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Gaboon Viper Victim

The color pattern is striking in the open, but in nature, typically among dead leaves under trees, the camouflage is startlingly good; in a well-kept cage with a suitable base of dried leaves it is easy to overlook several fully exposed specimens completely. The pattern consists of a series of pale, subrectangular blotches running down the center of the back, interspaced with dark, yellow-edged, hourglass markings. The flanks have a series of fawn or brown rhomboidal shapes, with light vertical central bars. The belly is pale with irregular brown or black blotches. The head is white or cream with a fine, dark central line, black spots on the rear corners, and a dark blue-black triangle behind and below each eye. The iris colour is cream, yellow-white, orange, or silvery.

Judith Arnold

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