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Vipera darevskii VEDMEDERJA, ORLOV & TUNIYEV, 1986

IUCN Red List - Vipera darevskii - Critically Endangered, CR

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Viperinae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
SubspeciesVipera darevskii darevskii VEDMEDERJA, ORLOV & TUNIYEV 1986
Common NamesE: Darevsky's Viper
G: Darevski-Kreuzotter, Darevsky's Kaukasusotter 
SynonymVipera darevskii VEDMEDERJA, ORLOV & TUNIYEV 1986
Vipera renardi
Vipera ursini eriwanensis (REUSS 1923)
Vipera kaznakovi dinniki DAREVSKY 1956
Vipera darevskii — ENGELMANN et al 1993
Vipera darevskii — WELCH 1994: 121
Vipera (Pelias) darevskii — NILSON et al. 1999: 103
Vipera darevskii — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 404
Vipera (Pelias) darevskii — VENCHI & SINDACO 2006
Pelias darevskii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 543
Pelias darevskii — TUNIYEV 2016

Vipera eriwanensis — BARAN et al. 2005: 2 (part.)

DistributionArmenia, Republic of Georgia, Turkey (Kars, Anatolia), elevation 2300-2800 m.

Type locality: Gukasyan Region, Armenia

kumlutasi: Turkey (Ardahan): Type locality: Turkey, Ardahan Province, the Yalnizçam Dağlari Ridge, vicinity of Bağdaşan Village.

uzumorum: Turkey (Artvin); Type locality: Turkey, Artvin Province, the Yalnizçam Dağlari Ridge, vicinity of Zekeriya Village, (elevation 2000 m above sea level),  
TypesHolotype: ZISP = ZIN (Zoological Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Leningrad = St. Petersburg) 19934, adult female.
Holotype. SNP 904, adult female, 11.07.2012, collector S.B. Tuniyev (Fig. 11). Paratypes. SNP 908, adult female, three newborn females born in the terrarium; Turkey, Artvin Province, the Yalnizçam Dağlari Ridge, vicinity of Zekeriya Village (2000 m above sea level), 11.07.2012, collector B.S. Tuniyev; SNP 909, two adult females; Turkey, Artvin Province, the Yalnizçam Dağlari Ridge, vicinity of Zekeriya Village (2000 m above sea level), 11.07.2012, collector S.B. Tuniyev; ZDEU 99/2011, adult female and new-born male born in terrarium; Turkey, Artvin Province, the Yalnizçam Dağlari Ridge, vicinity of Zekeriya Village (2000 m above sea level), 24.07.2011, collector A. Avcı; BEV.8369 and BEV.8855, juvenile male and adult female respectively; Turkey, Artvin Province, the Yalnizçam Dağlari Ridge, vicinity of Zekeriya Village (2000 m above sea level), 18.09.2000, collectors A. Teynié and P. Geniez; MNHN-RA-2002.410, adult male, Turkey, Artvin Province, the Yalnizçam Dağlari Ridge, vicinity of Zekeriya Village (2000 m above sea level), 18.09.2000, collectors A. Teynié and P. Geniez (Fig. 12 A, B; 13 A–F in Tuniyev et al. 2018). [uzumorum]
Holotype: SNP 910, adult female; 12.07.2012, collector B.S. Tuniyev (Fig. 16). Paratypes. ZDEU 145/2001, three adult females, two juvenile females, two juvenile males, Turkey, Ardahan Province, Ardahan pass (2200 m above sea level), 04.07.2001, collectors Y. Kumlutaş, K. Olgun, Ç. Ilgaz, F. İret, A. Avcı (Fig. 17A, B in Tuniyev et al. 2019) [kumlutasi] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (uzumorum): Small-sized snake, back color is lighter than lateral background. Zigzag has winding, narrow, not interrupted with rounded wings in females, and interrupted with the transversely elongated spots in males. The supralabials are poorly pigmented or not pigmented. There are two (88.2%), rarely one (11.8%) apicals. The vipers of both sexes from Zekeriya differ from all other vipers under comparison by the maximum number of loreals, canthals and apicals, comparatively high number of preventrals and subcaudal shields. Females characterized by a minimal amount of supralabials, and males have the maximum. From above, males are painted in dark grey, whereas the female is reddish-brown in tone; zigzag consists of few transversely elongated spots in males and well-developed scalloped-continuous spots in females. The coloration in general is characterized by smoky figure. Belly is dark-spotted grey in females and almost black in males.

Diagnosis (kumlutasi): Small-sized broad-head snake, occupying an intermediate position in a number of characters between the northern and southern populations of Pelias darevskii. It differs from all other vipers under comparison by a maximum number of zigzag wings in males, which is less only than in females of the nominate subspecies; comparatively high number of sublabials. From above, males are painted in grey and yellowish-grey tones, and females, in yellowishgrey and light brown tones; zigzag in both sexes consists of numerous transversely elongated spots, interrupted only in some places. The belly is light grey to black in females and spotty black, or almost black in males. 

Distribution: specimens from Turkey previously assigned to this species have been assigned to a new species, Vipera (Pelias) olguni.

