Bitis inornata

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Bitis inornata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Viperinae
Genus: Bitis
Species: B. inornata
Binomial name
Bitis inornata
(Smith, 1838)
  • Echidna inornata - A. Smith, 1838
  • Clotho ?inornata - Gray, 1849
  • Vipera inornata - Strauch, 1869
  • Bitis inornata - Boulenger, 1896
  • Bitis cornuta inornata - Underwood, 1968
  • B[itis]. inornata - Branch, 1991[1]

Common names: plain mountain adder, hornless adder.[2][3]  
Bitis inornata is a venomous viper species found only in Cape Province, South Africa.[1] No subspecies are currently recognized.[4]


Adults average 25-40 cm with a maximum of 45 cm.[2]

Geographic range

Isolated population on the Sneeuberg, eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The type locality is listed as "Sneeuwbergen, or Snow Mountains, ... immediately behind the village of Graaff Raynet" (Eastern Cape Province, South Africa).[1]

Spawls and Branch (1995) describe it as known only from two isolated population in southern Cape Province in South Africa: the first in the east, limited to the montane grassland on the Sneeuberg, from north of Graaf Renier to Cradock. A second population was discovered relatively recently on the upper slopes of the Cedarberg in the west.[3]

Conservation status

This species is classified as vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List for the following criteria: A2cd, B1+2ab.[5] This means that a population reduction of at least 20% is projected or suspected to be met within the next ten years or three generations, whichever is the longer, due to a decline in the area of occupancy, extent of occurrence and/or quality of habitat, or due to actual or potential levels of exploitation. Also, the extent of occurrence is estimated to cover less than 100 km², or the area of occupancy is estimated to be less than 10 km², and the population is severely fragmented or known to exist at only a single location. Finally, a continuing decline has been observed, inferred or projected, in the area of occupancy. Year assessed: 1996.[6]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mallow D, Ludwig D, Nilson G. 2003. True Vipers: Natural History and Toxinology of Old World Vipers. Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, Florida. 359 pp. ISBN 0-89464-877-2.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Spawls S, Branch B. 1995. The Dangerous Snakes of Africa. Ralph Curtis Books. Dubai: Oriental Press. 192 pp. ISBN 0-88359-029-8.
  4. Bitis inornata (TSN 634955) at Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Accessed 5 April 2007.
  5. Bitis inorata at IUCN Red List. Accessed 2 October 2006.
  6. 1994 Categories & Criteria (version 2.3)IUCN Red List. Accessed 5 October 2006.

External links