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Vipera nikolskii VEDMEDERYA, GRUBANT & RUDAJEWA, 1986

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Viperinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Adder, Northern Viper
G: Kreuzotter
E: Nikolsky's Viper [nikolskii]
G: Waldsteppen-Otter [nikolskii]
Croatian: riđovka
Russian: Обыкновенная гадюка 
SynonymVipera nikolskii VEDMEDERYA, GRUBANT & RUDAJEWA 1986
Vipera berus var. prester — KOWATSCHEFF 1905
Vipera prester (LINNAEUS 1761) (fide KHALIKOV, pers. comm.)
Vipera nikolskii — ENGELMANN et al 1993
Vipera berus nikolskii — JOGER et al. 1997
Vipera nikolskii — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 407
Vipera berus nikolskii — MILTO & ZINENKO 2005
Vipera (Pelias) nikolskii — VENCHI & SINDACO 2006
Vipera berus nikolskii — VEDMEDERYA et al. 2009
Vipera berus nikolskii — ZINENKO et al. 2010
Pelias nikolskii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 544
Vipera nikolskii — BELIK 2014
Vipera berus nikolskii — FROLOVA & GAPONOV 2016
Pelias nikolskii — DUNAEV & ORLOVA 2017
Vipera berus nikolskii — MIZSEI et al. 2017
Vipera nikolskii — ZAHER et al. 2019
Vipera berus nikolskii — FREITAS et al. 2020
Vipera nikolskii08841 
DistributionUkraine (vicinity of Kharkhov), Central and S Russia, Romania, Moldova

Type locality: near the city of Kharkov, Ukraine  
Reproductionovoviviparous (listed as viviparous by Blackburn 1994). 
TypesHolotype: MNKhU (also as MNKNU) 14703.1 
CommentSynonymy: JOGER et al. (2007) found that bosniensis, nikolskii, barani, sachalinensis nested within various populations of V. berus.

Type species: Vipera berus is the type species of the genus Pelias MERREM 1820. Pelias is the type genus of the subfamily Peliasinae REUSS 1933.

Hybridization: Vipera berus appears to hybridize with V. nikolskii in Romania and Moldova (Zinenko et al. 2010). 
EtymologyApparently named after Alexander Mikhailovich Nikolsky (1858 – 1942), Russian and Ukrainian zoologist. 
  • Belik V.P. 2014. To the history of research on the amphibian and reptile fauna in the Volgograd Region. Current Studies in Herpetology 14 (1/2): 3–13. Резюме - 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.
  • Farooq, H., Uetz, P. 2021. Can we identify European snakes by color patterns? Salamandra 57 (4): 520–528 - get paper here
  • Frolova E. N., Gaponov S. P. 2016. Morphology of Nikolsky’s viper in Voronezh and Lipetsk regions. PROCEEDINGS OF THE 6th CONGRESS OF THE A. M. NIKOLSKY HERPETOLOGICAL SOCIETY pp. 165-169 - get paper here
  • Joger,U., Lenk,P., Baran,I., Böhme,W., Ziegler,T., Heidrich,P. & M. Wink 1997. The phylogenetic position of Vipera barani and of Vipera nikolskii within the Vipera berus complex. In: Böhme,W. Bisschoff,W. & T. Ziegler (eds.) Herpetologia Bonnensis. Bonn: 185-194. - get paper here
  • Kowatscheff, V. 1905. Beitraege zur Kenntnis der Reptilien und Amphibienfauna Bulgariens. Verh. Zool. Bot. Ges., Wien, IV: 31-32
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Milto, K.D., Zinenko, O.I. 2005. Distribution and morphological variability of Vipera berus in eastern Europe. In: Herpetologia Petropolitana: Proceedings of 12th Ord. Gen. Meet. S.E.H., Ananyeva, N., Tsinenko, O., (Eds.). St. Petersburg – Moscow: 64 – 73
  • Ukuwela, K.D.B., de Silva, A., Sivaruban, A. et al. 2022. Diversity, distribution, and natural history of the marine snakes of Sri Lanka. Marine Biodiversity 52, 24 (2022) - get paper here
  • Vedmederja V I; Grubant V N; Rudayeva 1986. On the question of the name of the black viper in the forest steppes of the European part of the USSR [in Russian]. VESTNIK KHAR'KOVSKOGO UNIVERSITETA (No. 288): 83-85 - 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
  • 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.
  • Zaher H, Murphy RW, Arredondo JC, Graboski R, Machado-Filho PR, Mahlow K, et al. 2019. Large-scale molecular phylogeny, morphology, divergence-time estimation, and the fossil record of advanced caenophidian snakes (Squamata: Serpentes). PLoS ONE 14(5): e0216148 - get paper here
  • Zinenko, Oleksandr; Ţurcanu, Vladimir; Strugariu, Alexandru 2010. Distribution and morphological variation of Vipera berus nikolskii Vedmederja, Grubant et Rudaeva, 1986 in Western Ukraine, The Republic of Moldova and Romania. Amphibia-Reptilia 31: 51-67 - get paper here
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