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Echis facts for kids

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An Indian Saw-scaled Viper, E. carinatus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Viperinae
Genus: Echis

Echis is a genus of venomous vipers found in dry regions of Africa, Middle East, Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka. The name "Echis" is a Greek word which means "viper". Echis is also known as the "Saw-scaled Vipers", or the "Carpet Vipers". They are responsible for most of the snakebites and deaths in the world. There is currently eight species found.


The Saw-scaled Vipers are a small group of snakes, with adults growing up to the length of 90 cm (36 in). Its head is short, wide and pear-shaped, its snout is short and round, and it has large eyes.

Where it lives

The Saw-scaled Viper is found in dry regions (like deserts) in Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka.


Not much is known about what the Saw-scaled Vipers eat, but some say they eats beetles, spiders, scorpions, centipedes, other snakes, small mammals and birds.


Most species of the Saw-scaled Viper, like the ones found in Africa, are oviparous meaning they lay eggs, while other species, like the ones found in India, are viviparous meaning they give live birth.


  • Indian Saw-scaled Viper, E. carinatus
  • Palestine Saw-scaled Viper, E. coloratus
  • Hughes' Saw-scaled Viper, E. hughesi
  • Jogers' Saw-scaled Viper, E. jogeri
  • White-bellied Carpet Viper, E. leucogaster
  • Cherlin's Saw-scaled Viper, E. megalocephalus
  • African Saw-scaled Viper, E. ocellatus
  • Egyptian Saw-scaled Viper, E. pyramidum

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