The West African Gaboon Viper (Bitis gabonica rhinoceros) is a venomous snake and a reptile. It is also called the Butterfly Adder, the Forest Puff Adder, and the Swampjack.
The West African Gaboon Viper has a large triangular-shaped cream-coloured head, with a dark blue-black triangle behind and below its eyes. It is pale-brown, with dark, yellow-edged patterns along its body. Its belly is pale. It has a pair of horn-like structures between its nostrils. Its eyes are large, moveable, and yellow-white.
It is the largest of all vipers. It measures about 180 centimetres (71 inches) long. It has long fangs, measuring 5 centimetres (2 inches) in length.
The Gaboon Viper (Bitis gabonica) is native to sub-Saharan Africa, but the West African Gaboon Viper is native to countries in West Africa, such as Gabon, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. It prefers rain forests, woodlands, and savannahs.
It is mainly nocturnal, active at night. It eats mice, rats, rabbits, and birds.
The female West African Gaboon Viper is pregnant for about 7 months, before giving birth to 8-24 live young.
[Location of photographs: Paris Zoo, France]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM