Atheris is a genus of venomous vipers found only in tropical subsaharan Africa, excluding southern Africa. Confined to rain forest areas, many members have isolated and fragmented distributions. In an interesting example of convergent evolution, they show many similarities to the arboreal pit vipers of Asia and South America. Ten species are currently recognized.They are relatively small in size, with adults ranging in total length (body + tail) from 40 cm (16 in) for A. katangensis to a maximum of 78 cm (31 in) for A. squamigera.The body is slender, tapering, and slightly compressed. The dorsal scales are overlapping, strongly keeled and have apical pits. Laterally these are smaller than the middorsals. Midbody there are 14–36 rows of dorsal scales. There are 133–175 rounded ventral scales. The subcaudal scales are single and number 38–67. The tail is strongly prehensile and can support the body while suspended from a branch or a twig.
From : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheris