Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 15737580
Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 2005 Apr;35(1):35-47
We used mtDNA sequences (cytochrome b and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2) to reconstruct molecular phylogenies of Vipera sensu lato, Vipera sensu stricto, and Vipera aspis. Three major clades were identified within the Vipera s.l. group: (1) the European vipers, (2) the oriental vipers, consisting of Montivipera (Vipera 2) plus Macrovipera lebetina, and (3) a group of Asian and North African vipers consisting of Daboia russelii, V. palaestinae, and Macrovipera mauritanica. We also distinguished three clades within the monophyletic European Vipera group: V. ammodytes, V. aspis, and V. latastei, and Pelias with monophyly of Vipera 1 uncertain. Within V. aspis, the specimens collected in France formed the sister group of an Italian clade. The “neurotoxic” French population of V. aspis, which has a specific venom profile, separated from other French V. aspis early in the history of this group.