Atheris chlorechis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Viperidae

Scientific Name: Atheris chlorechis (Pel, 1851)
Common Name(s):
English Green Bush Viper, West African Bush Viper, Western Bush Viper
French Vipère d’arbre , Vipère de bananier
Atheris polylepis Peters, 1864
Echis chloroechis (Pel, 1851)
Toxicoa chloroechis (Pel, 1851)
Vipera chlorechis Pel, 1851

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-07-16
Assessor(s): Penner, J., Luiselli, L., Rödel , M.-O., Segniagbeto, G. & Joger, U.
Reviewer(s): Penner, J. & Bowles, P.
Contributor(s): De Silva, R., Milligan, H.T., Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P. & Powney, G.
Atheris chlorechis has been assessed as Least Concern because of its wide distribution. Deforestation is occurring within its range, however, there is no indication that this presently represents a major threat. It may also be at localized risk from pesticide use where it occurs in modified habitats. If exploitation for the pet trade or deforestation increase, significant population declines may occur.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is distributed across southern West Africa from Sierra Leone to southern Togo (Chippaux 2006). Isolated records in Cameroon and Nigeria are regarded as questionable by Chippaux (2006) and (in Cameroon) Chirio and LeBreton (2007). Its presence in Benin is uncertain (J. Penner pers. comm. 2012). Records from Gabon are considered to be misidentifications (Pauwels and Vande Weghe 2008). This species is known to occur up to 600 m above sea level (Ineich 2003).
Countries occurrence:
Benin; Côte d'Ivoire; Ghana; Guinea; Liberia; Sierra Leone; Togo
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):600
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This snake can be locally very common (M-O. Rödel pers. comm. 2012).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found in primary rainforest (Spawls and Branch 1998) and can be found along the forest edges adjacent to rivers and marshes. It is also found in banana plantations and farmbush (J. Penner pers. comm. 2012). It is arboreal and feeds on mammals, lizards and frogs (Chippaux 2006). It is viviparous, giving birth to 6-9 young (Spawls and Branch 1998).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is taken from the wild for the international pet trade but there is no evidence that this is currently significant. It can also be bred in captivity.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is unlikely that any major threat is impacting this species. Localized habitat loss is likely to occur within its range due to agricultural expansion. It is generally encountered in plantations, where it may be exposed to a localized threat from pesticide use.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This snake is present in many protected areas. Occasional monitoring is required to check that the threats are not becoming more severe and are starting to have significant impacts.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability:Suitable season:unknown 

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

9. Pollution -> 9.3. Agricultural & forestry effluents -> 9.3.3. Herbicides and pesticides
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.3. Trade trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.4. Habitat trends

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

♦  Establishing ex-situ production *

Bibliography [top]

Chippaux, J.-P. 2006. Les serpents d'Afrique Occidentale et Centrale. IRD Éditions, Paris.

Chirio, L. and LeBreton, M. 2007. Atlas des reptiles du Cameroun. IRD Editions, Paris.

Ineich, I. 2003. Contributions à la connaisance de la biodiversité des régions afro-montagnardes: les Reptiles du Mont Nimba. In: M. Lamotte and R. Roy (eds), Le peuplement animal du Mont Nimba (Guinée, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia)., pp. 597-637. Mémoires du Muséum National d’ Histoire naturelle, Paris.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Jacobi, M.A. 2002. The World of Atheris: A guide to the African Bush Vipers and the Atherini Tribe. (Accessed:

Mallow, D., Ludwig, D. and Nilson, G. 2003. True Vipers: Natural History and Toxicology of Old World Vipers. Krieger Publishing Company, Florida.

Pauwels, O.S.G. and Vande Weghe, J.P. 2008. Reptiles du Gabon. Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC.

Spawls, S. and Branch, B. 1995. The Dangerous Snakes of Africa. 192 pp. Blandford. London.

Trutnau, L. 2004. Venomous Snakes: Snakes in the Terrarium. Krieger Publishing Company, Florida.

Citation: Penner, J., Luiselli, L., Rödel , M.-O., Segniagbeto, G. & Joger, U. 2013. Atheris chlorechis. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T178495A18189511. . Downloaded on 18 June 2018.
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