Many Horned Viper
aka Many Horned Adder

Scientific Name: Bitis cornuta
Geographical Range: Western coast of the southern tip of Africa.  Found from Cape Province to Moeb Bay
Habitat:  Mountainous and rocky areas of the Namib desert and to the mountains south of the desert.
Diet in the Wild:Carnivorous, including lizards, rodents, birds, and amphibians
Conservation Status: Not protected.
Location in the Zoo: Herpetarium

Physical Description:
Small snake between 30-40cm; the females are typically larger than the males.  They have 2 to 7 elongated horns over their eyes.  They are a grayish color with angular spots.

Social Organization::
Solitary unless mating.

Special Adaptations:
 It buries itself in loose sand for camouflage against predators and prey.  It also has a sidewinding locomotion to help it move through the desert sands.  When feeling threatened it hisses loudly, and when it strikes its whole body comes completely off the ground.

Reproductive Behavior:
It is a live-bearer with births of 5-14 young at a time.

The Animal at the Zoo:
Not on display.

Page Author:
Chad Martin:

Sources and Links:

WhoZoo Home

WhoZoo Animal Index

Reptiles and Amphibians at the Fort Worth Zoo