State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Vipera renardi (Christoph, 1861)

  • Acridophaga uralensis Reuss, 1925
  • Coluber renardi (Cristoph, 1861)
  • Pelias renardi Christoph, 1861
Vernacular Name
Eastern Steppe Viper
Conservation status
Be (III); RDBUkr: Вразливі
Value of species
This species was formerly treated as a synonym of Vipera ursinii. We follow Joger and Stumpel (2005) in restricting Vipera ursinii to the remnant, disjunct, populations of Europe west of Ukraine. Three subspecies are distinguished: the nominative V. r. renardi (occupies the most part of the distribution range, except for some Central- and Middle Asian populations); V. r. tienshanica Nilson and Andrén, 2001 (is found in Kyrgyzstan, eastern Uzbekistan, northern Tajikistan and south-eastern Kazakhstan); V. r. parursinii Nilson and Andrén, 2001 (is found in northern Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous Region in China). The taxonomic status of the populations from the Kazakh Altai remains unclear. This species is within the subgenus Pelias (Nilson et al. 1999). It inhabits steppe, forest-steppe and semi-desert zones of south-eastern Europe, Central Asia and north-west of Middle Asia, including the Crimea, the southern Ukraine, steppe regions of Ciscaucasia, and the Great Caucasus, of Kazakhstan, southern Siberia, and into China. There is an isolated population in Transcaucasia. In the north the distribution range attains the Volzhsko-Kamsky Territory, in the east - Altai and Jungaria. In the mountains it goes up to 2500 m asl. Armenia (Armenia); Azerbaijan; China; Georgia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Kazakhstan; Russian Federation; Turkey; Ukraine. It is primarily associated with open meadows and hillsides. Upland subspecies are generally found on well-drained rocky hillsides, steppe and meadows, while the lowland forms are found in either steppe, or dry or damp meadows. It occurs in plain and sagebrush steppes, alpine meadows transformed into steppe, solonchaks (saline land) semi-deserts and stabilized sands. This species is absent in cultivated lands and remains only ravines, roadsides and river banks. Thus, for instance, in the lower left bank area of the Dnieper river in the Zaporizka, Dnipropetrovska and Khersonska regions the viper is found only in the narrow strip of a steep bank with bush vegetation in the area between water and arable land. It is an ovoviviparous species. Pregnancy lasts up to 3 months. Young appear (up to 17) in July - August. It is active in Azerbaijan from the beginning of April up to beginning of October.
Book reference
  • Селюнина З.В. Результаты мониторинга териофауны Черноморского биосферного заповедника в 2000-2012 гг. // Природничий альманах. Серія. Біологічні науки. – 2013. – Вип.18. – С.147-167.

Taxonomic branch