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Poisonous animals
Cnidarians (Jellyfish, Corals and Anemones)
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North America
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Eristicophis macmahoni, McMahon's viper

Clinical entries

For clinical data see section “Risk” below


  • 1. Eristicophis macmahoni


Serpentes; Viperidae; Viperinae

Common names

  • 1. Asian sand viper, Leaf-nosed viper, McMahon's viper


Middle East. See link "Distribution" at the top of the page for detailed information.

  Map 48


  Eristicophis macmahoni

  (Pseudocerastes spp.)



Triangular head, distinct from the body, with upturned nostrils. Enlarged scales on the tip of the snout arranged in a butterfly shape.

Colouring reddish-brown to ochre-yellow with distinct brown blotches on the sides, bordered above by white scales.

Length up to 60 cm. Eristicophis macmahoni is a desert-dweller, in sandy deserts up to an altitude of 1,300 m above sea level.

Side-winders (see Echis). Active in the evening and at night. Bury themselves in the sand during the day.



Eristicophis macmahoni has been held responsible for one case of fatal envenoming; however, identification of the snake that caused the bite was not certain (Shaw 1925). The venom proved to be strongly toxic in animal experiments.

Literature (biological)

Disi 1990, Gasperetti 1988, Joger 1984, Latifi 1991, Mallow et al. 2003, Mendelssohn 1965, Mertens 1965, Minton 1966, 1992, Tiedemann et al. 1984