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Craspedocephalus trigonocephalus (DONNDORFF, 1798)

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Ceylon Pit Viper, Sri Lankan Green pitviper
G: Ceylon-Lanzenotter 
SynonymColuber capite-triangulatus LACEPEDE 1789
Coluber capitetriangulatus — BONNATERRE 1790
Coluber Trigonocephalus DONNDORFF 1798
Vipera trigonocephala LATREILLE in SONNINI & LATREILLE 1801: 332
Trigonocephalus nigromarginatus KUHL 1820 (fide SMITH 1943)
Trigonocephalus sagittiformis SCHINZ 1822
Megaera olivacea GRAY 1842: 49 (fide SMITH 1943)
? Bothrops nigro-marginatus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854: 1515
Megaera trigonocephala — GÜNTHER 1859: 231
Trimeresurus capitetriangulatus — HOGE & ROMANO-HOGE 1981
Lachesis trigonocephalus — BOULENGER 1896: 559
Trimeresurus trigonocephalus — GÜNTHER 1864
Trimeresurus trigonocephalus — SMITH 1943: 506
Trimeresurus trigonocephalus — WELCH 1994: 117
Trimeresurus trigonocephalus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 347
Trimeresurus trigonocephalus— TU et al. 2000
Trimeresurus trigonocephalus — MALHOTRA & THORPE 2004
Trimeresurus (Craspedocephalus) trigonocephalus — DAVID et al. 2011
Craspedocephalus trigonocephalus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 188
Craspedocephalus trigonocephalus — GUO et al. 2018
Craspedocephalus trigonocephalus — MALLIK et al. 2021
Peltopelor trigonocephalus — MIRZA et al. 2023
Peltopelor trigonocephalus — SILVA et al. 2023
Craspedocephalus (Peltopelor) trigonocephalus — IDIIATULLINA et al. 2023 (by implication) 
DistributionSri Lanka (elevation below 1000 m)

Type locality: originally given as “Habitat in Africae regno Whida”, in error. Given as Ile S. Eustache” by SONNINI & LATREILLE (1801: 332), according to DAVID & INEICH 1999: 292.  
TypesTypes: BMNH 1946.1.17.62-63 (and possibly additional specimens). 

Synonymy: ICZN, 1987, Opinion 1463 ruled that all editions of Lacepede' s Histoire Naturelle des Serpens are unavailable works. For a discussion see Dubois et al. 2021 who argue that capitetriangulatus BONNATERRE 1790 is the correct name for this species.

