Dotan Rotem of the Science division of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority reported on Friday morning that the viper is recognized as one of the venomous snakes in northern Israel. In fact, it is the only poisonous snake on the shores of the Mediterranean.
There’s another species of viper at the top of Mount Hermon. Other venomous snakes in Israel inhabit the desert region.
In the spring, the vipers emerge from their near-hibernation of the cold winter, and the males go about the business of establishing their territory, especially if there’s a female nearby.
As it is in many cases of conflict between males, their intent is not to kill the opponent, only to define who is stronger and more dominant. Apparently, in the twisting of one body around the other, they exert force and thus show who is stronger. They also open their mouths wide to make themselves appear bigger.