Figure (6) Macrovipera lebetina obtusa (Dwigubsky, 1832)
name: Levantine Viper.
Levantine Viper has a fat body with a head triangular
clearly separated from neck, covered by small, imbricate, keeled and
smooth scales on tip of snout. Solenoglyphous. Snout rounded obtusely.
Supraoculars completely divided into five scales. Fourth supralabial enlarged,
positioned under the eye. Nostril lateral, in
large nasal shield. Eye surrounded by circle of 11-18 small circumorbital
scales and separated from upper labials by two to three rows of scales;
interocular scales 7-11. Two to three canthus. Two to three apicals. Lower labials 12-14. Dorsal scales keeled with the
exception of lateral of most rows. Midbody dorsal scales, 23-25; ventral scales, 155-181 and in females
slightly higher; 35-44 divided subcaudals. Anal entire. Colouration:
Dorsal colour yellowish to light gray, with about 35 gray blotches in four
longitudinal rows (two laterally and two dorsally), the latter meeting at the
middorsal line, but in alternating positions. Head yellowish-gray. A gray
stripe from the eye backwards, widening above the jaw angle. Ventrals darkly
pigmented, light posteriorly, powdered with fine dark spots (Amr and Disi, 2011).
Habitats and ecology. Known from two locations; one specimen was taken
from rocky terrain with scarce vegetation, while the other from an area covered
by dense vegetation of Artemisia herba-alba. Both Jordanian
localities are situated within the Irano-Turanian zone stretching south from
Syria into Jordan to the 30th parallel. The Levantine Viper avoids
deserts, high mountains or densely forested areas, however, biogeographically,
it is considered an Irano-Turanian species. At
‘Ayn Lahza, it was encountered among thick bushes lying under stones (Al-Oran et al., 1998). In Dana Wildlife Reserve it is found at an altitude of 1400 metres.
Also, it was observed during the hot summer at noon immersing its body
in the water of a creek (Amr and Disi, 2011).