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Trimeresurus andersonii THEOBALD, 1868

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Anderson’s pitviper, Andaman pitviper 
SynonymTrimeresurus andersoni THEOBALD 1868
Trimeresurus purpureomaculatus andersoni — SMITH 1943: 521
Trimeresurus purpureomaculatus andersonii — WELCH 1994: 117
Trimeresurus purpureomaculatus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 342
Trimeresurus andersonii — GUMPRECHT et al. 2004
Cryptelytrops andersonii — MALHOTRA & THORPE 2004
Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) andersonii — DAVID et al. 2011
Trimeresurus andersonii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 741
Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) andersoni— MIRZA et al. 2023 
DistributionIndia (Andaman Islands, Nicobar Islands).

Type locality: given as “Andaman Islands” by THEOBALD 1876: 224.  
TypesHolotype: ZSI 3057, "Andaman Is." (in the Bay of Bengal, India). 
DiagnosisCharacters (Andaman islands): “Dorsal scales feebly keeled, in 21:21–23:15–19 rows; ventrals 175–185; subcaudals 55–77, divided; anal single; preoculars 2; postoculars 2–3; cephalic scales 10–12. Females tend to be of a lighter shade of creamy yellow to light brown; males are normally a bit darker with coffee brown to darker shades with or without intermittent black or brown banded pattern. Venter plain or alternatively banded with dark brown and white.” (Chandramouli 2022) 

Subspecies: Traditionally treated as a subspecies of Trimeresurus purpureomaculatus (Gray in: Gray and Hardwicke, 1832) by Smith (1943) and subsequent workers, but phylogenies based on molecular data reveal that the species purpureomaculatus as currently understood is polyphyletic, with the Andaman subspecies (andersoni) falling out far from the so-called typical subspecies from mainland southeast Asia (Malhotra and Thorpe, "1997" 1996) [from I. DAS, pers. comm.] Has been reported from the Nicobar Islands but is not listed by DAS 1999.

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. John Anderson (1833-1900), Professor of Natural History at Free Church College, Edinburgh, and Curator of the Indian Museum, Calcutta (1865). 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • CHANDRAMOULI, S. 2022. Snake fauna of the Andaman Islands, Bay of Bengal—A review of species richness, taxonomy, distribution, natural history and conservation status. Zootaxa 5209 (3): 301-331 - get paper here
  • CHEN, ZENING; JIANPING YU, GERNOT VOGEL, SHENGCHAO SHI, ZHAOBIN SONG, YEZHONG TANG, JIA YANG, LI DING, CANGSONG CHEN 2020. A new pit viper of the genus Trimeresurus (Lacépède, 1804) (Squamata: Viperidae) from Southwest China. Zootaxa 4768 (1): 112–128 - get paper here
  • Das, I. 1999. Biogeography of the amphibians and reptiles of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. In: Ota,H. (ed) Tropical Island herpetofauna..., Elsevier, pp. 43-77
  • 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. & Vogel, G. 1996. The snakes of Sumatra. An annotated checklist and key with natural history notes. Bücher Kreth, Frankfurt/M.
  • Gray, J. E. 1831. Illustrations of Indian Zoology: chiefly selected from the collection of Major General Hardwicke. Vol. 1, London (1830-1835) - get paper here
  • Grismer, L. Lee; Tri, Ngo Van; Grismer, Jesse L. 2008. A new species of insular pitviper of the genus Cryptelytrops (Squamata: Viperidae) from southern Vietnam. Zootaxa 1715: 57-68 - get paper here
  • Gumprecht, A.; Tillack, F.; Orlov, N.L.; Captain, A. & Ryabow, S. 2004. Asian pitvipers. Geitje Books, Berlin, 368 pp.
  • 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
  • Malhotra, A. & R. S. THORPE. 1996. New perspectives on the evolution of south-east Asian pitvipers (genus Trimeresurus) from molecular studies. In: Venomous snakes: ecology, evolution and snakebite. pp: 115-128. R. S. Thorpe, W. Wüster and A. Malhotra (eds). The Zoological Society of London/Clarendon Press, Oxford. [1997]
  • 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
  • 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, Bhosale HS, Phansalkar PU, Sawant M, Gowande GG, Patel H 2020. A new species of green pit vipers of the genus Trimeresurus Lacépède, 1804 (Reptilia, Serpentes, Viperidae) from western Arunachal Pradesh, India. Zoosystematics and Evolution 96(1): 123-138 - get paper here
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Theobald, WILLIAM 1868. Catalogue of reptiles in the Museum of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. J. Asiatic Soc. Bengal, Calcutta, 37 (extra number 146): (2), vi, 7-88 - get paper here
  • Theobald,W. 1876. Descriptive catalogue of the reptiles of British India. Thacker, Spink & Co., Calcutta: xiii + 238 pp. - get paper here
  • Vijayakumar, S. P. and Patrick David 2006. Taxonomy, Natural History, and Distribution of the Snakes of the Nicobar Islands (INDIA), based on new materials and with an Emphasis on endemic species. Russ. J. Herpetol. 13 (1): 11 – 40
  • Vogel, Gernot 2014. Die Andamanen – Ein wenig bekanntes Tierparadies. Terraria-Elaphe 2014 (6): 44-55 - 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.
  • Whitaker, Romulus and Ashok Captain 2004. Snakes of India. Draco Books, 500 pp., reprinted 2007 - get paper here
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