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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 NamesRussian: Великолепная гадюка 
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
Pelias magnifica— DUNAEV & ORLOVA 2017 
DistributionRussia (W Caucasus), elevation 700-1200 m

Type locality: Shakh-ghireevskoye Gorge, the Malaya Laba River, Krasno-darskii region, Russia.  
TypesHolotype: SNP (given as SDCSNBR 541), adult male, (Scientific Department, Caucasian State Nature Biosphere Reserve, Sochi), June 24, 1998, coll. B. S. Tuniyev 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. 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.

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

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. 
  • Dunaev E.A., Orlova V.F. 2017. Amphibians and reptiles of Russia. Atlas and determination. 2nd. ed. Moscow: Phyton XXI, 328 p
  • 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. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
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