Facts about Lataste's Viper snake. "Scientific name for Lataste's Viper snake is Vipera latastei and it is a variety of poisonous snake that belongs to the genus Vipera of the Viperidae family. The Lataste's Viper snakes are native to the northwestern parts of Africa and the extreme southwestern parts of Europe. They are largely found in Spain and Portugal in Southwestern Europe and in the Mediterranean region of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria in Northwestern Africa. The Lataste's Viper snakes prefer to live in damp, rock-strewn areas, in arid scrubland and forest, stone walls, hedgerows and occasionally in coastal banks.
Features of Lataste's Viper snake
The Lataste's Viper snake is a small size snake that is capable of attaining a maximum body length of 28 5/16 inches when fully grown, measured from its head to tail. The Lataste's Viper snake has a grey to dark tan color body, with two apical pits, a triangular-shaped head and a crisscross pattern on its back part of the body. The crisscross pattern acts as a warning sign to avian killers that the Lataste's Viper snake is poisonous. They have a yellow-colored tail, and a set of dark marks are visible on both sides of their body. Both male and female Lataste's Viper snakes have a horn on the tip of their up-turned, pointed snout, with males having a snout length of 24 cm (9 3/8 inches) and the female ones have a longer snout than the male ones, with a length of 26.5 cm (10 3/8 inches).
The major threats to Lataste’s viper comprise harassment from humans and the loss and deprivation of suitable homes, during agriculture, urbanization and woodland fires. Consequently, the Lataste's Viper snake varieties have declined in several areas of the Iberian Peninsula, chiefly in the lowlands. Unluckily, certain biological features of the Lataste's Viper snakes, such as a low dispersal rate and a small habitat, range size, make it mostly deprived at adapting to home modification and at colonizing near appropriate habitats, so making it more susceptible to extinction.
Diet of Lataste's Viper snake
The Lataste's Viper mostly feeds on reptiles and tiny creatures, even though they feed on other kinds of prey, including amphibians, arthropods and birds. The diet of the Lataste's Viper snakes differs consistent with their age and the season, and may even cause rare cannibalism when they do not get enough food.
Behavior of Lataste's Viper snake
The Lataste's Viper is active during both day and night, but it is usually concealed under rocks. The snake has a yellow-colored tail tip, which enables the snake to entice the prey. The Lataste's Viper snake is considered an ambush predator, and it uses a sit-and-wait plan to capture the prey. In spite of its small body size, the snake is considered one of the most violently defensive of all Vipera varieties. If it is threatened, it will strike repetitively at the same time as producing a noisy hiss.
Reproduction of Lataste's Viper snake
Mating in Lataste’s viper starts during the autumn and spring seasons in the Iberian Peninsula, whereas in Morocco their mating will be during April and May months. Occasionally, the Lataste's Viper snakes have a third mating during the autumn season of the year. The Lataste’s viper is a viviparous type of snake, which means that the female snakes offer birth to live juveniles that have grown within her body. The female Lataste's Viper usually gives birth to juveniles, ranging from 2 to 13 in numbers. On average, female snakes used to give birth once in three years only.
The average lifespan of the Lataste’s viper ranges from 16 years to 20 years in the wild, whereas in the captive, they will live up to 45 years.