et al. 2018: 596 
DistributionMozambique (from Beira north to Quissanga, up Zambezi River to Lake Malawi), Malawi, Tanzania

Type locality: Mainland opposite Querimba Island, Cabo Delgado, Mozambique.  
TypesHolotype: ZMB 4121, according to Bauer et al. 1995: 81 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): Dorsal head shields small and keeled except for a pair of large rugose supraocular shields (Figure 5a); nasals in broad contact with rostral (i.e. no suprarostral shields: Figure 1a); no duplication of transverse dorsal scale rows; palatine-pterygoid articulation an interlocking joint (Figure 4e); intrapulmonary bronchus long; subcaudals paired.” (Broadley 1996) 

Type species: Vipera superciliaris PETERS 1855 is the type species of the genus Proatheris BROADLEY 1996.

Phylogenetics: for a recent phylogeny of this and related Viperinae see Šmíd & Tolley 2019. 
EtymologyApparently named after the scale above the eye, the superciliary, from Latin cilium = eyelash or eyelid.

The genus was named after Pro- (Latin = before) and “atheris”, because this seems to be the plesiomorphic sister species to the rest of the Atherini. 
  • Bauer, A.M.; Günther,R. & Klipfel,M. 1995. The herpetological contributions of Wilhelm C.H. Peters (1815-1883). SSAR Facsimile Reprints in Herpetology, 714 pp.
  • Branch, William R. 1993. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Southern Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers, 144 S.
  • Broadley, D. G. & HOWELL, K. M. 1991. A check list of the reptiles of Tanzania, with synoptic keys. Syntarsus 1: 1—70
  • Broadley, D.G. 1960. Vipera superciliaris – a rare viper added to the Nyasaland list. J. Herp. Assoc. Rhodesia 12: 3–4 - get paper here
  • Broadley, D.G. 1996. A review of the tribe Atherini (Serpentes: Viperidae), with the descriptions of two new genera. African Journal of Herpetology 45: 40-48. - get paper here
  • Dobiey, M. & Vogel, G. 2007. Venomous Snakes of Africa - Giftschlangen Afrikas. Edition Chimaira, Terralog 15, 150 pp. - get paper here
  • Ferreira, J. Bethencourt 1897. Sobre alguns reptis ultimamente enviados á secção zoologica do Museu de Lisboa. Jornal de Sciencias Mathematicas, Physicas e Naturaes, Lisboa 5 (18): 111-116
  • 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
  • Kramer, E. 1961. Uber zwei afrikanische Zwergpuffottem, Bitis hindii (Boulenger, 1910) und Bitis superciliaris (Peters, 1854). Vierteljschr. naturf. Ges. Zürich 106: 419-423.
  • 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]
  • Marx, H. & G.B. RABB 1965. Relationships and zoogeography of the viperine snakes (Family Viperidae). Fieldiana: Zoology 44 (21): 161-206 - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Peters,W.C.H. 1854. Diagnosen neuer Batrachier, welche zusammen mit der früher (24. Juli und 17. August) gegebenen Übersicht der Schlangen und Eidechsen mitgetheilt werden. Ber. Bekanntmach. Geeignet. Verhandl. Königl.-Preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin 1854: 614-628
  • Pfeffer, G. 1893. Ostafrikanische Reptilien und Amphibien, gesammelt von Herrn Dr. F. Stuhlmann im Jahre 1888 und 1889. Jb. Hamb. Wiss. Anst. 10: 71-105.
  • Phelps, T. 2010. Old World Vipers. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 558 pp. [critical review in Sauria 33 (3): 19 and HR 43: 503]
  • Pietersen, Darren, Verburgt, Luke & Davies, John 2021. Snakes and other reptiles of Zambia and Malawi. Struik Nature / Penguin Random House South Africa, 376 pp., ISBN 9781775847373
  • Spawls, S.; Howell, K.; Drewes, R.C. & Ashe, J. 2002. A field guide to the reptiles of East Africa. Academic Press, 543 pp. [reviews in HR 34: 396 and Afr. J. Herp. 51; 147] - get paper here
  • Spawls, Steve; Kim Howell, Harald Hinkel, Michele Menegon 2018. Field Guide to East African Reptiles. Bloomsbury, 624 pp. - get paper here
  • Stevens, R. Andrew 1973. A report on the lowland viper, Antheris superciliaris (Peters), from the Lake Chilwa Floodplain of Malawi. Arnoldia 6 (22): 1-22
  • Sweeney, R. C. H. 1963. Two uncommonly seen snakes in Nyasaland. The Nyasaland Journal 16 (1): 71-72 - get paper here
  • Šmíd, Jiří;, & Krystal A. Tolley 2019. Calibrating the tree of vipers under the fossilized birth-death model. Scientific Reports 9:5510 - get paper here
  • 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.
External links  
Is it interesting? Share with others:

As link to this species use URL address:

without field 'search_param'. Field 'search_param' is used for browsing search result.

Please submit feedback about this entry to the curator