CLASSIFICATION OF VIPERA : PITLESS VIPER
PHYLUM :- CHORDATA (Notochord, dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill slits present )
Group :- CRANIATA ( Definite head. Cranium with brain present )
Sub-phylum :- VERTEBRATA ( vertebral column present)
Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA ( Jaws and paired appendages present )
Super class :- TETRAPODA ( Paired limbs, lungs, bony skeleton and cornified skin)
Class :- REPTILIA ( Scaly vertebrates with right and left aortic arches. Single condyle, pulmonary respiration. Embryo with amnion and allantois ).
Sub-class :- DIAPSIDA ( Skull with two temporal openings separated by postorbital and squamosal ).
Order :- SQUAMATA ( Lizards and snakes with horny epidermal scales or shields. Quadrate bone movable. Vertebrae procoelous. Anal opening transverse).
Sub-order :- OPHIDIA ( Snakes. Limbs, feet, ear openings sternum and urinary bladder absent. Mandibles jointed anteriorly by ligament. Tongue slender, bifid and protrusible. Left lung reduced).
Family :- VIPERIDAE ( Tails compressed used for swimming ).
GENUS :- Vipera
Pitless Vipers are Old World snakes except Madagascar. Viper hu reported from Europe, Asia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and India.
HABIT AND HABITAT
Pitless viper is found in rocky and bushy regions. It feeds on mice, rats, lizards and birds.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF VIPERA : PITLESS VIPER
- Commonly called in Hindi as Kadar or Dobia or Pitless viper.
- It is a common highly poisonous snake. Body divided into head, neck, trunk and tail.
- Body measures 2 meters in length. Head large, flat. triangular and covered with small scale Shields on undersurface of the tail are subdivided. Head contains, mouth, bifid tongue, nostril and eyes without eyelids.
- Colour is brownish but it varies according to its environment, Body is covered with keeled scales. Large black spots arranged on the back. Head and body separated by constriction of neck.
- Facial bones movable, maxilla is small and contains long and movable poison fangs with canals.
- Paired erectile fangs in front of upper jaw, one on each maxillary bone and folded backward when not in use (solenoglypha).
- Body covered with keeled scale and ventral side contains broad ventral plate.
- No pit between nostril and paired eyes without eyes lids. Eyes have white margin with golden iris, and elliptical pupil.
- Supra-labials are 10 to 12. 4th supralabial is largest and it does not reach up to eye. Ventral plates large.
Snout is angulate, nasal opening prominent eyes have white margin with golden iris and elliptical pupil. Tail narrow.
The snake remains coiled with the head in the center of the coil and with least provocation or disturbance, tongue is protruded, body rhythmically swells and hissing sound is produced. Its bite is fierce and it strikes to one side with a sudden and forceful spring. Before striking it hisses loudly, Its bite is fatal to man. Its native name is Sus-Karna symbolizing its powerful hissing.
The snake contains characteristic ventral shields and above features, hence it is Pitless Vipers.
- Book of Practical Zoology VERTEBRATE by S.S.LAL – Rastogi Publications.
- https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url= https%3A%2F%2Fwww.britannica.com%2Fanimal%2Fviper-snake&source of images –