Synonymy partly after KHALIKOV & ANANJEVA (pers. comm.). Not found in Turkey but close to the Turkish-Armenian border (VENCHI & SINDACO 2006). 
EtymologyNamed after Russian herpetologist Ilya S. Darevsky (18 Dec 1924 - 8 Aug 2009), who collected the holotype.

The subspecies Vipera darevskii uzumorum was named in honor of Prof. Dr. Nazan ÜZÜM and her husband Prof. Dr. Ömer Barış ÜZÜM, to acknowledge their prolific contribution to the herpetology of Turkey.

The subspecies Vipera darevskii kumlutasi was named in honor of Prof. Dr. Yusuf KUMLUTAŞ who has been working on the herpetofauna of Turkey. 
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  • Avci, Aziz; Çetin Ilgaz, Sagdan Baskaya, Ibrahim Baran, and Yusuf Kumlutas 2010. Contribution to the distribution and morphology of Pelias darevskii (Vedmederja, Orlov et Tuniyev 1986) (Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae) in Northeastern Anatolia. Russ. J. Herpetol. 17 (1): 1-7 - get paper here
  • BADER, T. & KOPECZKY, R. & RIEGLER, C. & WIELAND, F. 2016. Die Eidechsen Armeniens – Teil 1: Die Gattung Darevskia Die Eidechse 27 (1): 1-14.
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Billing H; Nilson G; Sattler U 1990. Vipera pontica sp. n., a new viper species in the kaznakovi group (Reptilia, Viperidae) from northeastern Turkey and adjacent Transcaucasia. Zoologica Scripta 19 (2): 227-231
  • Engelmann, W.E. et al. 1993. Lurche und Kriechtiere Europas. Neumann Verlag (Radebeul, Germany), 440 pp.
  • Geniez, Philippe and Alexandre Tynié 2005. Discovery of a population of the critically endangered Vipera darevskii Vedmederja, Orlov & Tuniyev, 1986 in Turkey, with new elements on its identification (Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae). Herpetozoa 18 (1-2):25-33. - get paper here
  • Ghielmi, S., Menegon, M., Marsden, S. J., Laddaga, L. and Ursenbacher, S. 2016. A new vertebrate for Europe: the discovery of a range-restricted relict viper in the western Italian Alps. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research, 54: 161–173.doi: 10.1111/jzs.12138 - get paper here
  • Göçmen, Bayram; Konrad Mebert, Naşit İğci, Bahadır Akman, Mehmet Zülfü Yıldız, Mehmet Anıl Oğuz, and Çağatay Altın 2014. New locality records for four rare species of vipers (Reptilia: Viperidae) in Turkey. Zoology in the Middle East 60 (4): 306-313 - get paper here
  • Gruber, U. 2009. Die Schlangen Europas, 2. Aufl. Kosmos Naturführer, 266 pp.
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  • Mebert, Konrad; Bayram Göçmen, Naşİt İğcİ, Mehmet Anil Oğuz, Mert Kariş & Sylvain Ursenbacher 2015. New records and search for contact zones among parapatric vipers in the genus Vipera (barani, kaznakovi, darevskii, eriwanensis), Montivipera (wagneri, raddei), and Macrovipera (lebetina) in northeastern Anatolia Herpetological Bulletin (133) - get paper here
  • Mebert, Konrad; Nasit Igci, Bayram Göçmen & Sylvain Ursenbacher 2014. Vipern der Nordost-Türkei: Genfluss und Umweltfaktoren zwischen den Taxa des Vipera-barani-kaznakovi-darevskii-Komplexes. Terraria-Elaphe 2014 (5): 58-67 - get paper here
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  • Orlov,N.L. & B.S. Tuniyev. 1990. Three Species in the Vipera kaznakowi Complex (Eurosiberian Group) in the Caucasus: Their Present Distribution, Possile Genesis, and Phylogeny. Asiatic Herpetological Research 3: 1-36. - get paper here
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  • Tok, Cemal Varol; Murat Afsar, Kerim Çiçek 2018. Additional morphological data on Vipera (Pelias) cf. darevskii from the vicinity of Zekeriyaköy (Northeastern Anatolia). Russ. J. Herpetol. 25 (3): 177-182
  • Tuniyev B.S. 2016. Rare species of shield-head vipers in the Caucasus. Nature Conservation Research 1 (3): 11–25 - get paper here
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  • Tuniyev, S. B.; A. Avcı, B. S. Tuniyev, A. L. Agasian, L. A. Agasian 2013. Description of a New Species of Shield-Head Vipers - Pelias olguni sp. nov. from Basin of Upper Flow of the Kura River in Turkey. Russ. J. Herpetol. 19 (4): 314-332 - get paper here
  • Tuniyev, Sako B.; G. Iremashvili, B. de las Heras, B. Tuniyev 2014. About Type Locality and Finds of Darevsky’s Viper [Pelias darevskii (Vedmederja, Orlov et Tuniyev, 1986), Reptilia: Viperinae] in Georgia. Russ. J. Herpetol. 21 (4): 281-290
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