With the approaching summer season, many of us are wondering how to distinguish a viper from a snake. Because the warm season is a great time for a picnic and barbecue. Many are going to rest in a forest belt or to water bodies, where there can be a large number of vipers. In this article we will tell you how it looks and how dangerous it is.
Common viper snake: structure, dimensions, external signs, photo
An ordinary viper weighs an average of 100 g and a maximum weight of about 200 g. The average length is 65 cm. But individuals up to 90 cm in length are found on the Scandinavian peninsula. The color is very diverse, it can be either yellow, gray, or black, brown. A distinctive feature of the viper is a flat head, which is clearly separated from the trunk by the cervical spine. At the same time, there are three guards on the head. On the middle shield is a nose. The eyes have an interesting and unusual vertical shape, which gives the snake an evil look. It is found in Europe and Asia. Unlike its relatives of the snake family, the common viper prefers lower temperatures, therefore it is found even in the northern strip.Common viper Common viper Common viper
Viper snake is poisonous or not, is its bite deadly for humans and animals?
Indeed, the venom of an ordinary viper is not much different from its tropical relatives and those living in Europe and Asia. It has a mainly paralytic effect, is a strong allergen. However, it rarely leads to death. This is mainly observed if a person has a strong allergic reaction to some medications, and in particular to viper venom. But usually, in 70% of cases, all bite symptoms disappear after about 2-4 days. Swelling disappears during this time, pain in the limb disappears. For animals, a viper bite can be fatal for dogs or cats.Danger to humans
Differences and similarities of the viper and the snake, coppers, snake: comparison, length, description, photo
If you know a few differences between an adder and a snake, a snake and a coppers, it is not difficult to recognize these snakes. There are a number of characteristics and distinguishing features.
Differences and similarities:
- First of all, you can distinguish a snake in the shape of a head: in an adder, it is oval slightly, flattened, more like a triangular one. At a snake it is oval, ovoid.
- The viper shows a clear transition from the neck to the trunk. Already there is no such transition, it is somewhat smoothed out. You can also distinguish by color. The viper has zigzag stripes on its back; the snake has no such stripes. He's all spotty
- The coppers have yellow spots that are staggered. If we compare the color of the abdomen, then the viper almost all the time it is gray or black. There are transitions already. Closer to the head is a mottled color, and to the tail a little darker.
- You can also distinguish by the shape of the body. The viper’s body is much shorter, the tail is not so sharp, much more blunt. At the snake, the body is thinner, and the tail is sharp. It can also be distinguished by the pupils. In a viper, they are vertical, in a snake, coppers and snake are ordinary - round.
- If you look not only at the eyes, and you have the opportunity to pick up a snake, you can click on the jaw from the side and look at the teeth. The viper has two huge incisors. It is from these teeth that poison is released. There are no such teeth. He has all the teeth of the same size, no like incisors.
- You can identify a snake by habitat. If you saw a snake in the water that catches fish, this is most likely not an adder, but already. Because vipers rarely fish.
- If you saw a snake in a tree, this is not an adder either. Because she also does not like to crawl through trees.
- If you go in landing, you see a whole bunch of snakes, this is not an adder either. Because they mate in pairs and do not fold into balls.
- If you saw eggs on the road, these are not viper eggs either. These snakes are viviparous, but they already lay eggs.
In what natural zone does the viper live? What eats, breathes?
The viper lives in the Caucasus, in the steppes, in the mountains, as well as in the northern latitudes. It tolerates heat and cold. Therefore, an ordinary viper can be found almost everywhere. As for the habitat, for the winter they dig deep into the ground. In the afternoon they often hide in burrows. Because they prefer to hunt at night and do not like the neighborhood with other snakes. The respiratory system of a viper does not consist of two lungs, but of three. There is a so-called tracheal lung, which is located in the area where the trachea ends and resembles an air sac. It allows you to accumulate air. Thanks to this, vipers can swim.
Viper nutrition differs significantly depending on the region of habitat, as well as on the time of year. We can say that the basis of her diet are frogs, small birds, mice, rodents, as well as lizards. Young snakes that have recently hatched from eggs feed mainly on insects. These are earthworms, bugs, slugs.Steppe viper
Does the viper live with snakes, can it interbreed with them?
