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Vipera monticola SAINT GIRONS, 1953

IUCN Red List - Vipera monticola - Near Threatened, NT

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Viperinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Mountain Viper 
SynonymVipera latastei montana SAINT GIRONS 1953: 24 (sec. homonym)
Vipera latastei monticola SAINT GIRONS 1954 (replacement name)
Vipera monticola — BEERLI, BILLING & SCHÄTTI 1986
Vipera latasti monticola — SOCHUREK 1979
Vipera (Rhinaspis) monticola — OBST 1983
Vipera monticola — WELCH 1994: 123
Vipera monticola — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 406
Vipera (Vipera) monticola — VENCHI & SINDACO 2006
Vipera monticola — WALLACH et al. 2014: 775 
DistributionMorocco (High Atlas), elevation up to 3000 m.

Type locality: Massif du Toubkal, Haut Atlas, Morocco, 2800 m.  
TypesSyntypes: MNHN-RA 8959, MNHN-RA 2012.0433 (formerly MNHN-RA 8959A), MNHN-RA 2012.0434 (formerly MNHN-RA 8959B), MNHN-RA 8410, MNHN-RA 2012.0412 (formerly MNHN-RA 8410A), MNHN-RA 1973.0079-0080; ZMA.RENA 11154 

Synonymy: Vipera latastei montana is a junior secondary homonym of Vipera berus var. montana MÉHELY 189.

Distribution: Not in Morocco but possibly there; has been confused with V. latastei (Martínez et al. 2019, and pers. comm. 18 Jan 2021). For a map see Sindaco et al. 2013. 
EtymologyThe species name, ‘monticola’, is Latin for ‘inhabitant of the mountains’ (Latin “colere” = inhabiting). 
  • Avella, Ignazio; Nahla Lucchini, Urtzi Enriquez-Urzelai, Frederico Corga & Fernando Martínez-Freiría 2019. New records for the reptile fauna of the Tichka plateau (western High Atlas, Morocco). Bol. Asoc. Herpetol. Esp. 30 (2) - get paper here
  • Beerli, P. Billing,H. & Schätti,B. 1986. Taxonomischer Status von Vipera latasti monticola Saint Girons 1953 (Serpentes, Viperidae). Salamandra 22: 101-104 - get paper here
  • Brito, José C.; Santos, Xavier; Pleguezuelos, Juan M.; Fahd, Soumia; Llorente, Gustavo A.; Parellada, Xavier 2006. Morphological variability of the Lataste's viper (Vipera latastei) and the Atlas dwarf viper (Vipera monticola: patterns of biogeographical distribution and taxonomy. Amphibia-Reptilia 27 (2): 219-240 - get paper here
  • Brodmann,P. 1987. Die Giftschlangen Europas und die Gattung Vipera in AFrika und Asien. Kümmerli und Frey, Bern, 148 pp.
  • Daan, S. & Hillenius,D. 1966. Catalogue of the type specimens of amphibians and reptiles in the Zoological Museum, Amsterdam. Beaufortia 13: 117-144
  • Dobiey, M. & Vogel, G. 2007. Venomous Snakes of Africa - Giftschlangen Afrikas. Edition Chimaira, Terralog 15, 150 pp. - get paper here
  • Freitas, Inês; Soumia Fahd, Guillermo Velo-Antón and Fernando Martínez-Freiría. 2018. Chasing the phantom: biogeography and conservation of Vipera latastei-monticola in the Maghreb (North Africa). Amphibia-Reptilia 39 (2): 145–161 - get paper here
  • FRITZ, P. & SCHELER, B. 2017. The Portrait: Vipera monticola Saint Girons, 1953. Sauria 39 (1): 1-2 - get paper here
  • Gruber, U. 2009. Die Schlangen Europas, 2. Aufl. Kosmos Naturführer, 266 pp.
  • Herrmann, H.-W. 1993. Bemerkungen zum Beutespektrum von Vipera monticola. Salamandra 29 (1): 90-91 - get paper here
  • Martínez-Freiría, F., Toyama, K. S., Freitas, I., & Kaliontzopoulou, A. 2020. Thermal melanism explains macroevolutionary variation of dorsal pigmentation in Eurasian vipers. Scientific Reports, 10(1) - get paper here
  • Martínez del Mármol, Gabriel; D. James Harris, Philippe Geniez, Philip de Pous, and Daniele Salvi 2019. Amphibians and Reptiles of Morocco. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 478 pp - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Obst, F.J. 1983. Zur Kenntnis der Schlangengattung Vipera. Zool. Abh. staatl. Mus. Tierkunde Dresden 38: 229-235
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - 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]
  • Pillet, J.M. 1994. New Data on the Distribution and Ecology of the Dwarf Viper of the High Atlas, Vipera monticola Saint Girons, 1954 (Reptilia, Viperidae). Revue Suisse de Zoologie 101 (3): 645-653 - get paper here
  • Saint Girons, H. 1953. Une vipère naine: Vipera latastei montana. Bull. Soc. zool. Fr. 78: 24-28.
  • Saint Girons, H. 1954. Note rectificative au sujet de Vipera latastei montana, n. subsp. Bull. Soc. Zool France 78: 475
  • Schleich, H.H., Kästle,W., Kabisch, K. 1996. Amphibians and Reptiles of North Africa. Koeltz, Koenigstein, 627 pp.
  • 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
  • Sochurek,E. 1979. Die Schlangen Nordafrikas. Mitt. Zool. Ges. Braunau 3 (8/9): 219-226
  • Venchi, Alberto and Roberto Sindaco 2006. Annotated checklist of the reptiles of the Mediterranean countries, with keys to species identification. Part 2 -Snakes (Reptilia, Serpentes). Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale "G. Doria", Genova, XCVIII: 259-364
  • 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.
  • WESTERSTRÖM, A. 2010. Early record of the elusive Atlas Dwarf Viper Vipera monticola SAINT GIRONS, 1953, in the Moroccan High Atlas [Short Note]. Herpetozoa 23 (1/2): 103-104 - get paper here
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