Animal Database

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Animal Database
Animal Database
Atheris matildae
Matildas horned viper snake ss thg 120109 ssh
Common Name Matilda's Horned Viper
Range Tanzania
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Reptilia
Order Squamata
Family Viperidae
Genus Atheris
Species Atheris matildae

Atheris matildae also known as Matilda's horned viper, is a species of arboreal forest viper endemic to Tanzania.


It was discovered in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania during a 2010–2011 biological survey. The exact location of the viper is unspecified, to protect it from being collected for the illegal pet trade. The snake was described as a new species on December 6, 2011, in a study published in the journal, Zootaxa. A captive breeding colony has already been established by the authors of the study.

Origin of Name[]

The viper was named after Matilda, the daughter of Tim Davenport, the director of the Wildlife Conservation Society in Tanzania and a member of the three-person team to have discovered the snake.


The species is most likely a nocturnal hunter, waiting by streams to ambush frogs.


It resembles Usambara Bush Viper (Atheris ceratophora).

Conservation Status[]

Matilda's horned viper occupies only a small area further threatened by logging and charcoal production


Matilda's horned viper has black and yellow scales, with its scutes being primarily yellow. They can have bright or dull green eyes, above which, they have scales that stick up, resembling horns.



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