Butterfly Viper Trivia

Butterfly Viper

Do you think you know the butterfly viper? Test your knowledge of butterfly viper FaunaFacts with this trivia quiz!

Click on an answer choice to receive instant feedback. Red answers are incorrect, but allow you to continue guessing. Green answers are correct and will provide additional explanatory information. Sometimes more than one answer is correct!

Learn More About the Butterfly Viper | Play on Quizizz


What are alternate names for the butterfly viper?
Rhinoceros Viper
The butterfly viper is also known as the “rhinoceros viper”, “river jack”, “rhinoceros horned viper”, “arrowhead viper”, and “horned puff adder”.
Arrowhead Viper
The butterfly viper is also known as the “rhinoceros viper”, “river jack”, “rhinoceros horned viper”, “arrowhead viper”, and “horned puff adder”.
River Jack
The butterfly viper is also known as the “rhinoceros viper”, “river jack”, “rhinoceros horned viper”, “arrowhead viper”, and “horned puff adder”.
Gaboon Viper

What marking does a butterfly viper have on the back of its head?
Arrowhead
The butterfly viper’s head has a large, dark triangular, arrow-shaped marking on the back.
Thin Stripe
Thick Stripe
Several Stripes

What is the butterfly viper’s diet?
Carnivorous
The butterfly viper is carnivorous.
Herbivorous
Omnivorous

What habitat does the butterfly viper inhabit?
Forest
The butterfly viper inhabits forested areas and tropical forests and rarely ventures into woodlands.
Grassland
Shrubland
Savanna

What characteristic originated the butterfly viper’s nickname, “River Jack”?
Swampy Habitat
The butterfly viper inhabits tropical forests, often near water, or some sort of swampy environment. Because of this habitat preference it is often called the River Jack.
Ability to Swim
Aquatic Habitat
Lays it Eggs in Water

The butterfly viper is one of the most dangerous and venomous snakes of its region.
True
It is considered to be one of the most dangerous and venomous snakes of Africa.
False

The butterfly viper has a flattened, narrow, triangular-shaped head that is considerably smaller in size than its body.
True
One of the butterfly viper’s most distinguishing characteristics is its small, flattened, narrow, triangular-shaped head. The head is considerably smaller in size than its body.
False

How does the butterfly viper differ from the rhinoceros viper?
Brighter Colors
The butterfly viper has a brighter color pattern and a narrower head than the rhinoceros viper. The rhinoceros viper is also missing the distinct, black arrow mark on the butterfly viper’s head, and instead has a single dark stripe running down the back of its head.
Narrower Head
The butterfly viper has a brighter color pattern and a narrower head than the rhinoceros viper. The rhinoceros viper is also missing the distinct, black arrow mark on the butterfly viper’s head, and instead has a single dark stripe running down the back of its head.
Black Arrowhead Marking on Head
The butterfly viper has a brighter color pattern and a narrower head than the rhinoceros viper. The rhinoceros viper is also missing the distinct, black arrow mark on the butterfly viper’s head, and instead has a single dark stripe running down the back of its head.
Black Stripe on Back of Head

What is the butterfly viper’s venom properties?
Neurotoxic
Like most other venomous snakes, the butterfly viper has a venom with both neurotoxic, as well as hemotoxic properties.
Hemotoxic
Like most other venomous snakes, the butterfly viper has a venom with both neurotoxic, as well as hemotoxic properties.
Cardiotoxic
Dendrotoxic

To what continent is the butterfly viper endemic?
Africa
The butterfly viper is endemic to Africa.
Australia
South America
Asia

Butterfly vipers display sexual dimorphism in body size.
True, females are larger.
Butterfly vipers display sexual dimorphism as females are usually the larger of the two monomorphic sexes.
True, males are larger.
False

The color patterns of the butterfly viper vary among individuals.
True
The color patterns vary among individuals and the degree of light and dark colors dependent on the snake’s habitat.
False

The butterfly viper is 1 of how many puff adder species?
15
The butterfly viper is categorized in the Bitis genus and is one of the fifteen species of puff adders.
5
25
50

