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Daboia russelii (SHAW & NODDER, 1797)

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Viperinae, Colubroidea, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Russel’s Viper
G: Kettenviper 
SynonymColuber Russelii [sic] SHAW & NODDER 1797: plate 291
Vipera elegans DAUDIN 1803: 447
Daboia elegans — GRAY 1842: 69
Daboia pulchella GRAY 1842: 69
Daboia Russellii GRAY 1849
Daboia elegans — SHORTT 1863: 384
Vipera Russellii STRAUCH 1869
Vipera russelli — SMITH 1943: 482
Vipera russelli nordicus DERANIYAGALA 1945
Daboia russelii — OBST 1983
Daboia (Daboia) russelli pulchella — OBST 1983
Daboia russelli russelli — WELCH 1994: 51
Daboia russellii — MANTHEY & GROSSMANN 1997: 434
Daboia russelii — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 371
Vipera russelli — SHARMA 2004
Daboia russelii — THORPE et al. 2007
Daboia russelii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 208
Daboia russelli — GAYEN et al. 2019 (in error) 
DistributionPakistan, India (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Northern Bengal), Nepal, Sri Lanka (elevation up to 1500 m), Bangladesh

Type locality: Coromandel Coast [India]  
Reproductionovoviviparous, 5-50 live offspring. 
TypesSyntypes: BMNH 1946.1.20.92
Holotype: NSMT H03312 [formosensis] 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS: No sensory pit between nostril and eye; head very distinct from neck, above covered by small, keeled, imbricate scales, 6–9 between narrow supraoculars; nostril large, in large nasal shield which, below, is fused to the rostral; eye, with vertically elliptic pupil, surrounded by 10–15 small scales, 3–4 rows of small scales separating the circumocular scales from the upper labials; temporals small; 10–12 upper labials; 27–33 longitudinal rows of scales at midbody, all except outmost row strongly keeled; ventrals 153–180; subcaudals 41–64, all paired; color above light brown with 3 longitudinal series of large black-margined brown spots or blotches, the vertebral series often merging to form a chain-like longitudinal stripe, occasionally an additional longitudinal series of small dark spots between vertebral and lateral series; yellowish white below occasionally with dark brown markings. Total length to 1600 mm are not uncommon (fide Smith 1943:484). [after LEVITON 2003] 
CommentVenomous! Possibly the most common of the dangerously venomous snakes occurring in southern Asia, and responsible for more than half of all reported snakebites.

Distribution: Possibly in Bhutan (Lenz 2012).

Subspecies: Wüster (1998) recognized only russelii and siamensis as subspecies. Daboia russelii siamensis (SMITH 1917) has been elevated to full species status.

Type species: Daboia elegans Gray, 1842 is the type species of the genus Daboia GRAY 1842.

Synonymy: Kaiser et al. 2013 considered the generic name Maxhoservipera Hoser 2012 invalid and rejected its use instead of Daboia.

NCBI taxonID: 97228 [pulchella] 
EtymologyNamed for Patrick Russell [sic!], author of “Indian Serpents” (1796). However, SHAW consistently spelled both Russell and the species epithet with a single “l”, therefore the name has to be russeli in accordance with the Code. For an extensive discussion of the nomenclatural history of this species see MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999 and ADLER et al. 2000. For biographical and other information on Russell see the series of papers in Hamadryad (2016). 
References
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