Ahaetulla nasuta Amphiesma stolata Argyrogena fasciolata Banded racer Beer Dev Bergenia ciliata Black Headed Royal Snake Blind Snake Blunt-nosed viper Boiga trigonata Brahminy Worm Snake Braid snake Buff Striped KeelBack | Amphiesma stolatum Calotes versicolor Central Asian Cobra Checkered Keelback CheckeredKeelback Chenab Valley Cobra Common Cat Snake Common Krait| Bungarus caeruleus Common Kukri Common Wolf Snake Conflux Cover Letter Tips Cyrtodactylus himalayanus Daboia russelii Dendrelaphis tristis Dhaman || Rescue Duttaphrynus stomaticus Echis carinatus Egret Elaphe hodgsoni Eryx conicus Eryx johnii Families Flowers Flowers. photography Ganges Gloydius himalayanus Green vine snake Hemidactylus brookii Herpetoreas platyceps Himachal Pradesh Himalayan Bent-toed Gecko Himalayan pit viper Himalayan Ratsnake History Hoplobatrachus tigerinus Indian bullfrog Indian marbled toad Indian python Indian Rat Snake Indian Rat Snake || Rescue III Indian Rat Snake || Rescue IInd Indotyphlops braminus Jan's Cliff racer Kailash Kund (Kablas) Kashmir rock agama Khajuraho Khatron Ke Khiladi Laudakia agrorenisis Laudakia tuberculata Leith's sand snake Lycodon aulicus Macrovipera lebetinus Malabar pit viper Malus pumila Manimahesh : The Jewel bearer Mobile photography Monocled cobra Morchella Myna Naja naja Naja oxiana Nature photographs Oligodon arnensis Oligodon arnensis || Rescue Ophiophagus hannah Photography Pit viper Platyceps rhodorachis Poisnous Psammophis leithii Ptyas mucosa Ptyas mucosa | Rescue Ptyas mucosa || Rescue II Python molurus Red Sand Boa Reptile Rhododendron arboreum Russell's viper Saraswati Snake Bite & First Aid Tips Snake Books Snake World Snakes Snakes & Man Spalerosophis atriceps Sparrow Babies Subaar Nag Surkhanda Devi Temple The Quince: Cydonia oblonga Trimeresurus malabaricus Triveni Sangam Tulips Venomous Viburnum grandiflorum Wolf Snake Yamuna

Kashmir rock agama | Laudakia tuberculata Gray, 1827

Kashmir rock agama | Laudakia tuberculata Gray, 1827   Kashmir rock agama is a species of lizard that belong to family agamidae which i...

Russell's viper | Daboia russelii (Shaw and Nodder, 1797)

Russell's viper, Daboia russelii

Russell's viper | Daboia russelii (Shaw and Nodder, 1797)
Russell's viper, scientifically known as Daboia russelii is a venomous species snakes which belongs the family Viperidae. It is also known by various other common names viz., Indian Russell's viper, chain viper, common Russell's viper, scissors snake, chain snakeand seven pacer.The species is an important part of deadly big four venomous species of snakes. Daboia is a monotypic genus of old world venomous species of vipers. 

It is the sole member species (D. russelii) found in Asia (throughout Indian subcontinent). This species named after the name of Scottish herpetologist, Patrick Russell (1726–1805) who described many of Indian snakes first of all, where the name of the genus Daboia is derived from the Urdu word which means“that lies hid”, or “the lurker.The snakes of this species can maximum length of 5.5 ft. having an average body to tail length of 4 ft.

Scientific classification
D. russelii

Apart from being a part of the big four snakes in India, it is also one of the four genera which is responsible for causing the maximum snakebite cases and mortalities amongst all the venomous snakes depending on numerous factors, like their wide distribution, aggressive nature and its inhabitation in highly populated areas. The species is also commonly known as chain viper because of almond shaped hollow spaces of dark brown or blackish color present all over its dorsal body. In spite of this side spots reduced, more round than the top ones and are discontinuous. 

The snakes of this species can be easily recognized by its heavy body structure covered with highly rough keeled scales which are found to be pointed. Instead of this there are three almonds like rows or eye spots are present over whole dorsal body. Dorsal surfaces of the body of these snakes can be observed light to dark grayish-brown, reddish, orange or entirely gray (occasionally) in color. The coloration and body patterns are observed bright in juvenile while it gets fainted in adults or sometimes adults can be spotted pattern less completely. 

