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| Montatheris hindii|
Common names: Kenya mountain viper, Kenya montane viper, montane viper.
Montatheris is a monotypic genus created for a venomous viper species, M. hindii. This is a small, terrestrial species found only at high altitude on Mount Kenya and the Aberdare mountain range in Kenya. No subspecies are currently recognized.
This is a small species reaching an average length of 20-30 cm and a maximum of about 35 cm. The head is elongated and not very distinct from the neck, while the eyes are small and set in a rather forwards position. The dorsal scales are strongly keeled.
Endemic to Kenya. Known only from isolated populations on Mount Kenya and the moorlands of the Plateau, Kinangop Aberdare mountains. The type locality listed is "Fort Hall, Kenya." Since Fort Hall is at an altitude of only 4000 feet (1219 meters), Loveridge (1957) questioned whether this was accurate.
Occurs at high altitudes of 2700-3800 m in treeless moorlands. Favors clumps of bunch grass for cover.
A terrestrial species. Because of the low nighttime temperatures in its native habitat, it is only active during the day and when there is enough sunlight to warm its environment.
It feeds on chameleons, skinks and small frogs. It may also take small rodents.
- List of viperine species and subspecies.
- True vipers - Common names.
- True vipers - Synonymy.
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- Montatheris hindii at World of Atheris (Kingsnake.com)
- Montatheris (TSN 634426) at Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Accessed 22 March 2007.
- Montatheris hindii (TSN 634980) at Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Accessed 22 March 2007.
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