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Ocellate Mountain Viper

Montivipera wagneri

Did you know?

  • Ocellate mountain vipers are part of the Viperinae family, which they share with other vipers.
  • They are also known as "Wagner's vipers."
  • The Saint Louis Zoo reproduces this species regularly, a big victory for this endangered species!
  • They are venomous.
  • They are found in lush mountain valleys.

Mountain Dweller

This mountain-dweller occupies dry, warm slopes where temperatures fall at night. It's usually only active during the day. Its pattern of orangish-brown spots helps the snake blend in with its surroundings.

Ovoviviparous Animal

Like many vipers, ocellate mountain vipers are ovoviviparous; a female produces eggs that develop in her body and hatch within or immediately after releasing from her body. This makes it look like they give live birth, but it is a bit more complicated than that!

Threat Level

  • Unknown
  • Common
  • Near Threatened
  • Threatened
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the Wild


The Ocellate Mountain Viper faces a very high risk of extinction in the wild.


Eastern Turkey, northwestern Iran


Rocky, grassy country in mountain areas

We care about ocellate mountain vipers

This rare snake was thought to be extinct for nearly 140 years but then was "re-discovered" in eastern Turkey in 1983. Once the word got out, the news led to severe over-collecting by European and Turkish snake collectors, which has become a serious threat. The Saint Louis Zoo supports this species in the Charles H. Hoessle Herpetarium at the Zoo.

Learn more about how we are helping wildlife around the world.

Dedicated to Conservation

Find this animal in Historic Hill


Historic Hill

Historic Hill is a lovely stroll through one of the oldest parts of the Saint Louis Zoo. From the 1904 World’s Fair Flight Cage to the Spanish architectural flavor of the 1920s in the Bird House, Primate House and Herpetarium to the finishing touches of our thoroughly modern exhibits, this area of the Zoo has a unique ambiance and a nostalgic history that make it a great destination.

Explore Historic Hill