Protobothrops kaulbacki (SMITH, 1940)
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|Higher Taxa||Viperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||E: Kaulback’s lance-headed pitviper|
G: Kaulbacks Grubenotter
|Synonym||Trimeresurus kaulbacki SMITH 1940: 485|
Trimeresurus kaulbacki — SMITH 1943: 512
Trimeresurus kaulbacki — WELCH 1994: 117
Protobothrops kaulbacki — KRAUS et al. 1996
Protobothrops kaulbacki — LEVITON et al. 2003
Protobothrops kaulbacki — GUMPRECHT et al. 2004
Protobothrops kaulbacki — WALLACH et al. 2014: 572
|Distribution||N Myanmar (= Burma), China (Yunnan ?), India (Arunachal Pradesh, Papum Pare District)|
Type locality: Pangnamdim, north of the Triangle, Upper Burma.
|Reproduction||oviparous (Smith 1940)|
|Types||Holotype: BMNH 1918.104.22.168–24); 1943:512|
|Diagnosis||DIAGNOSIS (DIAGNOSTIC CHARACTERS). Scales in 23–25 longitudinal rows at midbody; body elongate, head long, massive, with narrow snout; canthus rostralis sharp; single large, squarish loreal; first upper labial completely separated from nasal by a suture; second upper labial anteriorly bordering facial pit; 8–10 scales in line between supraoculars; supraoculars usually single, flat, without a vertical projection; dull grayish or olive green with large, blackish rhombohedral dorsal blotches, either distinct or united to one another; smaller spots on sides; symmetrical yellow lines on head; subcaudals paired; ventrals 201–212; subcaudals 66–78, some of the anterior scutes may be single, others paired; hemipenes with spines. Total length males 1340 mm, females 1410 mm; tail length males 225 mm, females 230 mm. [after LEVITON 2003]|
Original description: “Snout three times as long as the diameter of the eye: upper head scales rather small, unequal, smooth, scarcely imbricate, those on the snout larger than those on the crown of the head; supraoculars large, entire, 8-10 scales in a line between them; internasals large, broader than long, in contact with one another, or separated by 1 or 2 scales 2 enlarged scales in a line between the internasals and supraoculars ; 8 supralabials, first entirely separated from the nasal, second forming the anterior border of the loreal pit, third largest; anterior genials very large, followed by 5 or 6 pairs of smaller scales, the two series separated from one another by a deep mental groove no series of scales between the labial and the subocular; temporal scales smooth, the series just above the labials being much larger than the others.
Scales in 25/25/19 or 17 rows, strongly keeled, except the outer one or two rows. V. male 205, female 204, C. male 75+, female 70, some of the anterior ones being single.” (Smith 1940)
Coloration: “Olive green above, with a series of dark, diamond-shaped or angular
vertebral spots, which may be united to one another and form a zig-zag band sides with much smaller and less distinct spots, corresponding in position with the vertebral ones each vertebral spot covers from 12 to 20 scales, which are green at the centres and black at the edges lower parts grey, with large, squarish or semi-lunar yellow spots throat and anterior part of the body mostly whitish top of the head black with yellow longitudinal lines, one extending from the tip of the snout to
between the eyes where it divides, the arms diverging and extending backwards to connect above the angle of the mouth with a line which passes backwards from the eye nape with 2 parallel longitudinal lines upper lip uniform yellow.” (Smith 1940)
Comparisons: “Trimeresurus kaulbacki is most nearly related to T. jerdoni to which
it bears a stong resemblance. It differs in the longer and narrower head, in the greater number of scales round the body, the greater number of ventral and in colouration. The head markings, although of the same pattern, are more clearly defined, as also are the dorsal spots.” (Smith 1940)
Distribution: see map in Guo et a. 2016: 383 (Fig. 1). Possibly in Yunnan (China) but records from there are questionable (Wang et al. 2022).
Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018).
|Etymology||Named after Lieutenant-Colonel Ronald John Henry Kaulback (1909-1995), a British intelligence officer, botanist and explorer who travelled extensively in Myanmar, Tibet, and China. The name has also been spelled s “Kaulbach”, e.g. in the National Portrait Gallery, London.|
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