Crossing of a snake and a viper is unlikely, because the vipers are viviparous, and the snakes lay eggs. There is a significant difference. In addition, these are different species, they have a different structure of the genital organs. There is a popular belief that there are poisonous snakes, as well as vipers that swim in ponds and fish. In fact, this is fiction. People often confuse vipers with water snakes, which do not have a characteristic color for snakes. Most often they are of a dark uniform color, but with a more detailed examination it is already evident that his pupils are not vertical, but ordinary round ones. When eating fish and swallowing it, there are no such large sharp incisors.
Viper snake - varieties: short description, name, photo
- Pit vipers. They are called rattlesnakes or rattlesnakes (lat. Crotalinae). They are distinguished by the presence of 2 infrared pits, which are located in the recess between the eyes and nostrils.
- Toad vipers. They belong to the egg-laying type of snakes, which is a rarity among all members of the family.
- Vipers(lat.Viperinae). The largest subfamily, whose representatives live even in the conditions of the Arctic (viper vulgaris).
- Azemiopinae. The subfamily represented by a single genus and species - Burmese Viper Fairy.
Do vipers live, and which are found in Belarus, the Urals, Siberia, Tatarstan, the Caucasus, live in the steppe?
It is worth noting that this species is distributed almost throughout the globe, except for Australia and some northern regions.
Habitat and species:
- In Kazakhstan, the so-called steppe vipers are found.
- In the Caucasus, there are steppe vipers, Gyurza, common viper, as well as real viper.
- Recently, a whole invasion of vipers has been recorded in the Urals. A large number of people suffer from them. Mostly common viper is common here.
- This species is also found in Siberia, Tatarstan, as well as in Belarus. The viper steppe has become widespread in Belarus.
How do they behave in nature, how do they hibernate, how many vipers live?
Vipers lead a terrestrial way of life, although among relatives there is such a species as an earthen viper, which prefers to burrow underground and hide in holes. She can also live in crevices between rocks or under stones. Basically, all types of vipers lead a sedentary lifestyle and do not really like to travel long distances. This happens if you need to seek shelter for wintering. In the daytime they often bask in the sun, if it is very hot outside, they can hide in the shade, under the stones. They hunt mainly at night.
It has been established that during hibernation the viper can bury itself underground, to a depth of 1 m. Because at this depth it is impossible to freeze. Reptiles come to life in mid-spring, it is approximately at the end of April. They can also winter in the burrows of rodents or under the roots of trees.
On average, a viper can live 15-30 years, but some observations by scientists prove that the survival period is significantly reduced after two or three years of reproduction. That is, childbirth significantly reduces the life expectancy of vipers. The average age of individuals giving birth reaches 5-7 years.Viper
What to do if a dog’s viper has bitten a person?
You can find a lot of advice that says that when you bite a viper, you need to suck the poison out of the wound. In fact, this is an absolutely useless procedure, because the poison spreads instantly. In addition, there is a risk of introducing bacteria from the mouth into the wound. In some sources, you can find recommendations to put a tourniquet on top of the bite. But as practice shows, this is also useless. Viper venom contains substances that contribute to the development of necrosis; when you squeeze a bite, you contribute to tissue death.
- It is necessary to take antihistamines with you when going to the forest. It can be Diazolin, Tsetrin, Claritin or Eden. A sedative is also useful.
- In most cases, if a strong swelling does not develop 15 minutes after a viper bite, there is no anaphylactic shock, most likely, the pain at the bite site will disappear in a few days without significant consequences for the body.
- If the reaction to the bite is serious, there is swelling of the larynx or face, then it is urgent to go to the emergency room. There you will be given a serum. Systematic treatment is also carried out, which is aimed at eliminating the consequences of a bite.
- That is, if the bite provoked a drop in pressure, it is increased, antihistamines are given, they can inject Adrenaline.
- Therapy in dogs is the same as in humans. It is necessary to give an antihistamine drug, and also, if necessary, introduce serum against poison. But as practice shows, such breeds as hunting and dachshunds, which are usually taken with them on hunting, tolerate viper bites without consequences for the body.
- After about a week, the animal will feel good.
How does the viper breed, does it lay eggs or live-bearing?
It is worth noting that vipers are viviparous. They do not lay eggs. The process itself is a cross between the birth of a child in humans and the laying of eggs in a chicken, because the viper gives birth to an egg in a soft shell, which develops during birth. At one time, the viper can give birth to 5-12 cubs. Basically, the process of childbirth takes place on a tree: a snake swings the lower body to the sides, snakes fly apart and fall on the grass. The most interesting thing is that inside the mother, the fruits feed not only on the yolk that is in the egg, they are connected with the mother’s body. We can say that they feed through the placenta. The viper does not in any way take care of its babies, immediately after birth they creep to the sides.
