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a genus of venomous snakes of the family Viperidae. Scales on the sides of the body, which form a toothed rib, rub against each other, making a sound similar to water hissing on a very hot stove. The tail is short. The genus embraces two species: E. carinatus and E. colorata.

E. carinatus is found in Africa north of the equator, in South and Southwest Asia as far east as the Ganges and as far south as Sri Lanka, and in Middle Asia. The coloration is grayish or brownish, with dark-edged zigzag bands. There is a light cross-shaped pattern on the head. The body measures 80 cm in length. The snake lives in sandy and clay deserts. It is active at dusk and night. Adults eat small vertebrates, and the young feed primarily on insects, arachnids, and myriopods. An ovoviviparus snake, it bears three to 18 offspring, which measure as much as 16 cm long at birth. The snake is extremely poisonous. Cases of human deaths resulting from the bite of echis snakes have been recorded, but usually the victims become well in a week or two.

E. colorata is found on the Arabian Peninsula, in Egypt, and in Palestine.

References in periodicals archive ?
The maximum activity for Echis pyramidum snake a summer months was recorded between 7.
the average body temperature for Echis pyramidum during winter months was 29.
As for winter, the Echis pyramidum activity was limited and spends most time under trees, bushes and at soil, avoiding cold air current and avoiding wet soil.
As for the analysis of the correlation between Echis pyramidum body temperature and air temperature, it was that correlation coefficient value was 43.
In conclusion, all the similarities between gpMucB and K-PI further support the idea that gpMucB contains a K-PI domain and considering that Echis carinatus venom is a complex mixture of toxins in which proteases strongly contribute to its toxicity, the K-PI activity can explain the direct anti-snake venom neutralization of MPE.
cDNA cloning and deduced amino acid sequence of prothrombin activator (ecarin) from Kenyan Echis carinatus venom.
echis in north-central Texas might not be expected inasmuch as previously published records have shown that it ranges no farther east than New Mexico.
Larvae of the woodrat fleas Anomiopsyllus amphibolus and Atyphloceras echis echis (Siphonaptera: Hystrichopsyllidae).