A large and diverse Family of exclusively venomous snakes, covering most continents
(except Australia and New Guinea, Antarctica), with a highly evolved fang structure.
The fangs are at the front of the mouth, attached to a mobile maxilla, enabling
the fang to fold away against the roof of the mouth, thus permitting longer
fangs compared to head size.
FIGURE: Diagramatic representation of a "typical"
viperid snake head, showing the fang rotated into the "erect" position.
FIGURE: Approximate global distribution of Viperid snakes.
There are two major groups of vipers; Subfamily Viperinae containing the classic
vipers of the Old World; and the pit vipers, Subfamily Crotalinae,
characterised by their anteriorly placed heat-sensitive pit organs, which can
detect prey by their heat signature. Vipers are probably the most important
cause of global snakebite morbidity and mortality.
TABLE: Major groups of viperid snakes and their principal clinical effects.
African bush vipers
African puff adders, Gaboon vipers etc
Depends on species, but some cause severe local tissue injury, coagulopathy
& haemorrhage, shock, cardiotoxicity
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR ALL SITE USERS
: The principle aim of this site is to provide
information useful to improving outcomes for humans suffering from envenoming or poisoning by
animals, plants or mushrooms. We make a reasonable attempt to verify accuracy of information
listed on this site. However, we cannot access every published paper of potential relevance,
either because they are not available to us or are in a language we cannot translate internally.
Equally, we cannot list knowledge which is not yet reported or known. It should not be assumed
that humankind currently knows all there is to know about any species, even for common species.
Further, we cannot control how users will interpret the information provided on this site. We
therefore do not accept legal responsibility for use of the information provided and we require
that all users use information from this site at their own risk.
The following should also be noted when reading information contained within the databases on this website: italics for scientific nomenclature cannot be displayed, and superscripting and subscripting is absent in some instances.
Photos downloaded from Wikimedia Commons or other website are licensed for use under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license (CC BY-SA 2.0), 2.5 Generic license (CC BY-SA 2.5) or 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-SA 3.0), or the Attribution-NonCommerical-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0), or the Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license (CC BY-SA 4.0), or the GNU General Public License (GPL3.0), or in the Public Domain (PD), as shown in the caption to the image displayed on www.toxinology.com.