Vipera latastei latastei   (Page 2)

Together with the dorsal zigzag Vipera latastei latastei also exhibits a series of round blotches on both flanks along the body. Each one of these blotches coincides with an interior edge of the zigzag pattern and they are of the same colour as the zigzag, only less contrasted. In the females these blotches are barely noticeable. In the intersection of the dorsal scales with the ventrals a second row of smaller and duller blotches can be observed, these coincide with the outer edges of the zigzag pattern.

Vipera latastei
Vipera latastei, side blotches - photo: Daniel Gómez

Head: The colour of the head is usually very similar to the ground colour. Males tend to have a more ornate head than females, although the two characteristic crescent moon shaped marks at the back of the head are normally present in both sexes.

The postocular stripe on each side of the head begins at the eye and extends backwards touching the posteriormost supralabials. In some specimens it may extend along the sides of the body reaching the second or the third of the side blotches, drawing a well defined and elongated band.

Vipera latastei
Head detail, note the two oblique markings
photo: Daniel Gómez

Vipera latastei
Vipera latastei latastei, note the two triangular markings
on the upper labials - photo: Daniel Gómez

Vipera latastei latastei males exhibit almost invariably two small dark triangular markings on the supralabial scales on both sides of the head.
The first marking is centred on the suture between supralabials 2 and 3, while the second marking is centred on the suture between supralabials 4 and 5. Females very rarely exhibit these supralabial markings.

Pholidosis: Dorsal scale rows number 21 (rarely 19 or 23). Males have between 130 and 142 ventrals, the average being 136 ventrals. Females have between 131 and 144 ventrals, with an average of 137.

The number of preventrals is 2 or 3 and the number of gulars is between 3 and 5. There are 35 to 45 paired subcaudals in males and 29 to 37 in females. The average number of subcaudals is 41 for the males and 33,5 for the females.

(Note: specimens from Gredos are not included in these data)

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