Causus resimus

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Causus resimus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Causinae
Genus: Causus
Species: C. resimus
Binomial name
Causus resimus
(Peters, 1862)
  • Heterophis resimus - Peters, 1862
  • Causus resimus - Bocage, 1886
  • Causus Jacksonii - Günther, 1888
  • Causus nasalis - Stejneger, 1893
  • C[ausus]. resimus var. angolensis - Bocage, 1895
  • Causus resimus - Boulenger, 1896[1]

Common names: green night adder.[2][3]  
Causus resimus is a venomous viper species found in isolated populations distributed across tropical Africa.[2] No subspecies are currently recognized.[4]


Averages 30-60 cm in length with a maximum of 75 cm.[3] They appear relatively stout.[2]

The head is short and slightly distinct from the neck with an upturned snout. The circumorbital ring includes 2 preoculars, 2 postoculars and 1-2 subocular scales. There are 6-7 sublabials. The temporal scales number 2+3 (rarely 2+4).[2]

Midbody there are 19-22 rows of faintly keeled dorsal scales that have a velvety appearance. There are 131-155 ventral scales. The anal scale is single. There are 16-27 paired subcaudals.[2]

The color pattern consists of a green ground color that may be anything from bright green to olive. This is overlaid with a series dark inverted chevron-like crossbars that run down the back, similar to C. defilippii and C. rhombeatus. The chin and throat are yellow. The belly is a yellowish, cream or pearly in color.[2]

Geographic range

Found in Central- and Eastern Africa from Nigeria east to Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and south to Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo. An isolated population occurs in western Angola. The type locality is listed as "Sennâr, vom Gebel-Ghule" (Jebel Ghule, Sennar, Sudan).[1]


Prefers low-lying moist savanna, wooded hills, high grasslands, and the riparian zones of rivers that run through swamps, rocky gorges, coastal scrubland and semideserts. Also known to occur in man-made habitats, such as abandoned quarries, sugar cane plantations and in borrow pit pools along roads.[2]


If disturbed, they inflate themselves and put on a ferocious hissing and puffing threat display. The front part of the body is raised and coiled from which position they tend to make sweeping and lashing strikes as opposed to a stabbing motion. They are mostly terrestrial, but are also good swimmers and have been known to climb into sedges in pursuit of prey. Despite their common name, they are diurnal and are often seen basking. They hide under ground cover when not active.[2]

See also

Cited references

  1. 1.0 1.1 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 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 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. Causus resimus (TSN 634839) at Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Accessed 24 March 2007.

External links