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Gloydius halys (PALLAS, 1776)

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
SubspeciesGloydius halys affinis (GRAY 1849)
Gloydius halys boehmei NILSON 1983
Gloydius halys caraganus (EICHWALD 1831)
Gloydius halys caucasicus (NIKOLSKY 1916)
Gloydius halys cognatus (GLOYD 1977)
Gloydius halys halys (PALLAS 1776)
Gloydius halys mogoi (BOUR 1993)
Gloydius halys stejnegeri (RENDAHL 1933) 
Common NamesE: Halys Pit Viper (halys: Siberian, boehmei: Böhme’s pitviper, caraganus: Karaganda pitviper, caucasicus: Caucasian pitviper, cognatus: Alashan pitviper, stejnegeri: Gobi pitviper)
G: Halys-Otter 
SynonymColuber halys PALLAS 1776: 703
Trigonocephalus Halys — BOIE 1827
Halys halys — GRAY 1849
Trigonocephalus Halys — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854: 1495
Ancistrodon halys — BOULENGER 1913
Agkistrodon halys — POPE 1935
Ancistrodon halys — SMITH 1943: 499
Agkistrodon halys — HARDING & WELCH 1980
Gloydius halys — HOGE & ROMANO-HOGE 1981
Gloydius halys mogoi BOUR 1993: 395
Agkistrodon halys halys — ORLOV & BARABANOV 1999
Gloydius halys — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 303
Gloydius halys — WALLACH et al. 2014: 310

Gloydius halys affinis (GRAY 1849)
Trigonocephalus (Halys) affinis GRAY 1849: 14
Agkistrodon blomhoffii affinis — STEJNEGER 1907: 461
Agkistrodon halys affinis

Gloydius halys boehmei NILSON 1983
Gloydius halys boehmei — GUMPRECHT et al. 2004

Gloydius halys caraganus (EICHWALD 1831)
Trigonocephalus caraganus EICHWALD 1831
Ancistrodon halys paramonovi NIKOLSKY 1931
Agkistrodon halys caraganus — HARDING & WELCH 1980
Agkistrodon halys caraganus — WELCH 1994: 11
Agkistrodon halys caraganus — LAMBERT 2002
Gloydius halys caraganus — GUMPRECHT et al. 2004

Gloydius halys caucasicus (NIKOLSKY 1916)
Ancistrodon halys caucasicus NIKOLSKY 1916
Agkistrodon (Gloydius) intermedius caucasicus
Agkistrodon halys caucassicus NIKOLSKY 1916
Ancistrodon halys persicus RENDAHL 1933
Agkistrodon halys caucasicus — HARDING & WELCH 1980
Gloydius halys caucasicus — GUMPRECHT et al. 2004

Gloydius halys cognatus (GLOYD 1977)
Agkistrodon halys cognatus GLOYD 1977
Agkistrodon halys cognatus — WELCH 1994: 11
Gloydius halys cognatus — GUMPRECHT et al. 2004

Gloydius halys halys (PALLAS1776)
Coluber halys PALLAS 1776
Agkistrodon halys halys — HARDING & WELCH 1980
Agkistrodon halys halys — WELCH 1994: 11
Gloydius halys halys — GUMPRECHT et al. 2004

Gloydius halys stejnegeri (RENDAHL 1933)
Ancistrodon halys stejnegeri RENDAHL 1933
Gloydius halys stejnegeri — GUMPRECHT et al. 2004 
DistributionChina, N Iran, S/SW Russia, Kazakhstan (between Volga and Ural River), Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, E Afghanistan, Mongolia, Turkmenistan

