- Common names: Kenya mountain viper, Kenya montane viper, montane viper, Hind's viper.
Montatheris is a monotypic genus created for the venomous viper species, M. hindii. This is a small terrestrial species endemic to Kenya. No subspecies are currently recognized.
The specific name, hindii, is in honor of Sidney Langford Hinde, a British military medical officer and naturalist.
This is a small species reaching an average total length (body + tail) of 20â"30Â cm (7.9â"11.8Â in) and a maximum total length of about 35Â cm (14Â in). The head is elongated and not very distinct from the neck, while the eyes are small and set in a rather forwards position. The dorsal scales are strongly keeled.
The type locality listed is "Fort Hall, Kenya District, 4000 ft.". Since Fort Hall is at an altitude of only 4000 feet (1219 m), Loveridge (1957) questioned whether this was accurate.
It occurs at high altitudes of 2,700â"3,800Â m (8,900â"12,500Â ft) in treeless moorlands. It favors clumps of bunch grass for cover.
A terrestrial species. Because of the low nighttime temperatures in its native habitat, it is only active during the day and when there is enough sunlight to warm its environment.
It feeds on chameleons, skinks, and small frogs. It may also take small rodents.
This species is apparently viviparous (ovoviviparous). One wild-caught female produced two young in late January, while another gave birth to three in May. The total length of each newborn was 10â"13Â cm (3.9â"5.1Â in).
- List of viperine species and subspecies
- Viperinae by common name
- Viperinae by taxonomic synonyms
- Montatheris hindii at the Reptarium.cz Reptile Database. Accessed 9 September 2007.