Main differences between Vipera latastei latastei and Vipera latastei gaditana

1- Ground colour; lighter and less variable in V. l. gaditana.

Vipera latastei
Vipera latastei gaditana, Doñana (Huelva)
photo: Daniel Gómez
Vipera latastei
Vipera latastei latastei, Guadalajara
photo: Daniel Gómez

2- Number of jags in the zigzag pattern; Vipera latastei gaditana hardly ever surpasses 35 while Vipera latastei latastei commonly exceeds 40.

3- Number of ventrals; lower for Vipera l. gaditana, with an average of 132, the average for Vipera l. latastei is 136,5.

4- Number of subcaudals; higher for Vipera l. gaditana, mostly in the males.

5- Head; broader, with a higher number of scales and with less ornamentation in Vipera latastei gaditana. The frontal scale is very rarely seen in V. l. gaditana.

6- Head colour; in Vipera l. gaditana it is grey, while in Vipera l. latastei it resembles the body ground colour.

7- Horn; larger and with a more complex constitution in Vipera l. gaditana.

8- Supralabials; the small dark triangular markings on the upper labials of the males of the nominate form are usually absent in Vipera l. gaditana.

9- Behaviour; Vipera latastei gaditana is noticeably more aggressive than Vipera latastei latastei.

10- Venom; the venom from Vipera l. gaditana is less toxic than that of Vipera l. latastei.

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