font settings and languages

Font Size: Large | Normal | Small
Font Face: Verdana | Geneva | Georgia

Cerastes cerastes

(Desert Horned Viper)


[ Back to top ]

Interesting Facts

[ Back to top ]

Common Names

[ Back to top ]

Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in Chinese:


Common Names in Dutch:


Common Names in English:

Desert Horned Viper

Common Names in Finnish:


Common Names in French:

Vipère à cornes

Common Names in German:

Hornviper, Wüsten Hornviper

Common Names in Hebrew (modern):

עכן חרטומים

Common Names in Lithuanian:

Raguotoji angis

Common Names in Polish:

Żmija rogata

Common Names in Swedish:


Common Names in Ukrainian:

Рогата гадюка звичайна


[ Back to top ]

Physical Description

Species Cerastes cerastes

The Desert Horned Viper is 4-5ft. long. Its head is broad and triangular with two horns that stick out above each eye. Its pupils are vertical . Scales are keeled . Color is tan with darker spots down the back, and a dark line extends from the eye to the temples.


Stony desert.


[ Back to top ]


lizards, rodents and other small mammals.


Horned vipers are egg-layers. Mating takes place from April to June, and the female will lay and 12-20 eggs in damp soil. The eggs incubate for about 8 weeks and then hatch . The young snakes become sexually mature in about two years. Captive specimens of this snake can live as long as 18 years.


The Desert Horned Viper lives in the desert. They usually bury themselves in the sand in order to keep cool in the desert heat. They overwinter in the borrowed burrows of rodents or burrowing lizards.

They usually move with their bodies in front of their heads in order to keep the sun out of their faces , using their bodies as a wall. They normally hunt during the night. They received their name because of the two horns that stick out of the top of their heads.


[ Back to top ]


Acacia cerastes Maslin • Aspis cerastes — Schmidt 1939 • Campbell & TourÉ 1999: 367 • Cerastes cerastes cerastes — Welch 1994: 43 • Cerastes cerastes cerastes< /i> (Linnaeus 1758) • Cerastes cerastes — Haas 1957 • Cerastes cerastes — Mcdiarmid • Cerastes cerastes — Werner Et Al. 1999 • Cerastes cornutus Boulenger 1896 • Coluber Cerastes Linnaeus 1758: 217 • Racosperma Cerastes


Name Status: Accepted Name .

Similar Species

[ Back to top ]

Members of the genus Cerastes

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 4 species and subspecies in this genus:

C. cerastes (Desert Horned Viper) · C. gasperettii (Arabian Horned Viper) · C. vipera (Sahara Sand Viper) · C. vipera (Sahara Sand Viper)

More Info

[ Back to top ]

Further Reading

[ Back to top ]


[ Back to top ]


Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal February 27, 2008:


Last Revised: 2015-02-06