On the ventral side the belly of these snakes may vary from white to light yellowish having dark brown to blackish semilunar shaped spots over the edges of ventral scales.Tail is small in this species covered with highly keeled scales which is rough in appearance and pointed towards tip. The ventral sides of the tail scales are darker then ventral scales where sub-caudal are paired. Head of the species is flattened, triangular having a snout pointed upward bearing small keeled scales and are clearly distinguishable from neck. There are two triangular shaped marks on the lateral sides of the head. Upper & lower lips of the species are generally pinkish white in colour. Supra nasals are crescentic having large nostril. These snakes have moderate sized eyes having vertically pupil. These snakes possess the largest fangs of all venomous snakes in Indian subcontinent.
Characters of species observed in Bhopal, MP & Jammu, (J&K)
Full body length
236 mm-1100 mm
Snout-vent length
344 mm-900 mm
Tail length
33 mm-200 mm
**Dorsal scales (A:M:P)
Supra-labial scales
Infra-labial scales
Anal scale
Ventral scales
Sub-caudal scales (paired)
**Note: A- Anterior; M-Midbody; P-Posterior

Russell vipers are widely distributed & can be found in countries viz., India (Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Pondicherry, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttrakhand, Bihar, Haryana, Maharashtra, Telangana, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal Odisha, Jammu (J & K), Daman & Diu), Sri Lanka,Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan, Thailand, Cambodia, China, Taiwan, Indonesia and Tibet. It has inhabited the areas ranging from plains to moderate elevation (4800ft. approximately), the species is quite common the plains terrain. Its habitats includesvaried types of forests such as moist deciduous forest, mixed, dry, scrub lands, rainforest, grassland and wetland. Micro habitat comprises the agricultural fields to dry lands, scrubs vegetations with low bushes to rocky terrain with crevices & mounds. Prefer hiding in rat holes, mounds, small caves, crevices, within dense sheet of fallen leaves litters and under fallen wooden holes. 

It is a nocturnal species of snakes highly lethargic, which is usually prefer nights to forage and pursue other activities, but can be seen during day time also while basking. The species is posse’s terrestrial activities and prefer mostly drier environment for basking.Locomotion is slow in these snake species but can strike very quick like Jump thrusting it’s for body towards the target on threatening. This species behave aggressively if cornered, it coils its body (S or 8 like shape) and makes loud pressure cooker or whistle like sound to alarm its enemy.

Russell viper is an ovoviparous species of snakes. Mating in these snakes occurs during the winter months which usually retains till the early months of summer season, during which male combats can be observed to attract & impress the female counter part. Males in this species are usually found smaller than the females. During mating male members of the species coils his tail around the tail of females and keeps vibrate it in intervals to initiate the mating process. The gestation period in these snakes takes six months or even more sometimes. Females of this species give birth to 6-96 young vipers during the summer & monsoon months. It is the only species of viper that can give birth to such a large clutch of young snakes than any other viper of India. Thoughin this big clutch size, some of the individuals generally may born dead or die after some hours of their birth because of lacking of proper nutrition and development during gestation period.At this stage the juveniles of these snakes is measured about 8.5–10.2 inches in total body length (head to tail). 

It mainly feeds on rodents, although it may also take small mammals, other small reptiles,scorpions, birds, frogs and crabs. Juveniles are usually crepuscular which feeds on lizards but as they grow and reach the adult stage they start feeding on the higher animals than lizards(rodents). It is only reason other than deforestation (habitat loss) for which they gets attracted toward human habitation. It is highly venomous species of snakes that contain hemotoxic venom, for most humans a dose of about 40-70 mg is lethal. It has been estimated that venom toxicity and the bite signs may vary in humans within diverse populations and time.

Symptoms of envenomation start with pain at the bitten site, followed by the swelling of nearby boundary around the site of bite. Bleeding is seen common symptom in victims of Russell’s viper bite, particularly in urine, from the gums and even sputum may show signs of blood just after 20 minutes of the bite. Drop in victim’s blood pressure and fall in the heart rate is also common. Blistering appears over the bitten site, increasing through the affected limb in severe cases. Necrosis may occur to the muscles near the bite. Facial swelling and vomiting may also occur in some victims. Renal failure has been observed in 25-30% (approx.) of untreated snake bites. Disseminated intravascular coagulation can also occur in severe envenomations. Utmost & early medical treatment with antivenin can prevent victims from fatality.That is why it is considered to be the most fatal one of the big four group of highly venomous snakes in Indian subcontinent on account of causing thousands of deaths every year. The major threats of the species include road mortality (especial during breeding and monsoon months), killing out of fear by the hand of humans and habitat destruction. 

