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Taxonomy of the family Viperidae
Bibliography of the genus Bitis
Biodiversity of the family Viperidae








Genus
Bitis

African Adders

Puffottern

Puffaddere

1768 Cobra Laurenti [suppressed: ICZN (1945): Opinion 188] (type species: Coluber atropos Linnaeus 1758)
1820 Echidna Merrem (type species: Vipera arietans Merrem 1820)
1842 Bitis Gray (type species: Vipera arietans Merrem 1820)
1842 Clotho Gray (type species: Cobra clotho Laurenti 1768)
1845 Calechidna Tschudi (type species: Echidna ocellata Tschudi 1845)
1939 Hallowellius Reuss (type species: Cerastes nasicornis Hallowell 1847, based on a misidentified Bitis gabonica; see Krecsac 2007)
1939 Macrocerastes Reuss (type species: Coluber nasicornis Shaw 1792)
1999 Keniabitis Lenk, Herrmann, Joger & Wink (type species: Bitis worthingtoni Parker 1932)
Contents: 18 species, of which 9 (50.0%) are endemic.
Remarks: Previously included Montatheris hindii and Proatheris superciliaris.
Distribution: Africa, Middle East.
Reported from: Algeria, Angola (incl. Cabinda), Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea (Bioko, Rio Muni), Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau (incl. Bijagos Archipelago), Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West Province, Northern Cape, Western Cape), South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Bitis albanica

Albany Adder, (Eastern Many-horned Adder)

Albany-Puffotter

Albany-puffadder

1937 Bitis cornuta albanica Hewitt
Bitis albanica Branch 1998

Distribution: South Africa (Eastern Cape).


Bitis arietans

Common Puff Adder

Gewöhnliche Puffotter

Almindelig Puffadder

1820 Vipera arietans Merrem
Echidna arietans Wagler 1830
Clotho arietans Gray 1842
Bitis arietans Günther 1858
1768 Cobra lachesis Laurenti (Broadley 1983)
Bitis lachesis Bogert 1940
1790 Coluber bitin Bonnaterre (Golay & al. 1993)
1798 Coluber intumescens Donndorf (Golay & al. 1993)
1801 Vipera severa Latreille in Sonnini & Latreille [part] (Golay & al. 1993)
1822 Vipera inflata Burchell (Golay & al. 1993)
1829 Vipera brachyura Cuvier (Golay & al. 1993)
1842 Clotho lateristriga Gray (Golay & al. 1993)
1949 Bitis lachesis somalica Parker
Bitis arietans somalica Loveridge 1957

Other common names:
somalica: Somali Puff Adder
Distribution: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau (incl. Bijagos Archipelago), Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West Province, Northern Cape, Western Cape), South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Bitis armata

Southern Adder

Kap-Zwergotter

Sydlig Puffadder

1826 Vipera armata Smith
Bitis armata Branch 1999
1846 Vipera atropoides Smith (Branch 1999)
Bitis atropoides Branch 1997

Distribution: South Africa (Western Cape).


Bitis atropos

Cape Mountain Adder, Berg Adder

Berg-Puffotter, Bergadder, Atroposviper

Sydafrikansk Bjergpuffadder

1758 Coluber atropos Linnaeus
Cobra atropos Laurenti 1768
Vipera atropos Sonnini & Latreille 1802
Echidna atropos Wagler 1830
Clotho atropos Gray 1842
Bitis atropos Günther 1858
1826 Vipera montana Smith (Golay & al. 1993)
1845 Echidna ocellata Tschudi (Golay & al. 1993)
1959 Bitis atropos unicolor Fitzsimons (Broadley 1983)

Distribution: Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Western Cape), Zimbabwe.


Bitis caudalis

Horned Adder, Sidewinding Adder

Gehörnte Puffotter

Hornpuffadder

1838 Vipera ocellata Smith [not Vipera ocellata Latreille in Sonnini & Latreille 1801]
1849 Vipera caudalis Smith
Cerastes caudalis Gray 1842
Bitis caudalis Boulenger 1896
Cobra caudalis Mertens 1937

Distribution: Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa (Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo, North West Province, Northern Cape, Western Cape), Zimbabwe.


Bitis cornuta

Many-horned Adder, Hornsman Adder, Hornsman, (Western Many-horned Adder)

Büschelbrauen-Puffotter

Mangehornet Puffadder

1803 Vipera cornuta Daudin
Cerastes cornuta Gray 1842
Clotho cornuta Gray 1849
Bitis cornuta Boulenger 1896
Cobra cornuta Mertens 1937
1829 Vipera lophophris Cuvier (Golay & al. 1993)
Cerastes lophophrys [sic] Duméril & Bibron 1854

Distribution: Namibia, South Africa (Northern Cape, Western Cape).


Bitis gabonica

Gaboon Adder, Forest Puff Adder, (East African Gaboon Adder)

Östliche Gabunviper

Østlig Gabonhugorm

1854 Echidna gabonica Dumeril, Bibron & Dumeril
Bitis gabonica Boulenger 1896
Cobra gabonica Mertens 1937

Remarks: Previously included rhinoceros. Presence in Burundi needs confirmation (Spawls, Howell, Hinkel & Menegon 2018).
Distribution: Angola (incl. Cabinda), Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea (Rio Muni), Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal), South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Bitis harenna

Bale Mountains Adder

Bale-Puffotter

Bale-bjergpuffadder

2016 Bitis harenna Gower, Wade, Spawls, Böhme, Buechley, Sykes & Colston

Distribution: Ethiopia.


