Slide 1 Slide 2 Slide 3 Slide 4

Saw Scaled Viper (Echis carinatus)

Small, strong keeled scales; head wider than neck, dull color, cross mark on the top of the head distinctive. Average length; south India 30cm North India 50cm At birth 8 cm. Maximum 80cm.
A rough scaled snake with large eyes wider head than neck and stocky body. The scales are heavily keeled. The body is brown greyish or sandy with a darker zigzag pattern on the back and a distinck cross or lance mark on the head. The underside is white with brown speckles. The tail is short and stubby. Saw scaled vipers are the smallest of the Big four venomous snakes and are less of a threat to man in south India. Because of the small size of the southern type Than northern form. However grows large enough to be a potentially dangerous member of the Big four.
Distributed throught India, mostly on the plains in north-west India, saw scaled vipers are reported from up to 1500 m the hills. They are plentiful in certain areas such as Ratnagiri District in Maharashtra, parts of Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. its Habitat In Dry, Sandy or rocky terrain of the plains. Not found in heavily forested areas and usually not in the higher hills. Saw scaled vipers rest under rocks, behind bark, in thorny plants and other dry hidden places. Actually this species is being mainly nocturnal, the “phoorsa” rarly makes a day light appearance except perhaps to bask in the sun after cold rainy night. They hide under rocks, bushes or in burrows during the Day. It gets its English and Hindi names from the ‘Saw edged keels ’ of its lateral scales. Which it rubs, producing ‘ssshhhh’ sound similar to the hiss other snakes produce during violent breathing. Female bears 4 to 8 living young between April and August, twice a year in south India. This species feed on mice, lizards, frogs, scorpions and other arthropods. Fortunately the bite is rarely fatal as the snakes is in a large part of its range small.

Other Venomous Snakes >


Vanyajeev Sanwardhan Sanstha, Latur

At. Post Sarola, Latur