African Bush Viper

***See more on AFRICAN BUSH VIPER below***

Are you researching about the West African Viper?

Are you looking for more information on this particular type of snake?

Do you want to know whether this snake is different from other vipers and whether it has any unique features?

The original uploader was Dawson at English Wikipedia. [CC BY-SA 2.5 (]

If you are looking for any information regarding the West African Viper, this article can help you out with that. Today we are taking a look at this snake in particular, and also trying to understand how it is different from other bush vipers.

We will also take a look at some of its unique features and also go through a few images that can make it easier for you to spot and identify this snake. So, if any of this can help you with the information you are looking for, do read on.

What sets this bush viper apart from other bush vipers?

While the West African viper is a type of viper species, it is different from the other types of bush vipers in the following ways:

  • One of the things that make the West African viper different from the other bush vipers is its specific habitat.
  • This particular snake is only found in the forest areas of West Africa, and hence the name.
  • Also, it does not have any types of subspecies.
  • Yet another very prominent feature that can be seen on this particular type of snake is the presence of very rough scales on the back.
  • Unlike the other bush vipers, the West African viper does not make any kind of hissing sound.  

What is the scientific name of the West African Viper?

Michael Rivera [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]

The scientific name of this snake is Atheris Chlorechis.

What other common names is it also known by?

The West African viper is also known by some other common names such as the following:

  • The western bush viper
  • The West African tree viper
  • The west African leaf viper
  • The green bush viper

Is the West African Viper venomous?

  • Yes, the West African viper is an extremely venomous snake and can prove to be very dangerous and even fatal if it bites human beings.
  • They are particularly dangerous and considered to be a major threat to human beings or even to other animals as there is no anti-venom that is yet developed or is effective enough to treat their bites.

Unique features that sets this snake apart from other kinds of snakes

Here are a few unique features that this snake has that make it somewhat different from the other kinds of snakes:

Jgdb500 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]

The colour of the West African viper:

  • The first time you see this snake, you will notice it has a lovely green leafy colour.
  • The adults in the West African viper have a uniform light green ground colour all over their body.
  • There can also be some very faint traces of pale yellow that are not usually easily visible.
  • At the time of birth, the offspring is of a tan-brown colour, but it changes to a yellowish and green shade within 24 hours.


  • One of the thing that is unique to this snake is that, the moment it senses danger, it raises the front part of its body.
  • The tail of this viper is usually much longer than the body.

Different characteristics of the West African Viper

A creature of the dark:

  • The West African viper is a nocturnal animal.
  • It likes to hunt more in the dark than in the day.
  • During the day it remains mainly inactive.

Is it aggressive:

  • This particular kind of snake is a predatory animal that likes to remain solitary.
  • However, it can get very aggressive if it feels threatened.
  • In fact, when it feels any kind of threat nearby, it will raise its anterior position.  

Venomous and dangerous:

  • These vipers are very dangerous and venomous.
  • They can cause serious damage with their bite that can also turn fatal.

Extremely predatory:

  • This viper is a very predatory animal.
  • It can quietly lie in wait at the same spot for a very long time, without moving.
  • Once it feels that its prey is near enough for it to make a strike, it moves very fast and very accurately.

What does it eat?

  • The West African viper mainly feeds on frogs that live on trees, lizards and rodents.
  • However, it is a type of opportunistic feeder and can also eat other creatures, such as birds or other smaller snakes.
  • The adults of this species are also known to eat the younger ones of their own specie.

Can this type of snake be kept as a pet?

As this is a very venomous kind of viper that does not have any certified anti-venom yet, it is best to not keep these as pets.