Palestine viper / Daboia palaestinae / أفعى فلسطينية

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Status: Common

The Palestine viper belongs to the Viperidae family in the Squamata order (suborder Ophidia). One of several venomous snake species that are present in Palestine. The adult can usually reach 1.4 m (body + tail), but some have been found to reach even much more than that. This is a common snake, well camouflaged within its surrounding. Its head is triangular and on its back there is a dark zigzag pattern, which is sometimes broken. The colors may vary from light brown, dark brown and even black. The scales on the head are of similar size as the body scales. Mating is during April and May. Up to 30 eggs are laid during July and August in a clutch. Hatching takes place in September. Its diet includes rodents, birds and reptiles. It usually hunts by ambushing. In an encounter with people this viper usually tries to avoid contact and uses a warning in the form of strong exhaling sounds before it bites. Many hospitals keep anti-venom serum. It is endemic in the Middle East. It can be found in a variety of Mediterranean habitats, including fields, woods and agricultural regions. It is very common in urban areas and often invades human residences.

Conservation status: Least Concern.

In Palestine: It can be found in Mediterranean habitats.

Sites: Beitillu, Umm at-Tut, Wadi Al-Quff