Photo: Savvas Zotos

Blunt-nosed viper

Macrovipera lebetinus

Class: Reptilia

Order: Squamata

Family:  Viperidae



Extremely thick body (relatively to the other Cyprus’ snakes) in the color of the sand. It has dark brown rectangular formations that are placed alternately on top of its back. It has a very short tail and a thick triangular head. The pupil of the eye is vertical and expands during the evenings to facilitate night vision

Basic biology:


It can be found in all the habitat types of the island (forest, valleys, coasts, rocky areas etc.) even close to inhabited areas. Usually it is located in areas close to water (eg. creek, rivers, lakes). It hunts rats and other small mammals, birds, lizards, large insects and other smaller snakes. It reproduces during spring and summer and can lay up to 23 eggs in summer. The eggs hatch approximately one month after their deposit.

Distribution at Cyprus:

Widespread from the coast to the high peaks of Troodos mountain.

Global distribution:

Northwesty Africa, Cyprus, west Asia from Turkey and the Mediterranean coast of middle East to Pakistan and Kazakhstan.

Cyprus is the only European Union country where this species is located.


Solenoglyphous - Poisonous fangs in the front of the mouth

Dangerous to humans



Protection status:


Map of confirmed presence:

Download the distribution of the species (kml format, Google Earth)