The Spiny bush viper is a venomous snake native to Africa. It is known for its extremely keeled dorsal scales that give a unique ‘shaggy’ idea to its skin, almost bristly appearance.
The scales around the head and neck are the longest, decreasing posteriorly.
Spiny bush vipers vary in color and can be green, olive green, bluish, or brownish with a yellow or pale olive belly.
The males of this species are surprisingly long and slender compared to the females.
Spiny bush vipers are found in Central and East Africa.
They occur in northern and eastern DR Congo, southwestern Uganda, western Kenya, and northwestern Tanzania.
These snakes inhabit tropical dry forests and rainforests with flowering bushes.
Habits and Lifestyle
Spiny bush vipers are solitary and nocturnal creatures that typically spend the daytime basking on top of flowering bushy plants.
They are also capable of climbing reeds and stalks and hang upsidedown from tree branches.
Spiny bush vipers are ambush predators; they usually hunt their prey perching in trees but may sometimes feed on mammals hiding in foliage on the ground.
Spiny bush vipers breed during the rainy season between the late summer and October.
After the gestation period of 6 to 7 months, females give birth to up to 12 young at a time.
Newborns are about 15 cm (5.9 in) in total length and are dark green in color.
They are independent at birth and become reproductively mature between 2 and 3 years of age.
There are no known threats that face Spiny bush vipers at present.
Presently, the Spiny bush viper is not included in the IUCN Red List and its conservation status has not been evaluated.