Home - Taxonomy - Geography - Biodiversity - Literature - Purchase RepFocus Recent updates
Citation: Midtgaard, Rune. RepFocus - A Survey of the Reptiles of the World. (www.repfocus.dk).
Latest update: December 31st, 2022.

Taxonomy of the family Viperidae
Bibliography of the genus Atheris
Biodiversity of the family Viperidae


African Bush Vipers, Tree Vipers

Buschvipern, Baumvipern

Afrikanske Træhugorme

1849 Chloroechis Bonaparte [rejected and invalid generic name; ICZN (1991)
1862 Atheris Cope (type species: Atheris chlorechis Pel 1851)
1863 Poecilostolus Günther (type species: Poecilostolus burtonii Günther 1863)
Contents: 17 species, of which 8 (47.1%) are endemic.
Endemism: 0% 100%
Remarks: Previously included Adenorhinos barbouri, Montatheris hindii, and Proatheris superciliaris. The grammatical gender of Atheris is feminine (Broadley 1989, 1996; Dobiey & Vogel 2007), although often seen treated as masculine in older literature (e.g., Spawls & Branch 1995).
Distribution: Equatorial Africa.
Reported from: Angola (incl. Cabinda), Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea (Bioko, Rio Muni), Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia.

Atheris acuminata

Acuminate Bush Viper

Stachelige Buschviper


1998 Atheris acuminata Broadley

Remarks: David & Vogel (2010) expressed doubt regarding the validity of this species.
Distribution: Uganda.

Atheris anisolepis

Mayombe Bush Viper, (Mocquard's Bush Viper)



1887 Atheris anisolepis Mocquard
Atheris squamigera anisolepis Bogert 1940
1887 Atheris laeviceps Boettger (syn. Broadley 1998)

Remarks: Previously regarded as a subspecies of squamigera (e.g., Bogert 1040). Revalidated by Broadley (1998), but retained as a synonym of squamigera by Lawson & Ustach (2000). Regarded herein as a separate species, following several recent publications (e.g., Wallach, Williams & Boundy 2014; Collet & Trape 2020). Presence in Angola needs confirmation. Although listed for the country by some authors (e.g., David & Ineich 1999; McDiarmid, Campbell & Touré 1999), it was not included by Marques, Ceríaco, Blackburn & Bauer (2018).
Distribution: Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Gabon.

Atheris broadleyi

Lipondji Bush Viper, (Broadley's Bush Viper)

Lipondji-Buschviper, (Broadleys Buschviper)


1999 Atheris broadleyi Lawson

Remarks: Chippaux & Jackson (2019) included Nigeria in the distribution, but no localities in the country were shown in their map. No other references have been found to support the presence of the species in Nigeria.
Distribution: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville.

Atheris ceratophora

Usambara Mountain Bush Viper, Usambara Bush Viper, Usambara Mountain Forest Viper, Horned Bush Viper



1895 Atheris ceratophorus Werner

Distribution: Tanzania.

Atheris chlorechis

West African Green Bush Viper, Western Bush Viper, Green Tree Viper

Westafrikanische Buschviper, Grüne Buschviper

Vestafrikansk Grøn Træhugorm

1851 Vipera chlorechis Pel
Echis chlorechis Jan 1863
Atheris chlorechis Boulenger 1896
1855 Vipera chloroechis Schlegel (ICZN 1991: Opinion 1634; McDiarmid, Campbell & Touré 1999)
Toxicoa chloroechis Cope 1860
Atheris chloroechis Peters 1864
1885 Atheris proximus Rochebrune (McDiarmid, Campbel & Touré 1999)

Distribution: Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo.

Atheris chlorechis
© Rune Midtgaard

Atheris desaixi

Mount Kenya Bush Viper, (Desaix's Bush Viper)


Mount Kenya-træhugorm

1968 Atheris desaixi Ashe

Distribution: Kenya.

Atheris hetfieldi

Bioko Bush Viper, (Hetfield's Bush Viper)



2020 Atheris hetfieldi Ceríaco, Marques & Bauer

Distribution: Equatorial Guinea (Bioko).

