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Vipera seoanei

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Vipera seoanei
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Viperinae
Genus: Vipera
Species: V. seoanei
Binomial name
Vipera seoanei
Lataste, 1879
  • Vipera berus seoanei - Lataste, 1879
  • [Pelias] seoanei - Reuss, 1927
  • Vipera seoanei - Saint-Girons & Duguy, 1976
  • Vipera seoanei seoanei - Braña & Bas, 1983
  • Vipera (Vipera) seoanei - Obst, 1983
  • Vipera seoannei - Bon, 1987
  • V[ipera]. seoanei latastei - González, 1991[1]

Common names: Baskian viper.[2]  
Vipera seoanei is a venomous viper species found in extreme southwestern France and the northern regions of Spain and Portugal.[1] Two subspecies are currently recognized, including the nominate race described here.[3]


Adults may grow to a length of 75 cm, but usually less.[2]

This is a highly polymorphic species for which four main color-pattern types have been described:[2]

A: well-developed, brown zigzig pattern down the back, very much like V. berus, set against a beige or light-gray ground color.
B: roughly twin-striped pattern, with the ground color expressed as two narrow, straight, dorsolateral longitudinal lines along the body. Resembles V. kaznakovi to some degree.
C: uniform brownish morph with no pattern.
D: fragmented zigzag pattern (see V. s. cantabrica).

Geographic range

Found in the extreme southwestern France and the northern regions of Spain and Portugal. The type locality is given as "In montibus Gallaecorum et Cantabrorum ... d'Espagne" (the mountains of Galicia and Cantabrici, Spain). Mertens and Müller (1928) suggested a restricting the type locality to "Cabañas, Prov. Caruña, Spanien" (according to Golay et al. (1993), this is Cabañas, near Ferrol, Caruña Province, northwestern Spain).[1]

Conservation status

This species is classified as Least Concern (LC) according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (v3.1, 2001).[4] It was given this status due to its relatively wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. Year assessed: 2005. [5]

It is, however, listed as a protected species (Appendix III) under the Berne Convention.[6]


Species[3] Authority[3] Geographic range[7]
V. s. cantabrica Brana & Bas, 1983 Northern Portugal, northern Spain and southwestern France.
V. s. seoanei Lataste, 1879 Northwestern Spain


  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 2.2 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 Vipera seoanei (TSN 635001) at Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Accessed 3 July 2007.
  4. Vipera seoanei at IUCN Red List. Accessed 6 October 2006.
  5. 2001 Categories & Criteria (version 3.1)IUCN Red List. Accessed 6 October 2006.
  6. Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, Appendix III at Council of Europe. Accessed 9 October 2006.
  7. Species Vipera seoanei at the Species2000 Database