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Hungarian meadow viper in its habitat

An adult female, basking on the side of a sandy pasture covered dune, in the Kiskunság.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

The HUNGARIAN MEADOW VIPER's total (body+tail) length is up to 60 cm. Easily distinguishable from non-venomous snakes by its vertical pupil and dorsal zig-zag pattern. Ground colour grey or yellowish-brown with an irregular dark brown, usually dark-edged, zig-zag pattern from base of head to end of tail. The pattern may break up. Dark blotches along the flank. Belly grey with off-white spots. The snout has a single apical scale, the head is weakly defined from the neck, compared to the European adder. Males and females are similar; distinguishable only by tail length and subcaudal scale numbers (males have longer tails and more subcaudals). Scales heavily keeled, leading to a rough appearance. Although mildly venomous, these snakes are placid and very unlikely to bite humans.

More information: website of MME's Hungarian Meadow Viper Conservation Program.

Typical dorsal pattern of Hungarian meadow viper

Its basal colour ranges from greyish to yellowish, with characteristic dark dorsal zig-zag pattern.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Size of Hungarian meadow viper

It is rather small sized viper, when lying coiled in the grass it is really hard to spot.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Portrait of Hungarian meadow viper

Labial plates of Hungarian meadow vipers are usually light coloured.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Combat of male Hungarian meadow vipers

In order to decide the right for mating with the female, male vipers tend to combat in spring.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Mating Hungarian meadow vipers

During mating the male and female viper lie close-by.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Birth of Hungarian meadow viper

Vipers are born in a transparent sac, like in an egg without egg-shell.

(photo: Erzsébet Herbót)

Newborn Hungarian meadow vipers

Newborn vipers often stay in small aggregates.

(photo: Ákos Baracsy)

Head of Hungarian meadow viper

Characteristic Hungarian meadow viper head with ^-shape darker pattern.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Belly pattern of Hungarian meadow viper

The throat of Hungarian meadow viper is whitish, while the belly is darker.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)