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Trimeresurus erythrurus (CANTOR, 1839)

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Redtail (bamboo) Pit Viper 
SynonymTrigonocephalus erythrurus CANTOR 1839: 31
Trimeresurus bicolor GRAY 1853 (fide SMITH 1943)
Trimeresurus erythrurus — GÜNTHER 1864: 386
Trimeresurus carinatus FAYRER 1874 (fide SMITH 1943)
Trimeresurus erythrurus — POPE & POPE 1933
Trimeresurus erythrurus — SMITH 1943: 522
Trimeresurus erythrurus — WELCH 1994: 115
Trimeresurus erythrurus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 331
Trimeresurus erythrurus — GUMPRECHT et al. 2004
Cryptelytrops erythrurus — MALHOTRA & THORPE 2004
Trimerusurus erythrurus — LALTANPUIA et al. 2008 (in error)
Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) erythrurus — DAVID et al. 2011
Trimeresurus erythrurus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 741
Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) erythrurus — MIRZA et al. 2023 
DistributionIndia (Assam, Sikkim, Mizoram, West Bengal, Nagaland, Manipur), Bangladesh, Myanmar (= Burma), Nepal, Thailand ? (fide TAYLOR 1965), Bhutan

Type locality: Ganges Delta  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1946.1.19.99 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS (DIAGNOSTIC CHARACTERS). Scales in 23–25 longitudinal rows at midbody; first upper labial partially or completely fused to nasal; 9–13 upper labials, 1–2 rows of scales separate upper labials from subocular; 11–14 scales in a line between supraoculars; supraoculars rarely divided; temporal scales small, strongly keeled; ventrals: males 153–174, females: 151–180; subcaudals: males 62–79, females 49–61, usually paired, occasionally unpaired shields present among paired series; head uniform green, dorsum bright green, light ventrolateral stripe present in males, present or absent in females (Maslin [1942:23] says that the ventrolateral stripe is absent, but Smith [1943:524] states that it is present in males and variable in females), tail spotted with brown; hemipenes without spines. Total length males 575 mm, females 1045; tail length males 120 mm, females 165 mm. [after LEVITON 2003] 

Synonymy: STEJNEGER (1907) synonymizes Trigonocephalus erythrurus CANTOR 1839 with Trimeresurus gramineus.

Distribution: Possibly in Bhutan (Lenz 2012). Some authors report this species from Thailand (like Pauwels et al. 2000), others exclude it from the Thai herpetofauna (e.g. Gumprecht 2001).

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018).

