Sand rattle otters

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Sand rattle otters
Common sand-rattle otter (E. carinatus)

Common sand-rattle otter ( E. carinatus )

without rank: Toxicofera
Subordination : Snakes (serpentes)
Superfamily : Adder-like and viper-like (Colubroidea)
Family : Vipers (Viperidae)
Subfamily : Real vipers (Viperinae)
Genre : Sand rattle otters
Scientific name
Merrem , 1820

The sand rattle otters ( Echis ) are a genus of desert-dwelling vipers . The habitat of the sand razor otters are arid, desert-like areas of India , Sri Lanka , Arabia and Northeast Africa . The snakes are considered dangerous and are responsible for around 100,000 bite accidents annually.


The sand rattle otters are small to medium-sized vipers. They are on average 30 to 50 cm long, the maximum lengths are 80 to 90 cm. They have a head with a triangular shape that is clearly set off from the body, and the body looks relatively slim compared to other vipers. The body of the animals is spotted, the basic color varies between gray and brown tones.

They owe their name to their side scales , which, when rubbed together, create a rustling sound like two sheets of sandpaper rubbed together.

Sand rattle otters are preferably crepuscular and nocturnal, during the day the snakes like to hide under bushes, stones and piles of dry wood.

Like other desert snakes, sand rattle otters can cross winds .


Arabian sand otter ( Echis coloratus )

According to the current state of knowledge, the genus comprises eight species:

In addition to these, other species are named in various sources, for example:


The sand rattle otters are one of the most dangerous snakes for humans because of their potent venom and frequent bite accidents. It is estimated that they are responsible for more than 5,000 deaths annually - more than any other species of snake. Although they are often no longer than 50 cm, they have relatively large fangs. They are aggressive and aggressive. Excited, they put their bodies in slings and rub them together; this creates a rattling noise. The head lies in the middle of the spinning spiral. If a suitable opportunity arises, they strike with great force. Presumably the animals don't hiss because a lot of moisture is expelled through the nostrils.


  1.  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  2. according to ITIS
  3. What are the world's deadliest animals? BBC News, June 15, 2016, accessed September 16, 2018 .

Web links

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