Fun Horned Pit Viper Facts For Kids

Georgia Stone
Aug 30, 2023 By Georgia Stone
Originally Published on Oct 14, 2021
Horned pit viper facts are all about their habitat range, behavior, diet, reproduction, and predators.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.8 Min

If you like reading about different species of snakes like the African desert horned viper, then you would love reading about the horned pit viper. With their striking colors and poisonous bite, the horned pit vipers (Protobothrops cornutus) are some of the most interesting snakes in the world.

The horned pit viper (Protobothrops cornutus), also known as the Fan Si Pan horned pit viper, is a venomous snake found in Southeast Asia. These snake species are found in Vietnam, China, Japan, and Russia.

This horned viper species is a member of the family Viperidae and the genus Protobothrops.

The horned viper gets its name from its crown-like horns that can be seen on its head. These horns are actually enlarged scales that give an appearance of a horned helmet.

The scales are used to sense heat through infrared waves which helps them find prey that is warm-blooded. They are opportunistic predators who eat mostly rodents and birds.

For this reason, they are not considered a threat to humans unless they're provoked or disturbed by outside interference. In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about this unique species of snake so you can learn more about one of nature's most fascinating creatures!

For discovering more such interesting facts about other intriguing animals, you may want to read our spiny bush viper and saw-scaled viper facts articles.

Horned Pit Viper Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a horned pit viper?

The horned viper (Protobothrops cornutus) is a venomous snake that is found in southeastern Asia. It is the only member of the Protobothrops genus, and its name literally means 'near-biting bullhead'. These horned viper species belong to the family of Viperidae.

What class of animal does a horned pit viper belong to?

The horned viper snake belongs to the class of Reptilia of the Animalia kingdom. It is a member of the Squamata order and the Serpentes suborder.

How many horned pit vipers are there in the world?

There is not much data available on the population size of horned viper, however, their population is declining over the years. They are currently listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN Red List.

Where does a horned pit viper live?

These horned viper species of snakes are found in Southeast Asia including Indo-china, Indo-malayan, northern Guangdong province of China. This horned viper is found in Northern India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Indonesia. In their natural environment, they often live in evergreen forests and grasslands and avoids deserts.

What is a horned pit viper's habitat?

These horned viper species typically live near water bodies and rice paddies, but can also be found in urban areas in Northern India and other parts of Asia. They are typically found in open fields near rocky areas and avoid deserts.

These species are usually found in the grasslands and terrestrial habitats. Moreover, they are largely found in National parks.

These horned vipers are found in tropical forests of Southeast Asia and parts of China.

They like to inhabit forests with lots of vegetation and can be found at elevations up to 820-6560 ft (250-2,000 m). Protobothrops cornutus is often seen hanging out on tree branches, in caves, or beneath rocks during the day, but it will climb down at night to hunt for food.

Who do horned pit vipers live with?

These species of vipers are mostly sedentary, apart from their time of reproduction. However, not much data is available.

How long does a horned pit viper live?

These species of horned vipers are known to live for around 12-15 years.

How do they reproduce?

The horned pit viper has an impressive reproductive rate for such a medium-sized snake: females lay 4-23 eggs at a time and may even lay two clutches per year. The eggs incubate for two to three months. Females of this species are larger than males and they lay eggs in the summertime after mating.

The female of this species also lays the eggs in soil or sand so they can incubate properly. Moreover, they are oviparous. During mating season (March-August), males will try to reach females by climbing trees.

What is their conservation status?

These species of vipers are classified under the population of Near Threatened species by the IUCN Red List. They have been facing the threat of habitat loss over the years.

Horned Pit Viper Fun Facts

What do horned pit vipers look like?

This type of horned viper has an appearance that is distinctive with its slender body covered in small scales, plus a row of large scales on its head that resemble horns. This horned pit viper snake has a stout body with a length up to 25.5-29.5 in (64.7-75 cm).

It has dark brown or black coloration on the upper part of its body and yellow or orange on the underside. However, its coloration can vary from yellow to greenish-brown, with darker brown triangular spots on its back.

It has a long tail forked at the end which it uses to release its venom.

The scales are smooth, senses heat, keeled, and the tail is short. Their fangs are long, their venom potent, and their bites happen so quickly it can be difficult to escape them.

Viperidae family facts about horned pit viper

How cute are they?

The horned viper is one of the most beautiful snakes in the world, like rainbow snakes due to its vivid colors. Hence, these species of vipers are considered very adorable and cute.

How do they communicate?

The horned viper produces various rasping, and hissing calls to communicate. Moreover, they use tactile, and acoustic channels of communication.

How big is a horned pit viper?

The horned viper length may range between 25.5-29.5 in (64.7-75 cm). They are almost equal in size to the spiny bush vipers. They are shorter than an Indigo snake.

How fast can a horned pit viper move?

These snakes are very agile and quick. However, the exact speed of these snakes is not available.

How much does a horned pit viper weigh?

The horned viper species may weigh around 14 oz (396.8 g). However, their weight is not clearly estimated and available.

What are the male and female names of the species?

These snakes do not have any distinctive names for their specific genders. Both of these snakes are called horned pit vipers.

What would you call a baby horned pit viper?

Baby snakes are called neonates, or snakelets.

What do they eat?

These snakes are nocturnal creatures who spend their days hidden under leaves or rocks waiting for prey to pass by. Their diet includes any animal that they can find down to earthworms and tadpoles. These horned viper species feed on birds, mammals, rodents, and other arthropods.

Are they poisonous?

Yes, the horned viper is poisonous, just like mangrove snakes. Most horned viper bites will not kill you but will cause serious harm.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, these horned vipers were introduced due to their popularity as pet snakes. However, they contain venom and should be handled wisely.

Did you know...

These horned vipers are very aggressive, which is why they’re often called 'flying venomous lizards' or 'flying moccasins' by local people.

What eats the horned pit viper?

Mainly horned pit vipers are eaten by feral cats, monitors, and honey badgers.

How does a horned pit viper protect itself?

These horned vipers protect themselves by curling their body and producing some rasping voices with help of their keeled scales.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these boa facts and rubber boa facts for kids pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable angry snake coloring pages.

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Written by Georgia Stone

Bachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

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Georgia StoneBachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

Georgia is an experienced Content Manager with a degree in French and Film Studies from King's College London and Bachelors degree from Université Paris-Sorbonne. Her passion for exploring the world and experiencing different cultures was sparked during her childhood in Switzerland and her year abroad in Paris. In her spare time, Georgia enjoys using London's excellent travel connections to explore further afield.

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