4/30/10

Vipera berus normal and melanistic color patterns

I've finished painting the Moldavian Meadow viper for an upcoming Endangered Species Print Project release. Viper conservation is not a popular field.  I guess we are hardwired to fear snakes. Still, they are an important part of Earth's ecosystem. I was glad to learn of efforts to form The Viper Specialist Group this morning.

3 comments:

Hungry Hyaena said...

It deeply saddens me that more folks don't appreciate and respect snakes. Then again, I'm very biased.

That said, even this big time herp enthusiast has never heard of the Moldavian Meadow viper. The snakes you have pictured are common European adders, and I'm having trouble finding more information on the Moldavian Meadow viper. I did find this website about the Hungarian meadow viper, another species with which I'm unfamiliar, but it isn't related to European adder, apparently. Can you point me in the direction of more details?

Molly Schafer said...

HH,

Yes I liked the photo of the 2 adders with their varying color patterns. Perhaps a bit misleading to post with that blurb. But then this blog is loose association central.

The website you link to, The Hungarian Meadow Life Program (HMLP) is the organization I've been working with on the Moldavian meadow viper. You are correct that there is little info to be found online. Before I was able to establish contact with the HMLP I recalled you worked in herepetology and thought to ask your assistance.

The Moldavian meadow viper and the Hungarian meadow viper, Vipera ursinii moldavica and Vipera ursinii raksiensis respectively, are generally considered subspecies of Vipera ursinii/ Meadow viper. Vipera ursinii moldavica is considered critically endangered. This snake occurs in the plains of the Danube-delta, and on steppe habitats in the surrounding hills of Iasi, Romania. It is also found in Bulgaria. The HMLP estimates the population around 2000 individuals.

Photos of Vipera ursinii moldavica can be seen here: http://picasaweb.google.com/rakosivipera/HerpetofotKHerpetophotos#
Here is it's listing on IUCN Red List: http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/23004/0, with more info on the species group here: http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/22997/0

(i can't seem to figure out how to hyperlink in a comment)

Molly Schafer said...

oops i mispelled herpetology