halys: N China, S Siberia, Mongolia; “salt lake near the Lugaskoi sawod [factory] on the upper yenisey” (Siberia, Russia), according to Gloyd & Conant (1990). Redefined as “naryn or ryn peski (desert), near the russia-Kazakhstan border” by Bour (1993). Type locality: Lower Volga River, Russia; "Salt Lake near the Lugaskoi Sawod [factory] on the Upper Yenisey” [Siberia, Russia], according to Gloyd and Conant, 1990:319. Redefined as Naryn or Ryn Peski desert, near the Russia-Kazakhstan border by Bour (1993: 335). Terra typica restricta. Lugaskoi Zavod (Strauch, 1873). Small salt lakes near Lugaskoi Zavod, Upper Yenisey River (= “Lugaskoi Zawod, oberes Jenissei Gebiet”) [ORLOV & BARABANOV 1999]

boehmei: E Afghanistan; Type locality: Andarab valley, province of Baghlan, 2500 m elevation, east Afghanistan.

caraganus: Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan; from the mouth of the Volga to E Kazakhstan; Type locality: Ora orientali caspii maris Tjuk-karaganensi (= Cape Karagan Hill, Mangyshlak Peninsula, eastern edge of the Caspian Sea, western Kazakhstan).

caucasicus: S Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, N Iran, NW Afghanistan. Type locality: Lenkoransky Uezd (now Lenkoran
District, south-eastern Azerbaijan).

cognatus: NC China. Type locality: Choni, on the Tao River, Gansu Province, China.

paramonovi (invalid): Uzbekistan; Type locality: “in montibus Tschimganensis altitudine 1500- 2500 m probe urbem Taschkent in Turkestano” (= mountains near Tashkent, Uzbekistan).

stejnegeri: China, SE Mongolia. Type locality: China. Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
TypesNeotype: ZISP 14784. Borgaiskaya steep, 84 km W from Kyakhta town, Burin-Khan mountain. Leg.: P. S. Mikhno, July 20, 1930 (designated by Orlov and Barabanov 2000).
Holotype: ZFMK 8648 [boehmei]
Neotype: ZISP 2200 Mangyshlak Peninsula. Leg.: K. Baer, 1854 [caraganus]
Neotype: ZISP19017.1, adult male, Azerbaijan, Lenkoran District, vicinity of the Kirovsk town. Leg.: V. E. Dmitrijev, May 15, 1978; Lectotype (designated by VEDMEDERYA et al. 2009). MNKNU 14942, [caucasicus]
Holotype: USNM 68586. Paratypes. USMN 68504, 68506, 68541 [cognatus]
Lectotype: NHRM 1923 809.2780 [stejnegeri] 

Distribution: see maps in ORLOV & BARABANOV 1999.

Subspecies: Agkistrodon halys ussuriensis and other subspecies have been elevated to full species status. G. h. liupanensis has been elevated to full species status by Xu et al. 2012.

Synonymy: The status of Trigonocephalus affinis GRAY 1849 remains unclear. MCDIARMID et al. 1999 list it as synonym of G. blomhoffi. GUMPRECHT et al. (2004) do not recognize the subspecies liupanensis, mogoi, and affinis. Zhao 2006 listed Gloydius halys cognatus, liupanensis, qinlingensis, and stejnegeri as synonyms of either G. strauchi or G. intermedius.

Type species: Trigonocephalus Halys — BOIE 1827 is the type species of the genus Gloydius HOGE & ROMANO-HOGE 1981, a replacement name for Halys GRAY 1849, which is pre-occupied by Halys FABRICIUS 1803 (Hemiptera). See also MCDIARMID et al. 1999 for further discussion.

Type specimens: Not located (fide MCDIARMID et al. 1999).

Diagnosis (halys). Dorsal scales in 23 rows at midbody (very seldom 21 or 25); ventrals 141 – 187, sub- caudals 29 – 56; 7 – 9 supralabials. Total length up to 750 mm [ORLOV & BARABANOV 1999].

