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Protobothrops trungkhanhensis ORLOV, RYABOV & NGUYEN, 2009

IUCN Red List - Protobothrops trungkhanhensis - Endangered, EN

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Trungkhanh Pitviper
Vietnamese: Ran luc trung khanh.
Chinese: 越北原矛头蝮 
SynonymProtobothrops trungkhanhensis ORLOV, RYABOV & NGUYEN 2009
Protobothrops trungkhanhensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 573 
DistributionVietnam (Cao Bang), China, elevation 500-700 m.

Type locality: Trung Khanh Nature Reserve, Trung Khanh district, Cao Bang province, N-E Vietnam, elevation 600 m.  
TypesHolotype: ZISP 25351 (Fn 123); an adult male, collected in September 2008 by Tao Nguyen Thien, Nikolai L. Orlov, Sergei A. Ryabov. 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: Extremely small size for Protobothrops, up to 733 mm (SVL adult male is up to 591 mm, Lcd142 mm; SVL female is up to 576 mm, Lcd 123 mm); body slender, slightly compressed; V -188194; Scd - 75 - 76 pairs; anal plate is entire. Scale rows oblique, rhomboid, strongly keeled, including first row of dorsal scales; Sql - 19, Sq2 - 19, Sq3 - 17 rows. The head is very small, triangular and clearly distinct from the neck, covered by very small, convex shields of irregular shape on the upper surface. Supralabials - 8 - 9, infralabials -11 - 12; the first supralabial is clearly. divided from large N; the rostral shield forms isosceles triangle with truncated top; SO - 2 (an terior very large, posterior very small); SubO - I, thin and very long; PrO - 3; PtO - 1; symphysial relatively large, triangular; anterior genial shields very large, posterior genial shields small. Nostril very large, trapeziform. The dorsal coloration of the body and the head of males and females identically are grayish-brown. Across body and tail pass 76 - 84 dark brown bands with rough edges, often broken into separate spots most intensive colored in the middle of dorsum. The belly is dark gray, almost black close-by tail; tip of tail without any elements of red coloration (from ORLOV et al. 2009). 

Chen et al. (2013) found specimens in Guangxi that are intermediary between Protobothrops maolanensis and P. trungkhanhensis.

Illustration: cover photo on Herpetological Review 43 (1) [2012].

Distribution: see map in Guo et a. 2016: 383 (Fig. 1).

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyThe species received the name derived from the name (in Vietnamese) of Trung Khanh Town and Trung Khanh Nature Reserve, Cao Bang province, N-E Vietnam. 
  • CHEN, Tian-bo; LUO Jian, MENG Yuan-jun, WEN Bo-hao, JIANG Ke 2013. Discovery of Protobothrops maolanensis in Guangxi, with Taxonomic Discussion. Sichuan Journal of Zoology 32 (1): 116-118 - get paper here
  • GUO, PENG; QIN LIU, TAO WEN, RONG XIAO, MING FANG, GUANGHUI ZHONG, NGUYEN Q. TRUONG, FEI ZHU, ROBERT C. JADIN, CAO LI 2016. Multilocus phylogeny of the Asian Lance-headed pitvipers (Squamata, Viperidae, Protobothrops). Zootaxa 4093 (3): 382–390 - 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
  • Nguyen, Thomas Ziegler & Truong Quang; 2010. New discoveries of amphibians and reptiles from Vietnam. Bonn Zool. Bull. 57 (2): 137–147 - get paper here
  • Orlov, Nikolai L.; Sergei A. Ryabov, and Nguyen Thien Tao 2009. Two New Species of Genera Protobothrops Hoge et Romano-Hoge, 1983 and Viridovipera Malhotra et Thorpe, 2004 (Ophidia: Viperidae: Crotalinae) from Karst Region in Northeastern Vietnam. Part I. Description of a New Species of Protobothrops Genus. Russ. J. Herpetol. 16 (1): 69-82 - get paper here
  • PAN, Hujun; Basundhara CHETTRI, Daode YANG, Ke JIANG, Kai WANG, Liang ZHANG and Gernot VOGEL 2013. A New Species of the Genus Protobothrops (Squamata: Viperidae) from Southern Tibet, China and Sikkim, India. Asian Herpetological Research 4 (2): 109–115 - 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.
  • Wang, Kai; Jinlong Ren, Hongman Chen, Zhitong Lyu, Xianguang Guo Ke Jiang, Jinmin Chen, Jiatang Li, Peng Guo, Yingyong Wang, Jing Che 2020. The updated checklists of amphibians and reptiles of China. Biodiversity Science 28 (2): 189-218 - get paper here
  • YANG, JIAN-HUAN; NIKOLAI L. ORLOV & YING-YONG WANG 2011. A new species of pitviper of the genus Protobothrops from China (Squamata: Viperidae). Zootaxa 2936: 59–68 - get paper here
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