Echis ocellatus

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Echis ocellatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Viperinae
Genus: Echis
Species: E. ocellatus
Binomial name
Echis ocellatus
Stemmler, 1970
  • Echis carinatus ocellatus - Stemmler, 1970
  • Echis ocellatus - Hughes, 1976
  • Echis [(Toxicoa)] ocellatus - Cherlin, 1990[1]

Common names: West African carpet viper,[2][3] ocellated carpet viper.[4][5]  
Echis ocellatus is a venomous viper species found mainly in West Africa. Named after the distinctive series of "eye-spots" that run the length of its body.[3] No subspecies are currently recognized.[6]


The maximum length is 65 cm, possibly more, while the average length is 30-50 cm.[3]

Geographic range

Found in West Africa from Mauritania, Senegal and Guinea, through, Mali, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, southern Niger and Nigeria. Also found in northern Cameroon and southwestern Chad. the type locality is described as "Haute Volta, Garango, 048 N, 033 W" (Burkina Faso).[1]

There are also reports of single specimens found in the Bangui in the Central African Republic, and in central Sudan. Rarely found north of the 15th parallel, after which E. leucogaster becomes more common. Its range extends to the coast via the Dahomey Gap.[3]


Lays between 6 and 20 eggs, usually at the end of the dry season in February to March. Hatchlings are 10-12 cm in length.

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. 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 3.2 3.3 Spawls S, Branch B. 1995. The Dangerous Snakes of Africa. Ralph Curtis Books. Dubai: Oriental Press. 192 pp. ISBN 0-88359-029-8.
  4. Echis coloratus at Munich AntiVenom INdex
  5. Mark O’Shea Answers Questions, July 1, 2003 at
  6. Echis ocellatus (TSN 634973) at Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Accessed 12 April 2007.

External links