4 Types of VENOMOUS Snakes in Morocco! (2023)
Do you want to learn about the types of venomous snakes in Morocco?
If so, you have come to the right place. In the article below, I have listed the MOST COMMON venomous snakes you can expect to see. If I missed any, please leave a Comment at the bottom of the page. 🙂
You’ll see that the venomous snakes in Morocco are very different from each other. They have different sizes, habitats, and even different types of venom. In addition, certain snakes are common to find living around people. For each species, you will find out how to identify that snake correctly, along with pictures, interesting facts, and RANGE MAPS!
Venomous Snakes that Live in Morocco:
#1. Egyptian Cobra
- Naja haje
Also known as the Brown Cobra.
- Adults are 140-259 cm (55-102 in) long.
- The easiest way to recognize the Egyptian Cobra is through its broad, flattened head distinct from its long, ribbed neck, which expands to form a hood when it feels threatened.
- Coloration varies geographically, but the most common is brown. However, some snakes are red, gray, or black.
The Egyptian Cobra is as deadly as it is famous. It can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where Pharaohs used it to symbolize their power to take life. Today, you’ll find this snake in Morocco swimming in shallow waters or resting in abandoned animal burrows.
The venom of the Egyptian Cobra has neurotoxins and cytotoxins that assault the nervous system. Respiratory failure and death may happen in the worst-case scenario. The venom is slow-acting, so seek treatment if you get bitten, even if you don’t immediately show symptoms.
Foraging for food sometimes brings Egyptian Cobras near human settlements. However, it will favor escaping if confronted. Its favorite meals are toads, but it will also go for lizards, birds, and snakes.
#2. Puff Adder
- Bitis arietans
Also known as the African Puff Adder and Common Puff Adder.
- Adults are 100-150 cm (39-59 in) long.
- They are commonly gray to dusty brown, with yellow chevrons on their backs.
- There are two dark bands on the head, one on the crown and one between the eyes.
- Male Puff Adders are usually larger than females.
Puff Adders are one of the most dangerous venomous snakes in Morocco.
This ill-tempered native snake roams savannas, grasslands, and – to the great misfortune of inhabitants – densely populated areas. The Puff Adder gets its name from how it inflates itself when threatened. Instead of moving away, it will hiss a warning to intruders before inflating and striking.
Its distinctive yellow, white, and brown chevron pattern allows the Puff Adder to blend into its surroundings. This camouflage is particularly useful for its lifestyle as an ambush predator. Be careful where you wander because this highly-venomous, fast-striking snake seems to come out of nowhere.
The Puff Adder’s venom contains a cytotoxin that can kill a healthy adult human within a day. Their potent poison and tendency to loiter around footpaths make this snake one to avoid. Watch your step!
#3. Sahara Sand Viper
- Cerastes vipera
Also known as Sahara Hornless Viper, Lesser Cerastes, Common Sand Viper, Egyptian Asp, Cleopatra’s Asp, Avicenna Viper
- These are short snakes, measuring only 20-60 cm (8-24 in) long.
- Body coloration is light brown to orange-red.
- Females are considerably larger than males, and the tips of their tails are distinctly black.
- They have broad, triangular heads when viewed from above.
The Sahara Sand Viper is small, thick-bodied, and highly venomous. Look for this venomous snake in the deserts of Morocco.
A nocturnal predator, the Sahara Sand Viper lays patiently under cover of sand with only its eyes and snout uncovered. It can wait for hours in preparation for an ambush. Occasionally, it uses the black tip of its tail to lure unfortunate lizards, rodents, and geckos to their death.
Its venom is not fatal to humans, but be careful, as bites are serious enough to warrant a visit to the hospital. When threatened, the Sahara Sand Viper rubs the sides of its scaled body together, producing a raspy hissing noise. Observe from a distance, as this is an irritable snake!
#4. Moorish Viper
- Daboia mauritanica
Also known as Sahara Rock Viper, Atlas Blunt-nosed Viper, Atlas Adder, Mountain Adder
- The Moorish Viper grows 130-240 cm (51-94 in) long.
- It’s usually gray or brown, but some have been observed to be red or green.
- Circular spots and pigmented zig-zags appear along the back.
- It has a strong, well-built body, but its weight makes it a slow-moving snake.
Look for the venomous Moorish Viper in Morocco in moderately humid woodlands, watering holes, or rocky crevices. It can be difficult to find because it prefers tight spaces. Upon sensing danger, this species coils into itself, flattening its head and hissing loudly to dissuade attackers.
The Moorish Viper is an ambush predator that hunts during the early evening hours. It strategically positions itself along animal paths and will lie in wait for prey, so use caution when following these trails! It has a taste for lizards, small mammals, and young birds.
Listed as a Near Threatened species by the IUCN, Moorish Vipers are often killed by humans in road encounters or sold by poachers for snake charming exhibitions. Its venom is hemotoxic and will cause excessive bleeding in unlucky victims. Hopefully, not you!
Did you know that snakes are considered venomous, NOT poisonous?
There currently is a common misconception between poisonous and venomous, one is ingested, and the other is injected. So, for example, If you eat something that makes you sick, then it is considered “poisonous.” But if an animal, like a snakes, delivers its toxins when it bites, then it’s considered “venomous.”
Learn more about animals found in Morocco in these ID Guides:
Which of these venomous snakes have you seen before in Morocco?
Leave a COMMENT below!