Atheris ceratophora 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Viperidae

Scientific Name: Atheris ceratophora Werner, 1895
Common Name(s):
English Usambara Eyelash Viper
Atheris ceratophorus Werner, 1895 [orth. error]

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-06-30
Assessor(s): Spawls, S. & Joger, U.
Reviewer(s): Böhm, M., Collen, B. & Ram, M. (Sampled Red List Index Coordinating Team)
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 ceratophora has been assessed as Vulnerable owing to its restricted range, severely fragmented population and a continuing decline in habitat quality. This species has an extent of occurrence of approximately 15,000 km² and is only found within montane rainforest, in an area where deforestation is prevalent.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is an Eastern Arc endemic found in the Usambara and Udzungwa Mountains. There are also reports that it is found in the Uluguru Mountains. This species is found between 700 and 2,000 m above sea level. The area in which this species is distributed is approximately 15,161 km².
Countries occurrence:
Tanzania, United Republic of
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):700
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is known to be rare.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is restricted to montane rainforests. Emmrich (1997) reports that it is very difficult to breed this species in captivity.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is found within a fragmented habitat that is threatened by high rates of degradation and deforestation, due to agriculture, logging and increasing human population.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. It is found within the Udzungwa Forest National Park and Mazumbai Forest Reserve. Efforts to reduce further habitat loss are required (i.e. protected areas). Population and habitat research and population monitoring are necessary to establish the effects that a fragmented, disturbed environment is having on the population size of the species.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection

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    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Emmrich, D. 1997. New data for the rare Horned Bush-Viper, Atheris ceratophora, Werner, 1895. Mitteilungen aus dem Zoologischen Museum in Berlin 73(1): 131-151.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.4). Available at: (Accessed: 27 October 2010).

Newmark, W.D. 1998. Forest area, fragmentation, and loss in the Eastern Arc Mountains: Implications for the conservation of biological diversity. Journal of East African Natural History 87: 1-8.

Spawls, S. 2007. pers. comm. Red List Assessment.

Spawls, S., Howell, K.M., Drewes, R.C. and Ashe, J. 2002. A Field Guide to the Reptiles of East Africa. Academic Press, Elsevier Science, San Diego, San Francisco, New York, Boston, London.

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

Citation: Spawls, S. & Joger, U. 2010. Atheris ceratophora. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T178563A7571666. . Downloaded on 24 June 2018.
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