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Craspedocephalus borneensis (PETERS, 1872)

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Borneo Pit Viper
G: Borneo-Bambusotter 
SynonymAtropophis borneensis PETERS 1872
Atropophis borneensis — MÜLLER 1887
Lachesis borneensis — BOULENGER 1896
Trimeresurus borneensis — BARBOUR 1912
Lachesis puniceus (nec Cophias punicea BOIE 1827) — BOULENGER 1986
Trimeresurus puniceus (partim) — SMITH 1930
Trimeresurus borneensis — WELCH 1994: 113
Trimeresurus borneensis — MANTHEY & GROSSMANN 1997: 408
Trimeresurus borneensis — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 330
Trimeresurus borneensis — MALHOTRA & THORPE 2004
Trimeresurus borneensis — DAVID et al. 2006
Trimeresurus (Craspedocephalus) borneensis — DAVID et al. 2011
Craspedocephalus borneensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 187
Craspedocephalus borneensis — GUO et al. 2018
Craspedocephalus borneensis — MALLIK et al. 2021
Craspedocephalus borneensis — MIRZA et al. 2023 
DistributionIndonesia (Kalimantan, Sumatra; Borneo, perhaps other islands); Brunei Darussalam; Malaysia (East Malaysia: Borneo)

Type locality: “Sarawack” [= Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia, by implication]  
TypesSyntypes: ZMB 7146, MSNG 8383 (2 specimens) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A species of the genus Trimeresurus, endemic to Borneo Island according to the present definition, characterized by the combination of the following characters: (1) an overall grey, brown or ochre pattern with 20–30 darker crossbands, distinctly related to the sex: in males, background colour in various shades of greyish-brown or yellowish- grey, with darker dorsolateral blotches, sometimes horizontally divided into two distinct blotches, separated darker areas and powdered with both cream and dark dots, giving a rather confused pattern; in females, pattern less contrasted, in shades of ochre or yellowhish-brown with more or less brown subrectangular dorsolateral blotches, often with broad darker edges and a wide lighter centre, producing a “saddle-like” pattern; males have a more complex pattern, but are especially much darker than females; (2) a distinctly projected and raised snout, strongly obliquely truncated when seen from the side, subrectangular seen from above; (3) internasals projected, strongly spatulate and bilobate, distinctly upturned; (4) 19 or usually 21 (rarely 20) DSR at midbody; (5) 1st supralabial distinct from nasal; (6) 2nd supralabials bordering the whole of the anterior margin of the loreal pit; (7) 1 to 3 moderate, narrow supraoculars, usually flat, rarely convex; (8) VEN: 149–166, SC: 41–67; (9) occipital and temporal scales distinctly keeled in both sexes in adults, less so in juvenile specimens; (10) IL of the first pair not in contact each with the other; (11) hemipenes short, reaching 11th SC, entirely spinose; and (12) adult females usually light colored [from DAVID et al. 2006]. 

"There has been considerable confusion in the literature between Trimeresurus puniceus and the present species [...] We agree with Hoge & Romano (1974) and Toriba (1992) about the validity of this species, which was long considered a synonym of T. puniceus. The morphological differences between the two species are significant and constant enough to warrrant specific distinction (David & Vogel, in prep.)." (David & Vogel, 1996)

