Cerastes gasperettii | UAE National Red List of Herpetofauna: Amphibians & Terrestrial Reptiles, Sea Snakes & Marine Turtles

Cerastes gasperettii | Leviton & Anderson, 1967
Countries in Assessment
United Arab Emirates
Country ISO code(s)
Does the assessment cover a marine EEZ area(s)?
Scope (Assessment)
Taxonomic Group
Taxonomic Group Level 2
Assessed taxon level
Taxonomic Notes
Originally assessed for the UAE as the nominate subspecies, Cerastes gasperettii ssp. gasperettii Leviton & Anderson, 1967, but assessment moved to the species-level as only the nominate subspecies is present in the UAE. Indeed, the status of subspecies Cerastes gasperettii ssp. mendelssohni has been under dispute and the general consensus is that it might not be valid (J. Els pers. comm. 2018).
Taxon distribution as listed in assessment
Within the United Arab Emirates, this species is widespread throughout the sandy regions from Ras al Khaimah to the Saudi Arabian border (Gardner 2013, Burriel-Carranza et al. in press) from sea level to 400 m asl.Globally, the species distribution range includes the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Oman, Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, western Iran and Iraq.
Habitats and Ecology
Ecological system type
Terrestrial system
Freshwater system
Marine system
Habitat details as listed in assessment
This species is found in desert and semi-desert areas, preferably with some sand (Gardner 2013).It is a nocturnal and terrestrial animal that may bask on winter days. It often partially buries itself in soft sand by shuffling sand to the sides with its flattened body until only the eyes, horns and snout show above the surfaces. It moves by sidewinding and may cover distances of up to one kilometre a night in search of food (Gardner 2013). Its diet includes rodents such as jerboas and gerbils, lizards and birds (Gardner 2013). Its oviparous with females laying 4-20 eggs which are round shaped and soft leathery, with an incubation period of 60-65 days. Not all individuals have a single enlarge scale (horn) above each eye, this occurrence is not limited to any specific locality as both horned and non-horned specimens can be found within the same area.
Is there a map available in assessment?
Assessed status
Asessment status in full
Least Concern
Assessment status abreviation
Assessment rationale/justification
Within the United Arab Emirates, the species is widespread throughout the sandy regions from Ras al Khaimah to the Saudi Arabian border. The species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, large population, presence in several Protected Areas throughout its range, and as it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. This taxon is not a non-breeding visitor, and it is presumed that any immigration from populations outside the UAE is not significant, and therefore there is no adjustment to the Category according to the IUCN regional and national Guidelines (IUCN 2012).
About the assessment
Assessment year
Assessors/contributors/reviewers listed
UAE National Red List Workshop
Affliation of assessor(s)/contributors/reviewers listed on assessment
Assessor affiliation specific
Criteria system
Criteria system specifics
IUCN v3.1 + Regional Guidelines v4.0
Criteria system used
Criteria Citation
IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1, Second edition. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. iv + 32pp pp. And IUCN. 2012. Guidelines for Application of IUCN Red List Criteria at Regional and National Levels: Version 4.0. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK: IUCN. iii + 41pp.
Endemic to region
Endemism Notes
Is an endemic?: Not_assigned
Threats listed in assessment
There are no major threats to the species, although parts of its distribution range are subject to urban and road development, and it may be persecuted as with all snakes.
Conservation Measures

Conservation measures:
Conservation measures notes:
Required conservation measures:

Scientific Name Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Cerastes gasperettii Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Viperidae Cerastes