Phylogenetics: T. erythrurus and T. purpureomaculatus are paraphyletic in the tree of Chen et al. 2020. 
EtymologyNamed after Greek erythros = red, reddish, presumably for the sometimes reddish looking skin between dorsal scales in some specimens. 
  • Ao J. M., David P., Bordoloi S., Ohler A. 2004. Notes on a collection of snakes from Nagaland, Northeast India, with 19 new records for this state. Russian Journal of Herpetology 11 (2): 155 – 162
  • Cantor, T. E. 1839. Spicilegium serpentium indicorum [part 1]. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1839: 31-34 - get paper here
  • Cantor,T. 1840. Spicilegium Serpentium Indicorum. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (1) 4: 271-279 - get paper here
  • Chan, K. O., Sind, L. I., Thong, L. I., Ananthanarayanan, S., Rasu, S., Aowphol, A., Rujirawan, A., Anuar, S., Mulcahy, D., Grismer, J. L., & Grismer, L. L. 2022. Phylogeography of mangrove pit vipers (Viperidae, Trimeresurus erythrurus-purpureomaculatus complex). Zoologica Scripta, 00, 1– 12 - 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, Abhijit; Uttam Saikia, B. H. C. K. Murthy, Santanu Dey and Sushil K. Dutta 2009. A herpetofaunal inventory of Barail Wildlife Sanctuary and adjacent regions, Assam, north-eastern India. Hamadryad 34 (1): 117 – 134 - get paper here
  • Das, I. 2012. A Naturalist's Guide to the Snakes of South-East Asia: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Borneo, Sumatra, Java and Bali. Oxford J, ohn Beaufoy Publishing - get paper here
  • 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
  • Deuti, K., Aengals, R., Raha, S., Debnath, S., Sathiyaselvam, P., & Ganesh, S. R. 2021. On further specimens of the Pitviper Trimeresurus erythrurus (Cantor, 1839)(Squamata: Viperidae), with description of a topotype and range extension to the Godavari Basin, peninsular India. Journal of Animal Diversity 3 (1) :110-119 - get paper here
  • Dowling, H.G., & Jenner, J.V. 1988. Snakes of Burma: checklist of reported species and bibliography. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (76): 19 pp. - get paper here
  • Elangbam, P. S., Biakzuala, L., Shinde, P., Decemson, H., Vabeiryureilai, M., & Lalremsanga, H. T. 2023. Addition of four new records of pit vipers (Squamata: Crotalinae) to Manipur, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 15(6), 23315-23326 - 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.
  • Gumprecht,A. 2001. Die Bambusottern der Gattung Trimeresurus Lacépède Teil IV: Checkliste der Trimeresurus-Arten Thailands. Sauria 23 (2): 25-32 - get paper here
  • Günther, A. 1864. The Reptiles of British India. London (Taylor & Francis), xxvii + 452 pp. - get paper here
  • Hakim, J., Trageser, S. J., Ghose, A., Rashid, S. M. A., & Rahman, S. C. 2020. Amphibians and reptiles from Lawachara National Park in Bangladesh. Check List, 16: 1239 - 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
  • Hoser, R. 2012. A new genus of Asian pitviper (Serpentes: Viperidae). Australasian J. Herpetol. 11: 51-52 - get paper here
  • Hoser, R.T. 2012. A revision of the Asian pitvipers, referred to the genus Cryptelytrops Cope, 1860, with the creation of a new genus Adelynhoserea to accommodate six divergent species (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae). Australasian J. Herpetol. 12:06–8. - get paper here
  • Kästle , W., Rai, K. & Schleich, H.H. 2013. FIELD GUIDE to Amphibians and Reptiles of Nepal. ARCO-Nepal e.V., 625 pp. - get paper here
  • Lalremsanga, H. T., Lalbiakzuala, Lalrinsanga, Vanlalchhuana, M., Vanlallawma, A. and Laltlanchhuaha, H. 2020. Trimeresurus erythrurus (red-tailed pit viper). Reproduction. Herpetological Review 51: 158-159. - get paper here
  • Lalremsanga, H.T.; Saipari Sailo and Chinliansiama 2011. Diversity of Snakes (Reptilia: Squamata) and Role of Environmental Factors in Their Distribution in Mizoram, Northeast India. Advances in Environmental Chemistry - get paper here
  • Lawmsanga, Lal; Vanlal Hrima, Lal Biakzuala, Hmar Tlawmte Lalremsanga 2020. First Record of Dicephalism in a Red-tailed Bamboo Pitviper, Trimeresurus erythrurus (Cantor 1839). IRCF Reptiles & Amphibians 27 (2): 262-263 - get paper here
  • Lenz, Norbert 2012. Von Schmetterlingen und Donnerdrachen - Natur und Kultur in Bhutan. Karlsruher Naturhefte 4, Naturkundemuseum Karlsruhe, 124 pp.
  • Leviton, Alan E.; Guinevere O.U. Wogan; Michelle S. Koo; George R. Zug; Rhonda S. Lucas and Jens V. Vindum 2003. The Dangerously Venomous Snakes of Myanmar Illustrated Checklist with Keys. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 54 (24): 407–462 - get paper here
  • Mahony, Stephen; Md. Kamrul Hasan, Md. Mofizul Kabir, Mushfiq Ahmed and Md. Kamal Hossain. 2009. A catalogue of amphibians and reptiles in the collection of Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Hamadryad 34 (1): 80 – 94 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Malsawmdawngliana, B. Boruah, N.G. Patel, S. Lalronunga, I. Zosangliana, K. Lalhmangaiha & A. Das 2022. An updated checklist of reptiles from Dampa Tiger Reserve, Mizoram, India, with sixteen new distribution records. Journal of Threatened Taxa 14(10): 21946–21960 - get paper here
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  • THEIN, MYAT MYAT; CAITLYN A. ROGERS, JULIAN WHITE, MOHAMMAD AFZAL MAHMOOD, SCOTT A. WEINSTEIN, MYAT THET NWE, … CHEN AU PEH. 2021. Characteristics and significance of “green snake” bites in Myanmar, especially by the pit vipers Trimeresurus albolabris and Trimeresurus erythrurus. Toxicon 203: 66-73. - get paper here
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