Literature Cited: 

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Belt, P.J., Malhotra, A., Thorpe, R.S., Warrell, D.A. and W├╝ster, W. 1997. Russell’s Viper in Indonesia: snakebite and systematic. Symp. Zool. Soc. Lond., (70), 219-234 
Boulenger, G.A. 1890. The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma, Reptilia and Batrachia. London, Taylor and Francis. 
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Daniel, J.C. 1983. The Book of Indian Reptiles. Bombay Natural History Society, Oxford University press, Mumbai, India. 
Daniel, J.C. 2002. The Book of Indian Reptiles and Amphibians. Bombay Natural History Society, Oxford University press, Mumbai, India. 
Duda, P.L. and Sahi, D.N. 1977. An uptodate checklist of herptiles of Jammu & Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir University Review, 6 (10): 1-7. 
Ganesh, S.R. and Asokan, J.R. 2010. Catalogue of Indian herpetological specimens in the collection of the Government Museum Chennai, India. Hamadryad, 35 (1):46 – 63 
Habib, B. and Cheda, B. 2010. Ninety-six young ones born to Russell’s Viper, Daboia russelii. Reptile Rap, (10):20-21 
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Manhas, A., Raina, R. and Wanganeo, A. 2017. Current Status and Diversity of Ophidians (Reptilia: Squamata: Serpents) in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, Central India. Int. J. Cur. Micro. Appl. sci., 6 (5): 1384-1390. 
Manhas, A., Raina, R. and Wanganeo, A. 2018. Reptilian diversity of the Bhopal region of state Madhya Pradesh of central India. IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians, 25 (2):104-114. 
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Thorpe, R.S., Pook, C.E. and Malhotra, A. 2007. "Phylogeography of the Russell's viper (Daboia russelii) complex in relation to variation in the colour pattern and symptoms of envenoming". Herpetological Journal. 17: 209–18. 
Tunpe, 1987. "Acute and Chronic Pituitary Failure Resembling Sheehan's Syndrome Following Bites by Russell's Viper in Burma". The Lancet. 330 (8562): 763–767. 
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Ahaetulla nasuta,1,Amphiesma stolata,1,Argyrogena fasciolata,1,Banded racer,1,Beer Dev,1,Bergenia ciliata,1,Black Headed Royal Snake,1,Blind Snake,1,Blunt-nosed viper,1,Boiga trigonata,1,Brahminy Worm Snake,1,Braid snake,1,Buff Striped KeelBack | Amphiesma stolatum,1,Calotes versicolor,1,Central Asian Cobra,1,Checkered Keelback,1,CheckeredKeelback,1,Chenab Valley,2,Cobra,1,Common Cat Snake,2,Common Krait| Bungarus caeruleus,1,Common Kukri,1,Common Wolf Snake,1,Conflux,1,Cover Letter Tips,1,Cyrtodactylus himalayanus,1,Daboia russelii,1,Dendrelaphis tristis,1,Dhaman || Rescue,1,Duttaphrynus stomaticus,1,Echis carinatus,1,Egret,1,Elaphe hodgsoni,1,Eryx conicus,1,Eryx johnii,1,Families,1,Flowers,3,Flowers. photography,1,Ganges,1,Gloydius himalayanus,1,Green vine snake,1,Hemidactylus brookii,1,Herpetoreas platyceps,1,Himachal Pradesh,1,Himalayan Bent-toed Gecko,1,Himalayan pit viper,1,Himalayan Ratsnake,1,History,1,Hoplobatrachus tigerinus,1,Indian bullfrog,1,Indian marbled toad,1,Indian python,1,Indian Rat Snake,1,Indian Rat Snake || Rescue III,1,Indian Rat Snake || Rescue IInd,1,Indotyphlops braminus,1,Jan's Cliff racer,1,Kailash Kund (Kablas),1,Kashmir rock agama,1,Khajuraho,1,Khatron Ke Khiladi,1,Laudakia agrorenisis,1,Laudakia tuberculata,1,Leith's sand snake,1,Lycodon aulicus,1,Macrovipera lebetinus,1,Malabar pit viper,1,Malus pumila,1,Manimahesh : The Jewel bearer,1,Mobile photography,2,Monocled cobra,1,Morchella,1,Myna,1,Naja naja,1,Naja oxiana,1,Nature photographs,1,Oligodon arnensis,1,Oligodon arnensis || Rescue,1,Ophiophagus hannah,1,Photography,1,Pit viper,2,Platyceps rhodorachis,1,Poisnous,1,Psammophis leithii,1,Ptyas mucosa,2,Ptyas mucosa | Rescue,1,Ptyas mucosa || Rescue II,1,Python molurus,1,Red Sand Boa,1,Reptile,1,Rhododendron arboreum,1,Russell's viper,1,Saraswati,1,Snake Bite & First Aid Tips,1,Snake Books,1,Snake World,1,Snakes,2,Snakes & Man,1,Spalerosophis atriceps,1,Sparrow Babies,1,Subaar Nag,1,Surkhanda Devi Temple,1,The Quince: Cydonia oblonga,1,Trimeresurus malabaricus,1,Triveni Sangam,1,Tulips,1,Venomous,1,Viburnum grandiflorum,1,Wolf Snake,1,Yamuna,1,
PerSonaLife: Russell's viper | Daboia russelii (Shaw and Nodder, 1797)
Russell's viper | Daboia russelii (Shaw and Nodder, 1797)
Russell's viper, Daboia russelii
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