Atheris hirsuta

Tai Hairy Bush Viper, West African Hairy Bush Viper

Haarige Buschviper


2002 Atheris hirsuta Ernst & Rödel

Distribution: Ivory Coast, Liberia.

Atheris hispida

Rough-scaled Bush Viper, Prickly Bush Viper, Spiny Bush Viper, Bristly Bush Viper, (Hairy Bush Viper)


Ruskællet Træhugorm

1955 Atheris hispida Laurent

Distribution: Congo-Kinshasa, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda.

Atheris katangensis

Katanga Bush Viper, Katanga Mountain Bush Viper, Upemba Bush Viper, Shaba Bush Viper

Katanga-Buschviper, Shaba-Buschviper


1953 Atheris katangensis Witte

Distribution: Congo-Kinshasa, Zambia.

Atheris mabuensis

Mount Mabu Bush Viper, Mount Mabu Forest Viper



2009 Atheris mabuensis Branch & Bayliss

Distribution: Mozambique.

Atheris matildae

Southern Tanzanian Bush Viper, (Matilda's Horned Viper)

Südliche Tansania-Buschviper

Sydtanzaniansk Træhugorm

2011 Atheris matildae Menegon, Davenport & Howell

Distribution: Tanzania.

Atheris mongoensis

Mongo Hairy Bush Viper



2020 Atheris mongoensis Collet & Trape

Distribution: Congo-Kinshasa.

Atheris nitschei

Great Lakes Bush Viper, Sedge Viper, Black and Green Bush Viper, (Nitsche's Bush Viper)

Schwarzgrüne Buschviper

Sort-grøn Træhugorm

1902 Atheris nitschei Tornier
1906 Atheris woosnami Boulenger (Golay & al. 1993)

Remarks: Previously included rungweensis. Occurrence in Tanzania needs confirmation (Menegon, Davenport & Howell 2011).
Distribution: Burundi, Congo-Kinshasa, Rwanda, Uganda.

Atheris rungweensis

Mount Rungwe Bush Viper, Rungwe Leaf Viper, Rungwe Tree Viper



1940 Atheris nitschei rungweensis Bogert
Atheris rungweensis Broadley 1998

Distribution: Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia.

Atheris squamigera

Southern Green Bush Viper, Variable Bush Viper, Leaf Viper, (Green Bush Viper)

Bunte Buschviper, Blattgrüne Buschviper

Sydlig Grøn Træhugorm

1856 Echis squamigera Hallowell
Toxicoa squamigera Cope 1860
Atheris squamigera Peters 1864
1863 Poecilostolus burtonii Günther (Golay & al. 1993)
Atheris burtonii Günther 1863
1864 Atheris polylepis Peters (Golay & al. 1993)
1885 Atheris lucani Rochebrune (McDiarmid, Campbel & Touré 1999)
1956 Atheris squamigera robusta Laurent

Remarks: Previously included anisolepis. Several works have reported squamigera from Ghana (e.g., Broadley 1998; David & Ineich 1999; Hughes & Barry 1969; Hughes 1983, 1988; McDiarmid, Campbell & Touré 1999; Spawls & Branch 1995; Trape & Baldé 2014) and Togo (e.g., Segniagbeto, Trape, David, Ohler, Dubois & Glitho 2011; Trape & Baldé 2014; Villiers 1975; Wallach, Williams & Boundy 2014), however, other works do not mention the presence of the species in these countries (Chippaux 2006; Dobiey & Vogel 2007). Reported from Ivory Coast by McDiarmid, Campbell & Touré (1999), but apparently in error.
Distribution: Angola (incl. Cabinda), Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Equatorial Guinea (Bioko, Rio Muni), Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda.

Atheris squamigera
© Rune Midtgaard

Atheris subocularis

Cameroon Bush Viper, (Fischer's Bush Viper)

Kamerun-Buschviper, Tiefland-Buschviper

Camerounsk Træhugorm

1888 Atheris subocularis Fischer

Remarks: Previously regarded as a synonym of squamigera (e.g., McDiarmid, Campbel & Touré 1999). Revalidated by Lawson, Noonan & Ustach (2001). David & Vogel (2010) expressed doubt regarding the validity of this species.
Distribution: Cameroon.