3 most dangerous snakes in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is home to 55 species of snakes out of which some are the most dangerous e.g common viper, the Arabian Gulf Sea snake, and the Indian saw-scaled viper. On average, snake bite cases reported in KSA are around 3,700/year with 9 death/per annum.

Indian Saw-Scaled Viper

  • Species: Echis carinatus.

Indian Saw-scaled viper lives in highly populated areas and is considered the most dangerous snake in Saudi Arabia. They have a small size which enables them to live in rocks and sands.

They target rodents, frogs, and lizards. 5mg of its venom can cause death to a human being while it injects 12 mg of venom in its sting!

Indian Saw-Scaled Viper - most dangerous snake in saudi arabia
Indian Saw-Scaled Viper = Echis carinatus.

Arabian Gulf Sea snake

  • Species: Hydrophis Lapemoides.

Arabian Gulf Sea snake lives in the water and also on the land. Although it does not bite often, its venom can cause nausea and damage to the nervous system. Some of Arabian Gulf Sea Snake bites have resulted in deaths so we include them among the most dangerous category.

This creature usually lives on the shallow coastal water and uses its venom to kill and digest the fish and other sea creatures. Its small mouth does not allow it to bite big creatures but be careful of your toes and fingers if you see one!

Arabian Gulf Sea snake
Arabian Gulf Sea snake = Hydrophis Lapemoides.

Common viper

  • Species: Vipera berus.

Common viper is found in almost all parts of Saudi Arabia. It is not as dangerous as other snakes, yet its sting can cause severe pain, swelling, blood blisters, and critical condition if not treated.

They usually do not bite humans as they fear them and hide. Yet, most causes of bites are that someone has stepped on them. In case, you see a common viper near you, either run or just stay still. Do not threaten it!

Common viper
Common viper = Vipera berus.

Source: King Saudi University

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.