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Vipera eriwanensis (REUSS, 1933)

IUCN Red List - Vipera eriwanensis - Vulnerable, VU

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Viperinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesVipera eriwanensis eriwanensis (REUSS 1933)
Vipera eriwanensis ebneri KNOEPFFLER & SOCHUREK 1955 
Common Names 
SynonymAcridophaga renardi eriwanensis REUSS 1933: 373
Vipera ursinii ebneri KNÖPFLER & SOCHUREK 1955
Vipera ursini renardi — KRAMER 1961: 627 (part.)
Vipera ursinii eriwanensis — JOGER 1984
Vipera ursinii eriwanensis — NILSON et al. 1988
Vipera ursinii eriwanensis — ENGELMANN et al 1993
Vipera eriwanensis — HÖGGREN et al. 1993
Vipera renardi eriwanensis — WELCH 1994: 123
Vipera (Pelias) eriwanensis — NILSON et al. 1999: 104
Vipera ursinii — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 410
Vipera (Acridophaga) eriwanensis — RASTEGAR-POUYANI et al. 2008
Pelias shemakhensis TUNIYEV, ORLOV, TUNIYEV & KIDOV 2013: 140
Pelias shemakheninsis — TUNIYEV et al. 2013: 129 (in error)
Pelias eriwanensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 543
Pelias eriwanensis — TUNIYEV 2016
Pelias schemakhensis — TUNIYEV 2016 (in error)
Pelias shemakhensis kakhetiensis TUNIYEV et al. 2018
Pelias shemakheninsis — TUNIYEV et al. 2019
Vipera eriwanensis — KAMALI 2020: 455
Pelias shemakhensis kakhetiensis — ANANJEVA et al. 2021

Vipera eriwanensis ebneri KNOEPFFLER & SOCHUREK, 1955
Vipera ursinii ebneri KNOEPFFLER & SOCHUREK, 1955
Vipera eriwanensis ebneri — GOLAY et al. 1993
Vipera ebneri — NILSON & ANDRÉN 2001
Vipera (Acridophaga) ebneri — RASTEGAR-POUYANI et al. 2008
Vipera ebneri — TUNIYEV et al. 2010
Vipera eriwanensis ebneri — JOGER 2011 (pers. comm.)
Pelias ebneri — WALLACH et al. 2014: 543
Vipera ebneri — HUTWALKER 2017
Pelias ebneri — TUNIYEV et al. 2018
Pelias ebneri — TUNIYEV et al. 2019x 
DistributionArmenia, NW Iran, NE Turkey, Georgia

Type locality: Yerevan (at 2000 m elevation), Armenia.

ebneri: Iran

kakhetiensis: Georgia; Type locality: Vicinity of village Dedopliszkaro, Fortress Khornabudji, Shirak Plateau (Kakhetia, East Georgia).

shemakhensis: NE Azerbaijan; Type locality: Vicinity of Shemakhan (= Shemakha, north-eastern Azerbaijan  
TypesNeotype: GNM = Goteborg Natural History Museum Re.ex 5158; designated by Nilson et al. 1999.
Holotype: NMW 14889 [ebneri]
Holotype: ZISP 21720, Herpetological collection of Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg, 25.04.1972, Coll. E. A. Erukh (Fig. 11 in Tuniyev et al. 2013) [shemakhensis]
Holotype: SNP 1059 (adult male); paratypes: 6 specimens, SNP 1052 (4 juv.), No 1053 (2 specimens, adult male and adult female) [kakhetiensis] 

Synonymy: U. JOGER (pers. comm., 1 Aug 2011), suggested to treat V. ebneri as subspecies of V. eriwanensis, see this entry. The status of Pelias shemakhensis and V. ebeneri are questionable with low genetic divergence to V. eriwanensis (1% or less) (Freitas et al. 2020). Hence, Freitas et al. 2020 also included P. ebneri within V. eriwanensis; subspecies status may be the most appropriate solution for both taxa.

NCBI TaxID: 2493205 [shemakhensis]

Diagnosis (shemakhensis). Small viper, different from other species by minimal number of wings in zigzag (54.8), by the presence of specimens with unique combination from four canthal shields under the absence of apicals. Brown cervical zigzag with small wings is located on the dirty- white back. On each side of body dark shallow patches are located chequer wise in 2 – 3 rows, unlike one row of large dark patches mainly typical for other representa- tives of “ursinii” complex in the Caucasian Isthmus.

Distribution: For a map see Sindaco et al. 2013. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality in Armenia.

Pelias shemakhensis was named after the type locality, the town and district of Shemakha. 
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  • Arakelyan, Marine S.; Felix D. Danielyan, Claudia Corti, Roberto Sindaco, and Alan E. Leviton 2011. The Herpetofauna of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. SSAR, Salt Lake City, 154 pp. [ISBN: 978-0-916984-84-7.]
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  • Arıkan, Hüseyin; Yusuf Kumlutas, Öguz Türkozan, Ibrahim Baran, Çetin Ilgaz 2004. The morphology and size of blood cells of some viperid snakes from Turkey. Amphibia-Reptilia 25 (4): 465-470 - get paper here
  • Baran, I.; Tok, C.V.; Olgun, K.; Iret, F. & Avci, Z. 2005. On Viperid (Serpentes: Sauria) Specimens Collected from Northeastern Anatolia. Turkish Journal of Zoology 29: 225-228 - get paper here
  • Engelmann, W.E. et al. 1993. Lurche und Kriechtiere Europas. Neumann Verlag (Radebeul, Germany), 440 pp.
  • Freitas, Inês; Sylvain Ursenbacher, Konrad Mebert, Oleksandr Zinenko, Silke Schweiger, Wolfgang Wüster, José C. Brito, Jelka Crnobrnja-Isailovic ́, Bálint Halpern, Soumia Fahd, Xavier Santos, Juan M. Pleguezuelos, Ulrich Joger, Nikolay Orlov, Edv 2020. Evaluating taxonomic inflation: towards evidence-based species delimitation in Eurasian vipers (Serpentes: Viperinae). Amphibia-Reptilia 41 (3): 285–311 - get paper here
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  • Kukushkin, Oleg; Tavakkul Iskenderov, Saxib Axmedov, Sabina Bunyatova and Oleksandr Zinenko. 2012. Additions to the distribution of Vipera eriwanensis (Serpentes: Viperidae) in Transcaucasia, with comments on the identity of vipers in northeastern Azerbaijan. Herpetology Notes 6: 423-427
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