Bitis heraldica

Angolan Adder, (Bocage's Adder)

Angola-Puffotter

Angola-puffadder

1889 Vipera heraldica Bocage
Bitis heraldica Bethencourt-Ferreira 1898

Distribution: Angola.


Bitis inornata

Plain Mountain Adder, Hornless Adder

Hochland-Puffotter, Ungezeichnete Zwergotter

Ensfarvet Bjergpuffadder

1849 Echidna inornata Smith
Vipera inornata Strauch 1869
Bitis inornata Boulenger 1896
Bitis cornuta inornata Underwood 1968

Remarks: Revalidated as a separate species by Branch (1989c). Previously included populations now assigned to rubida.
Distribution: South Africa (Eastern Cape).


Bitis nasicornis

African Nose-horned Viper, Riverjack, (Rhinoceros Viper, Rhinoceros Adder, Rhinoceros-horned Adder, Nose-horned Adder)

Nashornviper

Næsehorns-puffadder

1792 Coluber nasicornis Shaw
Vipera nasicornis Daudin 1803
Clotho nasicornis Gray 1842
Echidna nasicornis Hallowell 1857
Bitis nasicornis Büttikofer 1890
1854 Vipera hexacera Duméril, Bibron & Duméril (Golay & al. 1993)

Remarks: Broadley (2006) suggested to restrict the name Rhinoceros Viper to rhinoceros and refer to nasicornis as the Nose-horned Viper, a direct translation of the scientific name. By expanding the name to African Nose-horned Viper, confusion with the European Nose-horned Viper (Vipera ammodytes) will be avoided. In Tanzania, known from only three specimens of uncertain origin. May occur in extreme northwestern Tanzania.
Distribution: Angola (incl. Cabinda), Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea (Bioko, Rio Muni), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau (incl. Bijagos Archipelago), Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia.


Bitis parviocula

Ethiopian Mountain Adder

Äthiopische Puffotter

Etiopisk Bjergpuffadder

1977 Bitis parviocula Böhme

Distribution: Ethiopia.


Bitis peringueyi

Namib Dwarf Sand Adder, Namib Dune Adder, (Peringuey's Desert Adder, Peringuey's Side-winding Adder, Peringuey's Adder)

Namib-Zwergotter

Namibisk Dværghugorm, (Peringueys Puffadder)

1888 Vipera peringueyi Boulenger
Bitis peringueyi Boulenger 1896

Remarks: The species may be present in Angola and has often been listed for the country (e.g., Manacas 1981; Broadley 1983a; Branch 1998; McDiarmid, Campbell & Touré 1999), although mostly due to confusion with heraldica with which species peringueyi was previously synonymized erroneously (Boulenger 1896), the first published locality appear to be "Porto Alexandre" (now Tômboa) (Spawls & Branch 1995). Based on this source, Marques, Ceríaco, Blackburn & Bauer (2018) included Angola in the distribution, however, the locality was later rejected by Branch (2018), who stated that there are no records from the country.
Distribution: Namibia.


Bitis rhinoceros

Rhinoceros Viper, West African Gaboon Adder, (Rhinoceros Adder)

Westliche Gabunviper

Vestlig Gabonhugorm

1855 Vipera rhinoceros Schlegel
Echidna rhinoceros Duméril 1856
Clotho rhinoceros Cope 1860
Bitis rhinoceros Peters 1882
Bitis gabonica rhinoceros Mertens 1951

Remarks: Previously regarded as a subspecies of gabonica (e.g., Golay & al. 1993). Revalidated as a separate species by Lenk, Herrmann, Joger & Wink (1999).
Distribution: Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Togo.


Bitis rubida

South African Red Adder

Rote Zwergotter

Rød Puffadder

1997 Bitis rubida Branch

Distribution: South Africa (Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Western Cape).


Bitis schneideri

Namaqua Dwarf Adder, (Schneider's Adder)

Namaqua-Zwergotter, (Schneiders Zwergpuffotter)

Namaqua-dværghugorm

1886 Vipera schneideri Boettger
Bitis schneideri Haacke 1975
1954 Bitis caudalis paucisquamatus Mertens (Broadley 1983)
Bitis paucisquamata FitzSimons 1962

Distribution: Namibia, South Africa (Northern Cape, Western Cape).


Bitis worthingtoni

Kenya Horned Viper, (Worthington's Viper)

Kenya-Zwergpuffotter

Kenyansk Hornpuffadder

1932 Bitis worthingtoni Parker

Distribution: Kenya.


Bitis xeropaga

Desert Mountain Adder, Luderitz Dwarf Adder

Wüsten-Zwergotter

Ørken-bjergpuffadder

1975 Bitis xeropaga Haacke

Distribution: Namibia, South Africa (Northern Cape).