Vipera pontica

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Vipera pontica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Viperinae
Genus: Vipera
Species: V. pontica
Binomial name
Vipera pontica
Billing, Nilson & Sattler, 1990
  • Vipera pontica - Billing, Nilson & Sattler, 1990[1]

Common names: Pontic adder.[2]  
Vipera pontica is a venomous viper species found in Turkey and Georgia.[2] No subspecies are currently recognized.[3]


Probably does not grow to more than 60 cm in length. The largest type specimen was 277 mm.[2]

Holotype: NHMG 5021.[1]

Geographic range

Known only from the Coruh valley in Artvin Province, northeastern Turkey. It is probably also found in the Turkish province of Erzurum, as well as the Kura valley in Georgia.[1] Mallow et al. (2003) describe the range as Turkish Anatolia and adjacent parts of Georgia.[2] The type locality is "Coruh valley, province Artvin, northeastern Turkey.[1]

Conservation status

This species is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species with the following criteria: C2ab, D (v2.3, 1994).[4] This indicates that the total population is estimated to number less than 250 mature individuals. A continuing decline has been observed, projected, or inferred in numbers of mature individuals. It is unclear whether the population structure is either severely fragmented (i.e. no subpopulation estimated to contain more than 50 mature individuals), or that all individuals are in a single subpopulation. In case of the latter, the total population may number less than 50 mature individuals. Year assessed: 1996.[5]

It is also listed as a strictly protected species (Appendix II) under the Berne Convention.[6]


Found on steep wooded mountain slopes with rock outcroppings and piles of stones.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 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 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. Vipera pontica (TSN 634999) at Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Accessed 2 July 2007.
  4. Vipera pontica at IUCN Red List. Accessed 6 October 2006.
  5. 1994 Categories & Criteria (version 2.3)IUCN Red List. Accessed 6 October 2006.
  6. Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, Appendix II at Council of Europe. Accessed 9 October 2006.