What is the average lifespan of the butterfly viper in captivity?
8.3 Years
The average lifespan of the butterfly viper in captivity is 8.3 years.
3.8 Years
13.8 Years
18.3 Years

Like the Gaboon viper, the butterfly viper uses a considerably large amount of venom.
False
Unlike the Gaboon viper (Bitis gabonica) who uses a considerably large amount of venom, just small doses of the butterfly viper’s venom can be deadly.
True

The butterfly viper sheds its skin.
True
The butterfly viper sheds its skin.
False

The butterfly viper is an ambush predator, relying on cryptic coloration as camouflage to hide from its prey.
True
The butterfly viper is an ambush predator, relying on cryptic coloration as camouflage to hide from its prey.
False

What kind of scales does a butterfly viper have?
Rough
The butterfly viper’s scales are rough and heavily keeled.
Smooth

The butterfly viper spends much of its life motionless, waiting for prey to wander by.
True
Preferring to hunt by ambush, the butterfly viper spends much of its life motionless, waiting for prey to wander by.
False

Butterfly vipers can swim.
True
Butterfly vipers have been described as powerful swimmers.
False

The butterfly viper is fast in locomotion.
False
Generally, the butterfly viper is considered somewhat slow in locomotion.
True

What parts of the continent does the butterfly viper inhabit?
Central
The butterfly viper is endemic to central and western Africa. In West Africa, they are found from Guinea to Ghana. In central Africa, they inhabit the Central African Republic, southern Sudan, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, DR Congo, Angola, Rwanda, Uganda, and western Kenya. Reports as far as southern Zaire have also been documented.
West
The butterfly viper is endemic to central and western Africa. In West Africa, they are found from Guinea to Ghana. In central Africa, they inhabit the Central African Republic, southern Sudan, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, DR Congo, Angola, Rwanda, Uganda, and western Kenya. Reports as far as southern Zaire have also been documented.
North
South

How many antivenoms for butterfly viper venom exist?
1
At least one antivenom protects specifically against bites from this species: India Antiserum Africa Polyvalent.
0
5
3

The butterfly viper is viviparous and gives birth to live young.
True
The butterfly viper is a viviparous animal, giving live birth to 6-38 young.
False

What is the maximum length a butterfly viper can grow?
210 cm. / 83 in.
Adult butterfly vipers have an average total length, from body to tail, of 60-107 centimeters, or 23-42 inches. Maximum total lengths of up to 1.2 meters, or 47.2 inches, are possible, but are an exception. Some butterfly vipers have been reported to reach 2.1 meters, or 7 feet.
60 cm. / 23 in.
100 cm. / 39 in.
120 cm. / 47 in.

Which butterfly vipers are more blue?
Western
Western specimens are more blue, while those from the East are more green.
Eastern

The butterfly viper’s fangs are hollow.
True
The butterfly viper has a pair of hollow fangs in its mouth.
False

How often does the butterfly viper shed its fangs?
A Few Times a Year
As is true with all snakes in the Viperidae family, the butterfly viper sheds its fangs periodically, every 6-10 weeks.
Once a Week
Once a Month
Once a Year

Butterfly vipers are bred domestically and sold online in the exotic pet trade.
True
Butterfly vipers are bred domestically and sold online in the exotic pet trade. Although most people would never see the butterfly viper in the wild, there are many who breed this extremely dangerous animal domestically. A butterfly viper can be purchased online. Listings have been found for baby vipers for $75.00 plus shipping and $125.00 for adult snakes.
False

What is the butterfly viper considered?
Terrestrial
Although mainly terrestrial, the butterfly viper has been known to climb into trees and thickets in search of food. They have been found up to 3 meters, or 9.8 feet, above the ground.
Arboreal
Aquatic
Fossorial

What is the butterfly viper classified on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species?
Not Evaluated
The butterfly viper has not been evaluated by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is thus classified as “Not Evaluated”.
Least Concern
Near Threatened
Data Deficient

The butterfly viper can strike in any direction, without coiling first, with extremely deadly accuracy.
True
When the butterfly viper gets excited, it can strike faster than the blink of an eye with extremely deadly accuracy. These snakes can strike in any direction with equal speed. They are capable of striking quickly, forwards or sideways, without coiling first or giving a warning.
False

