Difference between Viper and Serpent

When referring to snakes and vipers, both terms are used as if they were synonyms, however, they are not, both terms have very different taxonomic definitions. To know the difference, you have to study the species thoroughly.


Better known as viperines or asps, they are a subfamily of snakes, as are the crotalos, which belong to the viperidae family. Vipers are distinguished by their powerful poisons, during ancient times in the Punic wars sacks with vipers were thrown at enemy ships. These reptiles have long, hollow fangs in the upper jaw, they retract against the palate when the mouth is closed and when the mouth is open they spread out to attack the prey.

The hollow fangs allow the venom to be injected into the blood and tissues of the victim. Its head is triangular and wide, covered with scales and its pupils are vertical. Vipers are mostly ovoviviparous. They are distributed throughout the world thanks to their great ability to adapt to the environment. They are not found in America, Australia, Madagascar and other islands. They are mostly endemic to Africa. There are 99 known species of vipers.


Also called snakes or snakes, it is a suborder of the sauropsids or reptiles. They are characterized by having an elongated body devoid of limbs. Snakes can be venomous or constrictive depending on the species.

There are about 450 genera and 3,460 species of snakes in the world. Snakes use their scales to move. Pythons and boas have tiny limbs that help them move.

Difference Between Viper and Serpent

  • Vipers belong to the snake family.
  • Snakes can be venomous or constrictors.
  • Vipers are entirely poisonous.
  • Vipers lack limbs, snakes such as boas or pythons have very small limbs.

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