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Trimeresurus mayaae RATHEE, PURKAYASTHA, LALREMSANGA, DALAL, BIAKZUALA, MUANSANGA & MIRZA, 2022

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Maya’s pit viper 
SynonymTrimeresurus (Viridovipera) mayaae RATHEE, PURKAYASTHA, LALREMSANGA, DALAL, BIAKZUALA, MUANSANGA & MIRZA 2022
Trimeresurus stejnegeri — MALHOTRA & THORPE 2004: 230 (part.)
Trimeresurus yunnanensis — MALHOTRA & THORPE 2004: 230 (part.)
Trimeresurus gumprechti — DAVID & MATHEW 2005: 87
Trimeresurus (Viridovipera) mayaae — MIRZA et al. 2023 
DistributionIndia (Mizoram, Manipur)

Type locality: Bethel Veng, Champhai, Champhai District, Mizoram (23.4758959 N, 93.33401 E; altitude 1418 m a.s.l.)  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: NCBS NRC-AA-0012, adult male P.S. Muanga, H.T. Lalremsanga, Lal Muansanga and Lal Biakzuala on 24 October 2020 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A species of the genus Trimeresurus, characterized by (1) hemipenes short and strongly spinose; (2) body green in both males and females; (3) interstitial skin black; (4) moderate size, with maximum total length of 750mm; (5) conspicuous bicolored postocular stripe in males, thin and white below, wide and bright red above, faint white or no postocular stripe present in female (6) vivid, wide bicolored ventrolateral stripe, deep red below/white above in males, extending along the lower half of the tail, white in females; (7) eyes rust coloured in males, green in females; (8) tail mostly rusty or reddish-brown (9) V: 157–162; SC: 54–67 in males and V: 153; SC: 54–55 in females; (10) first supralabial distinct from nasal; (11) 19 or 21 dorsal scale rows at midbody, moderately keeled; (12) snout covered with rather enlarged juxtaposed scales; (13) internasals never in contact, separated by 1–2 scale; (14) supraoculars narrower than internasals, separated by 9–10 smooth cephalic scales. (RATHEE et al. 2022)

Comparisons: Based on the molecular data and hemipenis structure, Trimeresurus mayaae sp. nov. is found to be a member of subgenera Viridovipera. The species differs from all the known members of Viridovipera by following characters:
Morphologically and meristically Trimeresurus mayaae sp. nov. closely resembles T. gumprechti, but differs from the latter by having rust coloured or greenish eye in males versus bright or deep red in T. gumprechti and green coloured eye in female versus golden yellow in T. gumprechti. Furthermore, Trimeresurus mayaae sp. nov. has 1–2 scales between internasal versus 0–1 in T. gumprechti.; ventral scales range 153–162 in Trimeresurus mayaae sp. nov. versus 162–168 T. gumprechti; subcaudals 54–69 in Trimeresurus mayaae sp. nov. versus 51–71 in T. gumprechti; TaL/TL in females 0.17 in Trimeresurus mayaae sp. nov. versus 0.14–0.16 in T. gumprechti. Trimeresurus mayaae sp. nov. differs from all the other members of subgenera Viridovipera by having rust coloured eye in males versus bright red or amber (rarely yellow) coloured in T. stejnegeri Schmidt, yellow or yellowish green in T. vogeli David, Vidal & Pauwels, green or yellowish green in T. medoensis Zhao, and bright or deep red in T. yunnanensis, and a green coloured eye in females versus yellow or amber in T. stejnegeri, yellow in T. vogeli and golden yellow in T. yunnanensis. A bicoloured (broad red above and thin white below) postocular streak is present in males of Trimeresurus mayaae sp. nov. versus white in T. stejnegeri, white, thin and faint in T. vogeli, no postocular streak in T. yunnanensis. A white ventrolateral stripe is present in female Trimeresurus mayaae sp. nov. versus red + white in T. medoensis and pale green in T. yunnanensis. Trimeresurus mayaae sp. nov. has 19–21 dorsal scale rows at the midbody versus 17 in T. medoensis and 19 in T. yunnanensis. Trimeresurus mayaae sp. nov. with 3–4 palatine teeth versus 5 in T. yunnanensis; Trimeresurus mayaae sp. nov. with 10 pterygoid teeth versus 12–14 in T. yunnanensis & T. stejnegeri. The new species differs from members of Viridovipera in showing a pairwise sequence divergence (p-distance) of 5–10% for cytochrome b gene (RATHEE et al. 2022) 
CommentIn MIRZA et al. 2023 mayaae nests within medoensis, indicating that both are closely related or even conspecific. 
EtymologyThe species epithet is an eponym honouring late Maya Singh Rathee, mother of Yashpal Singh Rathee. 
References
  • 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
  • Rathee, Y. S., Purkayastha, J., Lalremsanga, H. T., Dalal, S., Biakzuala, L., Muansanga, L., & Mirza, Z. A. 2022. A new cryptic species of green pit viper of the genus Trimeresurus Lacépède, 1804 (Serpentes, Viperidae) from northeast India. PloS one, 17(5), e0268402 - get paper here
 
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