|Copyright: Iulian Gherghel (IulianGherghel)
|Date Taken: 2010-09-16|
|More Photo Info: [view]|
|Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop|
|Date Submitted: 2010-10-02 6:24|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Cerastes cerastes is a venomous viper species native to the deserts of Northern Africa and parts of the Middle East. They often are easily recognized by the presence of a pair of supraocular horns, although hornless individuals do occur.|
Arid north Africa (Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania and Mali, eastward through Algeria, Tunisia, Niger, Libya and Chad to Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia) through Sinai to the northern Negev of Israel. In the Arabian Peninsula, it occurs in Yemen, extreme southwestern Saudi Arabia and parts of the country in Qatar where it is sympatric with C. gaperettii. A report of this species being found in Lebanon is unlikely, according to Joger (1984). Originally, the type locality was listed only as "Oriente." However, Flower (1933) proposed "Egypt" by way of clarification.
These snakes favor dry, sandy areas with sparse rock outcroppings, and tend not to prefer coarse sand. Occasionally, they are found around oases, and up to an altitude of 1500 m. Cooler temperatures, with annual averages of 20°C or less, are preferred .
They typically move about by sidewinding, during which they press their weight into the sand or soil, leaving whole-body impressions. Often, it is even possible to use these impressions to make ventral scale counts. They have a reasonably placid temperament, but if threatened, they may assume a C-shaped posture and rapidly rub their coils together. Having strongly keeled scales, this produces a rasping noise, similar to Echis. They are capable of striking quickly.
A number of subspecies may be encountered in literature:
* C. c. hoofieni - Werner & Sivan, 1999 - Saudi Arabia.
* C. c. karlhartli - Sochurek, 1974 - Egyptian horned viper - southeast Egypt and Sinai Peninsula.
* C. c. mutila - Domergue, 1901 - Algerian horned viper - southwest Algeria, Morocco.
info from Wikipedia
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