True Vipers

Mount Mabu Bush Viper (Atheris mabuensis), photo by Bill Branch

The true vipers are represented by 13 different genera across Europe, Africa, and Asia. High species diversity is found among the Palearctic vipers (genus Vipera), the African vipers (genus Bitis), and the Bush vipers (genus Atheris). A few species of the true vipers are among the most medically significant in the world, including the carpet vipers (genus Echis), the Russel’s viper (Daboia russelii) and the Puff adder (Bitis arietans). Yet the group also represents some of our greatest knowledge gaps for viper life history and conservation, particularly species in Africa.


The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the global authority on the status of the natural world has developed a tool a list of species and their status to monitor  biodiversity evolution and  protect species. For each species listed, it provides information about range, population size, habitat and ecology, and threats.

Photo by Marco Martins

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