Mating begins 14-21 days after waking up. During this time, the snake eats up, gathers strength and mates. The fact is that vipers can accumulate sperm inside the body and fertilization occurs when the snake is comfortable. That is, they have special receivers for sperm, in which it can be stored for a long time. In one terrarium, the maximum period was recorded, only 6 years after mating, the viper gave birth to cubs.Viper birth
When, at what time of the year are vipers the most dangerous?
The most aggressive vipers are during the mating period, which falls in the month of June or May. The second peak of aggression is observed in August and September.
Rules of conduct when meeting with a viper
- By themselves, snakes are not aggressive and do not attack humans first, therefore, as soon as you notice a snake, it is necessary to go away from this place.
- If the viper takes a defensive position, hisses, opens its mouth wide, you do not need to move, make any sudden movements, or run away.
- In addition, no need to try to grab her by the tail or by the head. A good option would be to use a stick.
- Take some long stick, hold it in front of you, maybe the viper will attack it. Then you can escape from this place.
- It is worth remembering that the viper cannot crawl quickly, so it will not be able to catch you, but it is not worth running away when the snake is in the phase of hissing and defense.
- Knowledgeable people say that a snake that you did not notice is more dangerous than the one that you saw.
What to do if a person’s viper has bitten: bite symptoms, first aid
Symptoms of a bite:
- Sharp pain
- Numbness at the bite site
- After this, as the poison spreads, dizziness may occur.
- Anaphylactic shock
- Strong pain
- Bite redness
It all depends on how much a person reacts to the poison of the snake. There are cases when after almost 15 minutes the symptoms of the bite disappeared. But in some cases, a viper bite can lead to death. It is necessary to observe a person in the first 15-30 minutes after a bite. If he has severe swelling of the face, larynx, you must urgently consult a doctor. Urgently need to take a taxi or ambulance to the hospital, for the introduction of serum, as well as antihistamines.
First aid is taking antihistamines, these are Diazolin, Claritin, Eden or Loratadin. You can also take diphenhydramine. It is possible to take analgesics, painkillers. If this is a child, you must urgently go to the hospital. It is not recommended to suck out the poison from the wound, as well as apply a tourniquet.Help with a viper bite
What to do if a viper dog has bitten?
If the viper has bitten a dog, then the measures are the same as with a human bite. It is necessary to introduce an antihistamine, anesthetic, to the animal. To give him a rest, immobilization would be an ideal option.
The consequences of a viper bite
Viper venom has a different effect on each person. Someone is recovering quickly, and some are recovering for a very long time. It can take about a year to recover if appropriate measures have not been taken. An ideal option would be immediately after a bite, without waiting for swelling or any consequences, go to the hospital. In this case, Prednisolone, an antihistamine, is administered at the Toxicology Department, and several cleansing droppers are also made.
If necessary, special serum is administered. After a bite, severe swelling can occur, as well as bruises that do not appear on the day of the bite. They can occur within a week or even 10 days.Cases have been recorded that due to edema, after a bite of a viper, the skin on the extremities burst, due to the fact that it could not withstand a strong stretch.
Be prepared that after a viper bite you will have to spend several days in the hospital, because doctors monitor the patient’s condition and try to reduce pain. At home, you cannot quickly and effectively remove poison from the body. The most dangerous viper venom is for allergy sufferers and people with heart conditions.Snake bite
Will a viper bite a rubber boot?
Among the fishermen there are stories that the viper can bite through a rubber boot. In fact, these are legends, because the teeth of reptiles are not so sharp as to bite through rubber. This applies not only to the sole, but also to the shaft. Boots to the knees of the viper, too, can not bite.
What is the antidote, antidote, serum is from a viper bite, where is it sold?
Serum is usually found in large hospitals, as well as in large cities. Unfortunately, in villages or some paramedic centers in villages, such a tool may not be. A similar substance can be purchased in some large pharmacies, as well as in online stores. If you are in the capital, then courier delivery of this drug can be carried out. We do not recommend self-administration of serum, we insist on going to the hospital. The serum is usually administered only one, and is called "serum against the venom of the ordinary viper." It is produced in special factories using horse blood. Antibodies that are found in this serum neutralize the effects of viper venom.Viper Bite Serum
Do vipers swim in the water?