What is the butterfly viper’s scientific name?
Bitis nasicornis
The butterfly viper’s scientific name is “Bitis nasicornis”.
Bitis rhinoceros
Bitis gabonica
Bitis arietans

How many venom does the butterfly viper have?
1
Like most other venomous snakes, the butterfly viper has a single venom.
0
2
3

Female butterfly vipers have a higher count of paired subcaudals than males.
False
Males have a higher count of paired subcaudals, having 25-30 compared to the 16-19 on a female.
True.

Relatively little is known about the toxicity and composition of the butterfly viper’s venom.
True
Relatively little is known about the toxicity and composition of the butterfly viper’s venom.
False

How much larger can a butterfly viper enlarge its body when threatened?
2x
When excited, these venomous snakes have the ability to enlarge their size considerably by inflating and deflating their bodies. This creates the “puffed” look that is approximately twice the normal size of the snake’s body.
1.5x
2.5x
3x

What is the dominant property of the butterfly viper’s venom?
Hemotixicity
The hemotoxicity is much more dominant.
Neurotoxicity
Dendrotoxicity
Cardiotoxicity

The butterfly viper’s venom is more toxic than those of the Gaboon viper and puff adder.
False
The venom is supposedly slightly less toxic than those of the Gaboon viper (Bitis gabonica) and puff adder (Bitis arietans).
True

What characteristics originated the name “puff adder”?
Ability to Enlarge the Body
When excited, these venomous snakes have the ability to enlarge their size considerably by inflating and deflating their bodies. This creates the “puffed” look. Puff adders also make an extremely loud hissing noise through their nose as part of their respiratory function and puff loudly.
Loud Puff Noise
When excited, these venomous snakes have the ability to enlarge their size considerably by inflating and deflating their bodies. This creates the “puffed” look. Puff adders also make an extremely loud hissing noise through their nose as part of their respiratory function and puff loudly.
Swollen-Looking Tongue
Large Head

How does the butterfly viper’s venom affect the body?
Paralyzes
This venom attacks the circulatory system of the snake’s victim, destroying tissue and blood vessels. This causes internal bleeding and massive hemorrhaging. In only a few detailed reports of human envenomation, massive swelling, which may lead to necrosis, had been described. Some bites cause paralysis, some cause swelling, and most of them cause shock, where the blood stops coagulating and people either bleed from the tissues or fluid leaks out of their blood vessels.
Destroys Tissues & Blood Vessels
This venom attacks the circulatory system of the snake’s victim, destroying tissue and blood vessels. This causes internal bleeding and massive hemorrhaging. In only a few detailed reports of human envenomation, massive swelling, which may lead to necrosis, had been described. Some bites cause paralysis, some cause swelling, and most of them cause shock, where the blood stops coagulating and people either bleed from the tissues or fluid leaks out of their blood vessels.
Causes Internal Bleeding
This venom attacks the circulatory system of the snake’s victim, destroying tissue and blood vessels. This causes internal bleeding and massive hemorrhaging. In only a few detailed reports of human envenomation, massive swelling, which may lead to necrosis, had been described. Some bites cause paralysis, some cause swelling, and most of them cause shock, where the blood stops coagulating and people either bleed from the tissues or fluid leaks out of their blood vessels.
Causes Massive Swelling
This venom attacks the circulatory system of the snake’s victim, destroying tissue and blood vessels. This causes internal bleeding and massive hemorrhaging. In only a few detailed reports of human envenomation, massive swelling, which may lead to necrosis, had been described. Some bites cause paralysis, some cause swelling, and most of them cause shock, where the blood stops coagulating and people either bleed from the tissues or fluid leaks out of their blood vessels.