Diagnosis (halys). A moderately stout viper up to 530 mm total length in males, to 590 mm in females according to Gloyd and Conant (1990), but up to 750 mm fide Orlov and Barabanov (1999). Snout seen in profile recurved; supralabial scales usually 7-9. Apical pits absent. Dorsal scales in 23 (very rarely in 21 or 25) rows around midbody; ventral scales between 164- 178 (147-187 fide Orlov and Barabanov, 1999); subcaudal scales paired, between 42-49 (29-56 fide Orlov and Barabanov, 1999). Body with 33- 47 dark transverse bands, each 3-5 scales wide and extending down to scale row 3 or 2; light areas between blotches relatively narrow. Light line above dark cheek stripe on 1-1.5 adjacent rows of scales [WAGNER et al. 2015].

Diagnosis (boehmei, sensu Nilson, 1983). Total length 438 mm and tail 49 mm. Snout slightly raised. Dorsal scales, except lowermost row, strongly keeled on body and tail. At midbody scale rows are 23, apical pits absent. Two pre- and two postoculars on each side. Supralabials 7, sublabials 11. Ventrals 155, subcaudals 35, anal not divided [ORLOV & BARABANOV 1999].

Diagnosis (boehmei). A small viper up to 487 mm total length. Apical pits absent. Two pre- and two postocular scales on each side. Seven supralabial scales and 11 sublabial scales. Dorsal scales in 23 rows around midbody; ventral scales 155; 35 subcaudal scales paired, cloacal plate not divided. Body with 41 dark transverse bands, each 3-4 scales wide and extending down to scale row 7 or 8 [WAGNER et al. 2015].

Diagnosis (caraganus). A relatively slender and moderately stout viper up to 735 mm total length in males (740 mm and more according to Orlov and Barabanov, 1999), to 530 mm in females. Snout seen in profile slightly recurved, supralabial scales usually 8 (71%) sometimes 7. Apical pits absent. Dorsal scales in 23 (rarely 21) rows around midbody; ventral scales between 149-167 (141-183 fide Orlov and Barabanov, 1999); subcaudal scales paired, between 33-47 (16-51 fide Orlov and Barabanov, 1999). General coloration is pale. Body with 36-50 dark transverse bands, not extending low on the sides and with relatively broad light areas between them [WAGNER et al. 2015].

Diagnosis (caucasicus). Total length up to 660 mm. Supra- labials 7 – 8, rarely 9; dorsal scales in 23 rows at midbody (rarely 25); ventrals 142 – 169; subcaudals 31 – 46 [ORLOV & BARABANOV 1999].

Diagnosis (caucasicus). A moderately stout viper up to 660 mm total length. Supralabial scales 7-8, rarely 9. Dorsal scales in 23 (rarely 25) rows around midbody; ventral scales between 142-169; subcaudal scales paired, between 31-46. Body with 33-42 dark transverse bands, each 4-6 scales wide and extending down to scale row 3 [WAGNER et al. 2015].

Diagnosis (cognatus). Total length up to 590 mm. Supralabials 7 – 8; dorsal scale in 23 rows at midbody, sometimes 21; ventrals 153 – 165; subcaudals 36 – 54 [ORLOV & BARABANOV 1999].

Diagnosis (cognatus). A small viper of the genus, up to 590 mm total length. Supralabial scales 7-8. Dorsal scales in 23 (rarely 21) rows around mid-body; ventral scales between 153-165; subcaudal scales paired, between 36-54. Body with 29- 43 dark transverse bands, each 4-5 scales wide and extending down to scale row 4 to 2 [WAGNER et al. 2015].

Diagnosis (stejnegeri). Supralabials 7 – 8; dorsal scales in 23 rows at midbody; ventrals 147 – 165; subcaudals 39 – 46. Total length up to 625 mm [ORLOV & BARABANOV 1999].

Diagnosis (stejnegeri). A small viper of the genus, up to 625 mm total length. Supralabial scales 7-8. Dorsal scales in 23 rows around midbody; ven- tral scales between 147-165; subcaudal scales paired, between 39-46. Body with 28-38 dark transverse bands, each 3-6 scales wide and ex- tending down to scale row 3 or 2 [WAGNER et al. 2015].

Activity Pattern. Diurnal and night. 
EtymologyThe genus has been named after Howard Kay Gloyd (1902-1978), American herpetologist. 
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