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Vipera magnifica TUNIYEV & OSTROVSKIKH, 2001

IUCN Red List - Vipera magnifica - Endangered, EN

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Viperinae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common Names 
SynonymVipera magnifica TUNIYEV & OSTROVSKIKH 2001
Vipera magnified [sic] TUNIYEV & OSTROVSKIKH 2001
Vipera kaznakovi — KRAMER 1961:703 (part.)
Pelias magnifica — TUNIYEV et al. 2012
Pelias magnifica — WALLACH et al. 2014: 544
Pelias magnifica — TUNIYEV 2016 
DistributionRussia (W Caucasus), elevation 700-1200 m

Type locality: Shakh-ghireevskoye Gorge, the Malaya Laba River, Krasno-darskii region, Russia.  
TypesHolotype: SDCSNBR541, adult male, (Scientific Department, Caucasian State Nature Biosphere Reserve, Sochi), June 24, 1998, coll. B. S. Tuniyev 

The paper says actually “Vipera magnified” and later “Vipera magnifica”.

Diagnosis. A small viper of the Eurosiberian group. Coloration is not bright. Number of ventral shields and number of crown shields are the biggest for all representatives of "kaznakovi" complex.

Coloration: there are melanistic and brown/black variants as well as intermediates (Tuniyev et al. 2016). 
EtymologySpecific name from magnifica (La-tin, magnificent). Vipera magnifica was called due to miracle combination of pattern and coloration. 
  • 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]
  • Phelps, T. 2010. Old World Vipers. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 558 pp. [critical review in Sauria 33 (3): 19 and HR 43: 503]
  • Tuniyev B.S. 2016. Rare species of shield-head vipers in the Caucasus. Nature Conservation Research 1 (3): 11–25 - get paper here
  • Tuniyev S.B., Kidov A.A., Tuniyev B.S. 2016. Additions to the description and rapid assessment of the current status of a population of the relic viper (Pelias magnifica (Tuniyev et Ostrovskikh, 2001)), (Ophidia, Viperinae) at a type locality. Current Studies in Herpetology, 16(1/2): 43–50 - get paper here
  • TUNIYEV, B. S. & S. V. OSTROVSKIKH 2001. Two new species of vipers of "kaznakovi" complex (Ophidia, Viperidae) from western Caucasus. Russ. J. Herpetol. 8 (2): 117-126 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
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