Habitat: fully arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
  • Botejue, W. Madhava S.; Jayantha Wattavidanage 2012. Herpetofaunal diversity and distribution in Kalugala proposed forest reserve, Western province of Sri Lanka. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 5 (2): 65-80(e38). - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - get paper here
  • Das, I. & De Silva, A. 2005. Photographic guide to snakes and other reptiles of Sri Lanka. New Holland Publishers, 144 pp.
  • 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,P. & Ineich,I. 1999. Les serpents venimeux du monde: systématique et répartition. Dumerilia 3: 3-499
  • de Silva, A. 1998. Snakes of Sri Lanka: a checklist and an annotated bibliography. Dept. Wildlife Conservation/ GEF /UNDP/ FAO, Colombo.
  • Donndorff, JOHANN AUGUST 1798. Zoologische Beyträge zur xiii. Ausgabe des Linnéischen Natursystems. Vol. 3. Leipzig, Weidmannschen, vi+980 pp. - get paper here
  • DUBOIS, ALAIN; THIERRY FRÉTEY; OLIVIER LORVELEC; ANNEMARIE OHLER 2021. The nomenclatural status of the amphibian and reptile nomina introduced by La Cepède in his Histoire Naturelle des Quadrupèdes Ovipares et des Serpens, with comments on various questions of zoological nomenclature. Bionomina 23: 1-180 - get paper here
  • Duméril, A. M. C., Bibron, G. & DUMÉRIL, A. H. A., 1854. Erpétologie générale ou histoire naturelle complète des reptiles. Tome septième. Deuxième partie, comprenant l'histoire des serpents venimeux. Paris, Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret: i-xii + 781-1536 - get paper here
  • Gumprecht, A.; Tillack, F.; Orlov, N.L.; Captain, A. & Ryabow, S. 2004. Asian pitvipers. Geitje Books, Berlin, 368 pp.
  • Gumprecht,A. 1999. Trimeresurus trigonocephalus (LATREILLE). Sauria (Suppl.) 21 (3): 461-466 - get paper here
  • Günther,A. 1859. On the geographical distribution of reptiles. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (3) 3: 221-237 - get paper here
  • Guo, P.; Jadin, R.C.; Malhotra, A. & Li, C. 2009. An investigation of the cranial evolution of Asian pitvipers (Serpentes: Crotalinae), with comments on the phylogenetic position of Peltopelor macrolepis. Acta Zoologica 91: 402-407 - 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
  • Hoer, K. 2013. 27 Jahre Terrarianer – eine Zeitreise. Ophidia 7 (1): 25-33 - get paper here
  • Hoer, Karsten 2014. Haltung und Zucht der Ceylon-Lanzenotter, Trimeresurus trigonocephalus. Terraria-Elaphe 2014 (1): 58-62 (2013) - get paper here
  • Hoge & Romano-Hoge 1981. Poisonous snakes of the world. Part I. Check list of the pit vipers, Viperoidea, Viperidae, Crotalinae. Mem. Inst. Butantan 42/43 [1978-1979]: 179-309 - get paper here
  • ICZN 1987. Opinion 1463. De Lacepede 1788-1789, Histoire Naturelle des Serpens and later editions: rejected as a non-binominal work. Bull. Zool. Nomenclature 44(4): 265-267. - get paper here
  • Idiiatullina SS, Pawangkhanant P, Tawan T, Worranuch T, Dechochai B, Suwannapoom C, Nguyen TV, Chanhome L, Poyarkov NA 2023. Limestone jewel: A new colourful karst-dwelling pitviper (Serpentes: Viperidae: Trimeresurus) from the poorly explored borderlands of southern peninsular Thailand. Vertebrate Zoology 73: 697-716 - get paper here
  • Janssen, Jordi and Anslem de Silva 2019. The presence of protected reptiles from Sri Lanka in international commercial trade. TRAFFIC Bulletin 31 (1): 9 - get paper here
  • Janzen, P. 2003. Sinharaja - Der Regenwald des Löwenkönigs. Draco 4 (15): 26-33 - get paper here
  • JANZEN, P. 2021. Morningside – ein herpetologisches Highlight Sri Lankas. Sauria 43 (1): 9-37 - get paper here
  • Janzen, P.; Klaas, P. & Ziesmann, S. 2007. Sri Lankas Schlangenfauna. Draco 7 (30): 56-64 - get paper here
  • Janzen, Peter and Malaka Bopage 2011. The herpetofauna of a small and unprotected patch of tropical rainforest in Morningside, Sri Lanka. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 5 (2): 1-13 - get paper here
  • Karunarathna, Suranjan D. M. S. and A. A. Thasun Amarasinghe 2011. A PRELIMINARY SURVEY OF THE REPTILE FAUNA IN NILGALA FOREST AND ITS VICINITY, MONARAGALA DISTRICT, SRI LANKA. Taprobanica 3 (2): 69-76 - get paper here
  • Kuhl,H. 1820. Beiträge zur Zoologie und vergleichenden Anatomie. Hermannsche Buchhandlung, Frankfurt, 152 pp. - get paper here
  • Laita, Mark 2013. Serpentine. Abrams and PQ Blackwell, Auckland, New Zealand, 200 unnumbered pages
  • Madushanka, Shashi; Chandimal Ranathunga 2019. BIODIVERSITY BASELINE SURVEY: MOUNT K ADVENTURE RESORT, MADAMPE - RATHNAPURA. Mount K Resort, 30 pp. - 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
  • 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
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Mirza ZA, H. T. Lalremsanga, Bhosale H, Gowande G, Patel H, Idiatullina SS, Poyarkov NA 2023. Systematics of Trimeresurus popeiorum Smith, 1937 with a revised molecular phylogeny of Asian pitvipers of the genus Trimeresurus Lacépède, 1804 sensu lato. Evolutionary Systematics 7(1): 91-104 - get paper here
  • Nanayakkara, G. L. A. 1994. The form and function of the procryptic adaptations of the green pit-viper (Trimeresurus trigonocephalus) in Sri Lanka. The Snake 26 (1): 75-78
  • Orlov, N.; Ananjeva, N.; Barabanov, A.; Ryabov, S. & Khalikov, R. 2002. Diversity of vipers (Azemiopinae, Crotalinae) in East, Southeast, and South Asia: annotated checklist and natural history data (Reptilia: Squamata: Serpentes: Viperidae). Faun. Abh. Mus. Tierk. Dresden 23: 177-218
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  • Preißler, D. 2004. Alles über Schlangen. Draco 5 (17): 4-21 - get paper here
  • Pyron, R. Alexander; H.K. Dushantha Kandambi, Catriona R. Hendry, Vishan Pushpamal, Frank T. Burbrink, Ruchira Somaweera 2013. Genus-level phylogeny of snakes reveals the origins of species richness in Sri Lanka. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 66 (3): 969-978 - get paper here
  • Samarawickrama, V.A.M.P.K.; H.I.G.C. Kumara, D.R.N.S. Samarawickrama 2019. Diversity of Reptiles in the Eastern and Southern parts of the Sinharaja Rain Forest. Journal of Tropical Forestry and Environment - get paper here
  • Silva, A., de Alwis, T., Wijesekara, S., & Somaweera, R. 2023. Minimising misidentification of common medically important snakes of Sri Lanka in the hospital setting. Revised version: 17.07.2023 Published: 25.07.2023 - get paper here
  • Silva, Anslem de 2013. Die Ceylon-Lanzenotter, Trimeresurus trigonocephalus (Donndorff, 1798), in Sri Lanka. Ophidia 7 (2): 22-26 - get paper here
  • Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
  • Sonnini de Manoncourt, C.S. and Latreille, P.A. 1801. Histoire Naturelle des Reptiles, avec Figures Dessinees d'Apres Nature. 3. Paris, Librairie encyclopédique de Roret, 332 pp. - get paper here
  • Tu, M.-C. et al. 2000. Phylogeny, Taxonomy, and Biogeography of the Oriental Pitvipers of the Genus Trimeresurus (Reptilia: Viperidae: Crotalinae): A Molecular Perspective. Zoological Science 17: 1147–1157 - get paper here
  • Wall, F. 1906. The poisonous snakes of India and how to recognize them, Part II. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 17: 299-334 - get paper here
  • 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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