Nose-horned viper

Nose-horned vipers, or Vipera ammodytes, live in the Balkans, the middle-east and a bit of Austria and Italy, they mainly inhabit countries such as Croatia, Bosnia and Greece. The nose-horned viper can be recognised by its horned nose at the top of its head, as suggested by its name. These snakes can grow up to 90 cm long, with fangs reaching up to 13mm in length!

They predominantly eat small rodents and birds, however, as juveniles, they often eat small lizards. They are often found on rocky areas, such as mountainsides, open forests, cultivated areas and many other places. Sunbathing in the day and mainly active at night, meaning that they are predominantly nocturnal, however, at higher latitudes, they are more active during the day.

Although not endangered as yet, Vipera ammodytes, are highly protected, as per Berne Convention.

Therefore, it is highly illegal and prohibited by law, to catch, hurt, kill, keep, or sell a nose-horned viper! Although they are all classified under the same species, their colour can greatly vary from grey/brown to orange/red and even white! They are highly adaptable creatures and easily change to match their environment, if they live on rock then they will most likely be grey, white-ish, red soil -reddish.. & so on, in any case NOT at all easy to spot them.

Vipera ammodytes, are highly venomous and are the most venomous snake in Europe! It only needs around 25 mg of venom to kill a human! However, these bites are quite rare and rarely kill a human. Despite their reputation, these snakes aren’t usually aggressive and won’t disturb us if we don’t disturb them.I myself have never seen a nose-horned viper, however, my mummy and my brothers have seen quite a lot of them! My brothers often helped them picking them up and taking them back deeper in nature, not to bite anyone in populated are or to get killed unintentionally or intentionally.

My mummy always tells us to stamp our feet wherever we can’t see what’s in front of us, as they will often move away if they hear that.

Although they are not endangered as yet, if people continue to keep killing them, they soon will be! We are likely to have them around us in our garden in our summer house in Croatia, but never seen one, certain that is due to stamping feet so they have time to move away as we did let them know that we are coming close. We need to be able to allow ourselves to be part of nature, not a main predator and catastrophe killing everything we don’t like!

Note: Most of these pictures are from our friends and family, but some are not ours and they come from internet to show you different variants of these amazing creatures.

Nika Strok Underwood

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