Animals

17 Fang-tastic Facts About The Asp Viper For Kids

Asp viper facts talk about how they are found in Italy.
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The asp viper is also known by other various names such as the European asp viper, Italian asp viper, aspic viper, or the Jura viper. You can find this diurnal snake in southwestern Europe, and its population distribution is especially seen in Italy and France. This snake prefers to live in habitats with sunny slopes and a small amount of vegetation. However, the population of the Vipera aspis can be found in various types of habitats.

Apart from being a commonly found venomous creature, the asp viper head is also quite interesting because of its triangular shape. The scaled body is usually reddish-brown or gray, and the females tend to be smaller than the males. Moreover, adult males also have slimmer bodies compared to female snakes. You may think this venom-producing reptile to be aggressive, but it is quite docile and may use its venom as a last resort. This snake is more prone to feed on rodents over amphibians.

Want to know more about male and female asp vipers? Keep reading to discover interesting asp viper facts! Also, check out our articles on the European viper and pit viper.

Asp Viper

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Rodents, lizards, small birds, and small mammals

What do they eat?

Carnivore

Average litter size?

5-16

How much do they weigh?

N/A

How long are they?

24–26 in (60.9-66 cm)

How tall are they?

N/A

What do they look like?

Reddish-brown

Skin Type

Scales

What are their main threats?

Humans

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Low mountains, hills, plains, scrublands, glades, mountain meadows, forest clearings, woods, and rubbish dumps

Locations

Southwestern Europe

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Reptilia

Scientific Name

Vipera aspis

Family

Viperidae

Genus

Vipera

Asp Viper Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an asp viper?

The asp viper (Vipera aspis) is a type of venomous snake found extensively in France and Italy.

What class of animal does an asp viper belong to?

The asp viper (Vipera aspis) belongs to the class Reptilia like other snakes along with the genus Vipera. This viper belongs to the family Viperidae that contains snakes like the gaboon viper and horned viper

How many asp vipers are there in the world?

According to the IUCN, this is a common species and it is hard to find out the exact population. In France, the population of asp vipers is on the rise.

Where does an asp viper live?

The asp viper (Vipera aspis) is native to southwestern Europe and is predominantly found in countries like France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Spain, and Switzerland. It is one of the most commonly found venomous snakes in France and Italy. In 2006, a non-native population was also found in the Netherlands.

What is an asp viper's habitat?

The asp viper (Vipera aspis) is quite picky about its habitat and likes to dwell in regions with dry soil and on sunny slopes. It will also dwell in regions with structured vegetation. In Italy and France, these snakes can be found in regions with low mountains or hills, especially in regions made of limestone. Some other places where the Vipera aspis can be seen include scrublands, glades, mountain meadows, forest clearings, woods, rubbish dumps, and even stone quarries. In Italy, you can even find this snake population in oak woodlands which are often found near streams.

Who do asp vipers live with?

Like most other reptiles, the Jura viper (Vipera aspis) leads a solitary life looking for prey. It is only seen together with its peers during the mating season. The asp viper often lives in burrows dug by voles and mice.

How long does an asp viper live?

The average lifespan of the Vipera aspis is around 10 years. However, it may still keep growing until it reaches the age of eight years.

How do they reproduce?

It is known that the breeding season of asp vipers occurs in the months of April and May. Not much is known about the mating rituals of this species. However, adult females are viviparous in nature and give birth to five to 12 babies on average. The gestation period for a female lasts three to four months. The young viper asp is able to prey soon after its birth, and lizards are often the main food source.

What is their conservation status?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the aspic viper (Vipera aspis) is classified under the status of Least Concern.

Asp Viper Fun Facts

What do asp vipers look like?

While looking around its habitat, you may not even notice the Vipera aspis because of the zigzag pattern on its body that helps it to camouflage. On a closer look, you will find that most of its body is pale while the marks are reddish-brown or even gray. These patterns are often fragmented rather than being even. The sleek body of this snake is complemented with a broad, triangular head. On its head, you can see small scales and this snake also has a single anal scale.

Kids love to read asp viper facts.

How cute are they?

Would you really call a venomous snake like the European asp viper cute? We may not agree on its cuteness, but the beautiful color pattern and the triangular head of this snake do give it a majestic look.

How do they communicate?

As a solitary species, the viper asp (Vipera aspis) will seldom need to communicate with its peer. However, like other snakes, we can also assume that this viper has a keen sense of chemicals that allows it to assess the environment and habitats. Snakes are also known for communicating with the help of pheromones or scents, especially during the mating season.

How big is an asp viper?

The average size of the asp viper (Vipera aspis) is around 24–26 in (60.9-66 cm). In this species, the males tend to be longer than the females and may reach a length of 33 in (83.8 cm). Compared to the Vipera aspis, the Indian cobra is known to reach a length of 72-86 in (182.8- 218.4 cm)

How fast can an asp viper move?

We are yet to know about the speed of movement for the asp viper.

How much does an asp viper weigh?

The average weight of the Vipera aspis has not yet been estimated with conclusive data.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no different names for the males and females of this species.

What would you call a baby asp viper?

A baby aspic viper (Vipera aspis) can be called a snakelet.

What do they eat?

The asp viper diet mainly consists of rodents like mice and rats, lizards, and small birds. Young snakes are especially fond of feeding on lizards. However, these snakes aren't really into eating amphibians even though they live near water. This species is a diurnal hunter, and the prey is often left after being bitten. The Vipera aspis will follow the trail and catch the prey to eat it.

Are they venomous?

Yes, these snakes can deliver a venomous bite that is quite painful. It is one of the most common venomous snakes found in Italy and France. A person should seek immediate medical help if they have been bitten by an asp viper. Without proper treatment, a person can develop severe hemorrhagic necrosis after being bitten by the snake. However, one should note that this isn't an aggressive snake species, Most bite incidents happen due to accidents.

Would they make a good pet?

Not really! Apart from having a deadly viper bite with venom, Jura viper snakes are also quite picky regarding their habitats.

Did you know...

There are five known subspecies of the European asp viper. The subspecies are V. aspis aspis, V. aspis atra, V. aspis francisciredi, V. aspis zinnikeri, and V. aspis hugyi.

How long will it take for asp viper venom to kill you?

We don't really know how fast the European asp viper (Vipera aspis) venom may take to kill a human, but it will surely take a few hours. In Italy, 90% of snakebites are due to aspic viper bites. Even the bite of this snake is pretty painful. However, only 4% of the bites are fatal when left untreated. Death from the asp viper bite is least likely if proper treatment is followed.

What is the difference between an asp viper and a viper?

Vipers are venom-spewing snakes that are part of the Viperidae family, and the asp viper is also a member of it. In ancient times, the word 'asp' used to stand for 'venomous snakes', which may include the asp viper. It is also said that Queen Cleopatra was probably killed by the asp viper.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these cottonmouth snake facts and copperhead snake facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable viper coloring pages.

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