Blunt-nosed Viper

Full name: Macrovipera lebetina (Linnaeus, 1758)

Viper is commonly known as «kontoura”, “koufi” or “fina” is the only dangerous for humans venomous snake in Cyprus. Its thick sand-colored body with the triangular head and the short tail, along with its leisurely movements usually make it easily recognizable from other snakes of Cyprus. If you find a viper, do not approach or try to annoy her. Stay still and let her flee or withdraw away from her.


Extremely thick body (relative 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


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).


Rats and other small mammals, birds, lizards, large insects, 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 in Cyprus:
Widespread from the coast to the high peaks of Troodos mountain.

Distribution worldwide:
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.



Special protection:

About Us



Herpetological Society of Cyprus (HSC) was established in 1990 with the aim of promoting, studying and conserving Cyprus’ herpetofauna. As part of its work, HSC fulfill presentations, educational seminars, studies and researches, along with other activities that relates with informing and educating the public about reptiles Cyprus.

Contact Details
           Address:   Herpetological Society,
                            P.O box 61435,
                            Paphos, Cyprus
           Tel:          +357 26 967600
           Fax:         +357 26 967007
           Email: HerpetSocietyCy@gmail.com


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