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyNamed after its distribution on Borneo (Indonesia). 
  • Ahmad, Norhayati; Eddie Ahmad, Mahathir Ratag, Edward Asrul Alimin Sinon, Brandon Don, Francer Francis, Muhammad Ridzuan Mahmod, Amshari Agimin, Daicus Belabut 2019. Amphibians and Reptiles of Imbak Canyon Study Centre and Batu Timbang Camp. Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation 16: 25–33
  • Asad, Sami and Cliff Harman. 2014. Trimeresurus borneensis (Bornean palm pit viper) diet. Herpetological Review 45 (4): 714-715 - get paper here
  • Das, I. 2012. A Naturalist's Guide to the Snakes of South-East Asia: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali. Oxford J, ohn Beaufoy Publishing - get paper here
  • DAVID, PATRICK; GERNOT VOGEL & ALAIN DUBOIS 2011. On the need to follow rigorously the Rules of the Code for the subsequent designation of a nucleospecies (type species) for a nominal genus which lacked one: the case of the nominal genus Trimeresurus Lacépède, 1804 (Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae). Zootaxa 2992: 1–51 - get paper here
  • David, Patrick; Vogel, Gernot; Vijayakumar, S.P.; Vidal, Nicolas 2006. A revision of the Trimeresurus puniceus – complex (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae) based on morphological and molecular data. Zootaxa 1293: 1-78 - get paper here
  • David,P. & Vogel, G. 1996. The snakes of Sumatra. An annotated checklist and key with natural history notes. Bücher Kreth, Frankfurt/M.
  • Gumprecht, A.; Tillack, F.; Orlov, N.L.; Captain, A. & Ryabow, S. 2004. Asian pitvipers. Geitje Books, Berlin, 368 pp.
  • Gumprecht,A. 2001. Die Bambusottern der Gattung Trimeresurus Lacépède Teil IV: Checkliste der Trimeresurus-Arten Thailands. Sauria 23 (2): 25-32 - get paper here
  • Guo, Peng; Qin Liu, Guanghui Zhong, Fei Zhu, Fang Yan, Ting Tang, Rong Xiao, Min Fang, Ping Wang and Xin Fu 2015. Cryptic diversity of green pitvipers in Yunnan, South-west China (Squamata, Viperidae). Amphibia-Reptilia 36 (3): 265 - 276 - get paper here
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • Malhotra, Anita & Thorpe, Roger S. 2004. A phylogeny of four mitochondrial gene regions suggests a revised taxonomy for Asian pitvipers (Trimeresurus and Ovophis). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 32: 83 –100 [erratum p. 680] - get paper here
  • Malkmus, R.; Manthey, U.; Vogel, G. Hoffmann, P. & Kosuch, J. 2002. Amphibians and reptiles of Mount Kinabalu (North Borneo). A.R.G. Ganther Verlag, Rugell, 404 pp.
  • Mallik AK, Srikanthan AN, Ganesh SR, Vijayakumar SP, Campbell PD, Malhotra A, Shanker K 2021. Resolving pitfalls in pit viper systematics – A multi-criteria approach to species delimitation in pit vipers (Reptilia, Viperidae, Craspedocephalus) of Peninsular India reveals cryptic diversity. Vertebrate Zoology 71: 577-619 - get paper here
  • Manthey, U. & Grossmann, W. 1997. Amphibien & Reptilien Südostasiens. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 512 pp. - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Nutphand, W., Cox, M.J., Trutnau, L. & Smith, H.M. 1991. The status of the Thai palm viper, Trimeresurus wiroti. Bull. Maryland Herp. Soc. 27 (3): 146-156 - get paper here
  • Peters, Wilhem Carl Hartwig 1872. Übersicht der von den Herren Mse G. Doria und Dr O. Beccari in Sarawack auf Borneo von 1865 bis 1868 gesammelten Amphibien. Annali del Museo Civico de Storia Naturale di Genova ser. 1, 3: 27-45 - get paper here
  • Stuebing, R.B. & INGER, R.F. 1999. A field guide to the snakes of Borneo. Natural history Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu, 254 pp. [corrections in HR 31: 124]. - get paper here
  • Stuebing, R.B., Inger, R.F. & Lardner, B. 2014. A field guide to the snakes of Borneo, second edition. Natural history Publications (Borneo)
  • Toriba, M. 1992. A comment on the status of the Thai palm viper Trimeresurus wiroti. The Snake, Nittagun, 24: 71-73
  • Trutnau, L. 1981. Schlangen im Terrarium. Bd. 2. Stuttgart (Eugen Ulmer), 200 S.
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
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