Vipers swim quite well, but they are very lazy and rarely swim deep. They can be immersed in water for hunting. Large individuals generally lead a sedentary lifestyle, they prefer to freeze somewhere in the grass, in the bushes and wait for the victim to come to them. But many people say that if the water in the pond is warm, the viper can float away at a distance of 5 km from the coast.
If the viper curled up, then what is it going to do?
In general, snakes quite rarely throw themselves at people, but if you saw that the viper noticed you and curled up, it is about to rush at you. The ideal option is to have a stick in your hands. It is necessary to put it in front so that the snake bites a stick. Do not abruptly run away or throw yourself at a snake. It is better to freeze and stand still, most likely the snake will understand that you are not dangerous and crawl away.Viper curled up in a ring
Why do not vipers need to be completely destroyed, who eat vipers?
It is impossible to completely destroy vipers, because as a result of this, the natural balance may suffer. The fact is that these reptiles eat rodents, mice that harm crops, and are also very undesirable in summer cottages. In addition, they eat a large number of insects, slugs, worms, eating plant roots, as well as garden crops. If you destroy vipers, then the larger animals will not have what to eat. Hedgehogs, cranes feed on vipers. If this is the coast of the river, then during the hunt the viper often becomes a victim itself, and larger fish eat it.
Therefore, if an adder is found in your summer cottage, do not rush to kill it. Bring the hedgehog to the area best and feed it often. Vipers are afraid of hedgehogs, so they are trying in every possible way to change the trajectory of their movement, and also change their place of residence.Viper
What needs to be done with the found viper?
If you find a sand viper, then in no case should you initially attack it. No need to try to grab the tail, head, or rush at it. Just freeze, and if possible, take a long stick and just hit the ground. You can loudly knock a stone or boot on the ground or throw some kind of log. The viper is likely to creep away. In general, you should not pay attention to it, it is necessary to bypass or even go the other way. If she is blocking your path, take a stick and drop it near the viper.
How to scare away, get rid of vipers in a summer cottage, a garden?
Many summer residents try in every possible way to get rid of the rough viper in their area, because it is a danger. If you want to get rid of this animal, you can install ultrasonic repellers, get a cat, and also lure hedgehogs. The most interesting thing is that the so-called Hungarian method is often used:
- Saucers with beer or wine are placed on the site, which can be enjoyed by the hedgehog.
- In a state of intoxication, the hedgehog becomes very active and exterminates almost all rodents, as well as creeping creatures that are on your summer cottage.
If you want no vipers in your area, then often mow the grass. In this case, the snakes will have no place to hide due to the lack of secluded places and tall grass. Also, the noise from a lawn mower scares off snakes. It is worth paying attention to the presence of a compost heap, it is best to place such containers with fertilizer away from the summer cottage, because the compost heap is a great place for breeding snakes. It is there that she can give birth to her offspring, and also lie the last days before childbirth.Poisonous snake
Can the viper creep into the house, what to lay from it at the entrance of the house?
If you live in a private house, and a snake has been spotted on your site, then you must try to protect your house from the viper.
Ways of struggle:
- We recommend that you remove all piles of debris, as well as stones, and cut the grass. Spread naphthalene balls around the house, this smell repels snakes.
- It is also worth using the usual sulfur, which can be purchased at the pharmacy. With gloves, it is necessary to scatter sulfur around the house, as well as at the entrance to it.
- These methods are not suitable if you have small children, as well as pets that can eat poison.
- If you think that a viper lives in the basement, you need to close up all the openings that lead into the house. Use mounting foam or other sealant.
- When you find a snake nest, it is best to call a specialist to help deal with the animals.
- In no case should you grab or try to kill a viper, get special snake traps.
Interesting Viper Facts
- Some peoples consider these snakes sacred. On the island of Penang, snakes are hung on trees, as well as taken to a special temple and considered the guardians of the hearth.
- Some Japanese and Chinese restaurants prepare dried viper meat. The dish is considered an excellent delicacy, such meat is often used by traditional healers.
- The most interesting thing is that the ordinary viper is the only poisonous snake that lives in Northern Europe, as well as in the northern parts of Russia.
Common Viper - a common snake that lives in our latitudes, and is a significant danger, both for adults and for children and pets. Therefore, going to nature or a picnic, if you know that you will roam the tall grass, it is best to wear high rubber boots, as well as closed clothing. It is definitely worth taking a stick to rustle in front of you in the grass. This way you can avoid meeting the viper.