Butterfly vipers have one of the loudest hisses of any snake in their region.
True
When approached, butterfly vipers often reveal their presence by hissing, said to be the loudest hiss of any African snake—almost a shriek.
False

Butterfly vipers can often appear faded and dull due to silt.
True
After they shed their skins, the bright colors fade quickly as silt from their generally moist habitat accumulates on the rough scales.
False

The butterfly viper feeds on larger prey than the Gaboon viper.
False
The butterfly viper generally feeds on smaller prey than the closely related, Gaboon viper (Bitis gabonica).
True

What is the main staple of the butterfly viper’s diet?
Small Mammals
Small mammals are the main staple of the butterfly viper’s diet.
Amphibians
Fish
Insects

The butterfly viper’s scales are so rough that they can inflict cuts.
True
The butterfly viper’s scales are so rough and heavily keeled that they sometimes inflict cuts on handlers when the snakes struggle.
False

The butterfly viper is just as bad-tempered as the puff adder.
False
The butterfly viper is not as bad-tempered as the puff adder (Bitis arietans).
True

What kind of habitat does the butterfly viper prefer?
Wet
The butterfly viper often lives near water, or some sort of swampy environment, but can be found in relatively dry forest areas.
Dry

Butterfly vipers sometimes inhabit shallow pools.
True
Butterfly vipers are sometimes found in shallow pools.
False

The butterfly viper is more slow-moving and placid than the Gaboon viper.
False
It is generally considered a slow-moving, somewhat placid animal, less so than the Gaboon viper (Bitis gabonica).
True

The butterfly viper’s range is less restricted than the Gaboon viper.
False
Its range is more restricted than the Gaboon viper (Bitis gabonica).
True

How many subspecies of butterfly viper are recognized?
0
No subspecies of the butterfly viper are currently recognized.
1
2
3

In the West, when does the butterfly viper give birth?
March-April
In West Africa, the butterfly gives birth at the start of the rainy season in March and April. In eastern Africa, the breeding season is indefinite.
May-June
July-August
September-October

Butterfly vipers are venomous at birth.
True
Young butterfly vipers are approximately 18-25 centimeters, or 7-10 inches, brilliantly colored, and venomous.
False

Which butterfly vipers are more green?
Eastern
Western specimens are more blue, while those from the East are more green.
Western

What characteristic originated the butterfly viper’s nickname, “rhinoceros viper”?
Horn-Like Nasal Scales
The butterfly viper is also known as the “rhinoceros viper” because of the distinctive set of two or three horn-like scales it has above each nostril at the end of the nose. The front pair of scales may be quite long.
Rough Scales
Hooked Lip
Dull Coloration

How long are the butterfly viper’s fangs?
1.5 cm. / 0.6 in.
The butterfly viper’s fangs are not large, rarely more than 1.5 centimeteres, or 0.59 inches, long.
2 cm. / 0.8 in.
2.5 cm. / 1 in.
3 cm. / 1.2 in.

What is the butterfly viper’s rhythm?
Nocturnal
Primarily nocturnal, the butterfly viper hides during the day in leaf litter and holes or around fallen trees and tangled roots of forest trees.
Diurnal
Crespuscular
Cathemeral

The butterfly viper has the ability to control the movement of its fangs.
True
The butterfly viper has the ability to control the movement of its fangs. When not in use, the fangs are folded up into the roof of the snake’s mouth. As such, the butterfly viper may open its mouth without the fangs flipping down into place.
False

The butterfly viper’s tail is partially prehensile.
True
The butterfly viper’s climbing behavior is aided by a partially prehensile tail. Holding a butterfly viper by the tail is not safe as it can use it to fling itself upwards and strike.
False

How long can a butterfly viper’s strike reach?
1/2 the Body Length
When the butterfly viper gets excited, it can strike faster than the blink of an eye with extremely deadly accuracy. Their striking range is surprisingly long, sometimes as long as half the snake’s length..
1/4 the Body Length
1/3 the Body Length
Full Body Length

The butterfly viper has never been recorded to kill a human.
False
Because of the butterfly viper’s restricted geographic range, few bites have been reported and no statistics are available, but at least one death has occurred. In 2003, a man in Dayton, Ohio, who was keeping a specimen as a pet, was bitten and subsequently died.
True

How much did you know about the butterfly viper? Share your results in the comments!

Learn More About the Butterfly Viper

Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: