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Vipera dinniki NIKOLSKY, 1913

IUCN Red List - Vipera dinniki - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Viperinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Dinnik's Viper
G: Westkaukasische-Kreuzotter, Dinnikis Kaukasusotter
Russian: Гадюка Динника 
SynonymVipera berus dinniki NIKOLSKY 1913
Vipera kaznakovi dinniki NIKOLSKY 1913
Pelias chersea MENETRIES 1882
Vipera xanthina DINNIK 1902
Vipera kaznakovi NIKOLSKY 1909
Coluber berus dinniki — NIKOLSKY 1916
Vipera tigrina TZAREWSKY 1916
Vipera ursini renardi KRAMER 1916
Vipera ursini kaznakovi — KNOEPFFER & SOCHUREK 1955
Vipera kaznakovi orientalis VEDMEDERJA 1984
Vipera dinniki — VEDMEDERJA et al. 1986
Vipera dinniki — ENGELMANN et al 1993
Vipera dinniki — WELCH 1994: 121
Vipera (Pelias) dinniki — NILSON et al. 1999: 103
Vipera dinniki — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 404
Montivipera dinniki — WERNING & WOLF 2007
Vipera dinniki dinniki — SCHWEIGER 2009
Pelias dinniki — WALLACH et al. 2014: 543
Pelias dinniki — BEKOSHVILI & DORONIN 2015
Pelias dinniki — TUNIYEV 2016
Pelias dinniki— DUNAEV & ORLOVA 2017
Pelias tuniyevi — ANANJEVA et al. 2021 
DistributionS Russia (the Caucasus), Republic of Georgia, Azerbaijan. Elevation up to 3000 m (up to 2500 m fide TUNIYEV et al. 2012)

Type locality: Svanetia, Republic of Georgia  
TypesLectotype: MNKhU (also as MNKNU) 26044 (designated by Vedmederja et al., 1986:58)
Holotype: SNP No 937, adult male, SO, Znaur District, vicinity of Kharisdzhin V. (=Tormaneuli V.), 42.2504°N, 43.8398°E, 1010 m above sea level, 14.05.2014, collector G. Khasity (Fig. 7 in Ananjeva et al. 2021).
Paratypes. Twelve specimens: SNP 1054 (1 adult female and 1 juvenile male, 7 born in terrarium), Ge, Shida-Kartlis Territory, Khashuri District, Tashiskari V., 41.5704°N, 43.3010°E, 720 m asl, 09.2015, Coll. Z. Khachidze; 936 (adult male), SO, Kharisdzhin V., 23.04.2014, Coll. G. Khasity; 915 (adult male), SO, Tskhinval District, vicinity of Atsriskhevi V., 42.2970°N, 44.2238°E, 1325 m asl, 23.09.2012, Coll. E.E. Komarov; 1182 (adult female) (the same as holotype); 1140 (adult female), Ge, Tashiskari V., 22.10.2017, Coll. G.N. Iremashvili; 1086 (adult female), vicinity of Atsriskhevi V., 18.08.2016, Coll. V.V. Tikhonov; 951 (adult female), Kharisdzhin V., 14.05.2014, Coll. G. Khasity; 1935 (adult female), SO, Tskhinval District, vicinity of Uanat V. (=Vanati V.), 42.2867°N, 44.0535°E, 1013 m asl, 03.09.2018, Coll. Ch.B. Bukulov; 1095 (juvenile female), vicinity of Atsriskhevi V., 07.09.2016, Coll. V.V. Tikhonov; 1079 (juvenile female), vicinity of Atsriskhevi V., 18.08.2016, Coll. V.V. Tikhonov; 930 (juvenile female), SO, Dzau District, Gufta V. (=Didi Gupta V. – Patara Gupta V.): 42.3592°N, 43.8892°E, 1060 m asl, 05.08.2019, Coll. V.N. Gabaev (Fig. 8A–F) [tuniyevi] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (tuniyevi). Small-sized snake, males differ from all representatives of Pelias kaznakovi s.l. by minimal values of total length, length of pileus, width of head, numbers of ventral and subcaudal shields, and shields around eyes; females have minimal body length, length of pileus, width of head, number of shields around eyes and loreals, number of zigzag wings. The vipers of both sexes from the left-bank basin of the middle flow of the Kura River differ from all other compared vipers by small sizes and the minimum number of shields around the eyes. The dorsal surface of the males is beige-gray, yellowish-gray, rarely brownish-reddish, or yellow; the dorsal surface of the females is pinkish-gray, light brown, gray-yellow or melanistic. The majority of females has a weakly undulated zigzag pattern ranging in color from light- to dark-brown; the zigzag pattern of males is black or brown-black, with sharp wings and occasional interruptions. The throat in both sexes is light-colored, the belly is usually gray-spotted against a dark background; the lower part of the tail in both sexes is pinkish with varying numbers of dots in males and without dots in females (Ananjeva et al. 2021). 

Synonymy mainly after KHALIKOV & ANANJEVA (pers. comm.). Ananjeva et al. 2021 described Pelias tuniyevi which is closely related to Vipera dinniki and actually nests within dinniki in their tree. I. Freitas and U. Joger (pers. comm., 30 March 2021) agree that this population may not deserve species status, hence we list is as synonym of V. dinniki for the time being.

Phylogenetics: This species does not fall into the Montivipera clade as defined by GARRIGUES et al. 2005 but rather in the Pelias clade. Nor a Montivipera fide Wüster (pers. comm.). 
Etymologynamed after Nikolai Y. Dinnik (23 June 1847-21 September 1917)-Russian scientist, researcher nature of the Caucasus, and geographer.

Pelias tuniyevi was named after Boris Tuniyev, who made a significant contribution to the study of the Caucasian herpetofauna and the taxonomy of the shield-head viper snakes. 
  • Ananjeva N.B., Gabaev V.N., Iremashvil iG.N., Lotiev K.Yu., Petrova T.V. 2021. The taxonomic status of the vipers of the Pelias (kaznakovi) complex in the middle-flow of the Kura River basin in the East Transcaucasia. Proceedings of the Zoological Institute RAS, 2021, 325(1): 3–33 · - get paper here
  • Bekoshvili, David and Igor V Doronin. 2015. New data on the distribution of snakes in Georgia (Causasus). Herpetological Review 46 (3): 388-390 - get paper here
  • 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 - get paper here
  • Dunaev E.A., Orlova V.F. 2017. Amphibians and reptiles of Russia. Atlas and determination. 2nd. ed. Moscow: Phyton XXI, 328 p
  • Engelmann, W.E. et al. 1993. Lurche und Kriechtiere Europas. Neumann Verlag (Radebeul, Germany), 440 pp.
  • Garrigues, Thomas; Catherine Dauga; Elisabeth Ferquel; Valérie Choumet and Anna-Bella Failloux 2005. Molecular phylogeny of Vipera Laurenti, 1768 and the related genera Macrovipera (Reuss, 1927) and Daboia (Gray, 1842), with comments about neurotoxic Vipera aspis aspis populations. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution <br />Volume 35 (1): 35-47 - get paper here
  • Geniez, Philippe 2018. Snakes of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Princeton University Press, 384 pp. - get paper here
  • 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]
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Nikolsky, A. M. 1913. Herpetologia caucasica [in Russian]. Tiflis (Museum caucasicum), 272 pp. - get paper here
  • Nilson,G.; TUNIYEV,B.; ANDRÉN,C. & ORLOV,N. 1999. Vipers of Caucasus: Taxonomic considerations. Kaupia (Darmstadt) (8): 103-106
  • 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
  • Phelps, T. 2010. Old World Vipers. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 558 pp. [critical review in Sauria 33 (3): 19 and HR 43: 503]
  • Schneeweiss, N. 1994. Nachweis der Dinnik's-Kaukasusotter (Vipera dinniki Nikolskij, 1913) im Ostkaukasus. Herpetofauna 16 (89): 06-07 - get paper here
  • Schweiger, M. 2009. Die Giftschlangen Europas. Eine Übersicht der Arten und Bemerkungen zu einzelnen Taxa. Reptilia (Münster) 14 (76): 14-25 - get paper here
  • Shine, Richard;Madsen, Thomas 1994. Sexual dichromatism in snakes of the genus Vipera: A review and a new evolutionary hypothesis. Journal of Herpetology 28 (1): 114-117 - get paper here
  • Sindaco, R.; Alberto Venchi & Cristina Grieco 2013. The Reptiles of the Western Palearctic, Volume 2: Annotated Checklist and Distributional Atlas of the Snakes of Europe, North Africa, Middle East and Central Asia, with an Update to Volume 1. Edizioni Belvedere, Latina (Italy), 543 pp. - get paper here
  • Tuniyev B.S. 2016. Rare species of shield-head vipers in the Caucasus. Nature Conservation Research 1 (3): 11–25 - get paper here
  • Tuniyev, B.S.; A. Avcı, Ç. Ilgaz, K. Olgun, T.V. Petrova, S.Yu. Bodrov, P. Geniez and A. Teynié 2018. ON TAXONOMIC STATUS OF SHIELD-HEAD VIPERS FROM TURKISH LESSER CAUCASUS AND EAST ANATOLIA. Proceedings of the Zoological Institute RAS 322 (1): 3–44 - get paper here
  • Tuniyev, B.S.; N.L. Orlov, N.B. Ananjeva and A.L. Aghasyan 2019. Snakes of the Caucasus: taxonomic diversity, distribution, conservation. St. Petersburg, Moscow. KMK Scientific Press. 2019. 276 pp. - 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
  • Vedmederja V J; Orlov N L; Tuniyev B S 1986. On taxonomy of three viper species of the Vipera kaznakowi complex [in Russian]. TRUDY ZOOLOGICHESKOGO INSTITUTA AKADEMII NAUK SSSR 157: 55-61 - get paper here
  • Vedmederya, Valeriy; Oleksandr Zinenko, and Andrei Barabanov 2009. An Annotated Type Catalogue of Amphibians and Reptiles in the Museum of Nature at V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University (Kharkiv, Ukraine). Russ. J. Herpetol. 16 (3): 203-212 - 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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