This viper grows up to 18 - 24 inches (46 - 60 cm). Its maximum length can go up to 31 inches (78 cm). The female is usually larger than the male. The head is large, flat, and broad from the neck. Compared to other snake species, it has larger eyes and has elliptical pupils. The nose openings are partly divided and lateral in position. It has a gland located on the upper jaw, which supplies venom to its tubular, long, and hollow fangs. The body is covered by keeled, overlapping scales.
It is a nocturnally active snake; otherwise normally, it is an inactive snake. Like other vipers, it has a feature of making a surprise attack and can wait at the same place for quite a long time, till its prey comes in its territory. Once the prey is in range, it strikes very fast and accurately. It is observed that it hangs itself on the trees while preying. It is mostly a solitary species, except in the mating season. Its behavior in the mating season varies a lot to attract potential mates. This snake raises its anterior position when threatened.
It feeds on varied animals, from birds, lizards, rodents, to other snakes.