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Azemiops feae BOULENGER, 1888

IUCN Red List - Azemiops feae - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Azemiopinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Fea Viper, Black-headed Burmese viper
G: Fea-Viper
Chinese: 黑头蝰 
SynonymAzemiops feae BOULENGER 1888: 602
Azemiops feae — SMITH 1943: 480
Azemiops feae — WELCH 1994: 27
Azemiops feae — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 230
Azemiops feae — NGUYEN et al. 2009
Azemiops feae — WALLACH et al. 2014: 87 
DistributionN Myanmar (= Burma), N Vietnam
S/C China (from W Yunnan and S Shaanxi east to Zhejiang, south to Guangxi; Kweichow, Sichuan, Fujien, Jiangxi, Guangdong), SE Tibet. Elevation 600-1500 m.

Type locality: Kakhyen Hills, Burma (24°35’ N 97°25’ E)  
TypesHolotype: MSNG 30891 (Genova), also given as MSNM 30891 (Milano) 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (genus): presence of the choanal process on the palatine, oviparity, large scales on the head and smooth dorsal scales (Zug et al., 2001; Orlov et al., 2002; Mallow et al., 2003; Orlov et al., 2013, Snetkov & Orlov 2017).

DIAGNOSIS. No sensory pit between nostril and eye; body cylindrical; head flattened, above covered with large, symmetrical shields; nostril large, in single completely differentiated nasal; loreal shield present, small; 2 pre- and 2 postoculars; eye with vertically elliptic pupil; scales smooth, in 17 longitudinal rows at midbody; ventrals 180–18; subcaudals 42–53, mostly paired, occasionally anterior shields undivided; blackish above, scales often edged with gray, 14–15 narrow white or pinkish crossbands, sometimes interrupted middorsally, or alternating with one another laterally; head yellow with a pair of dark brown to black stripes of somewhat irregular width extending from prefrontals to the black color on the neck. Total length males 925 mm, females 820; tail length males 100 mm, females 80 mm (Leviton et al. 2003).

Diagnosis. Viperid snake of medium-size of genus Azemiops, up to 700 mm in body length with a tail. The head is well demarcated from the body by neck interception, noticeably flattened, covered with symmetrical shields. Head has a trapezoidal shape with slightly rounded short snout. Nostril is located in a single nasal; loreal present; eye relatively small, with vertical pupil. The body is nearly round in cross-section, slightly flattened dorso-ventrally, ventrals rounded. Scales smooth, in 13 – 17 rows around the middle of the body. Tail short; subcaudals in two rows. Ventrals 169 – 180; anal entire; subcaudals 41 – 44 pairs. Upper surface of head (from the prefrontals) black, with a yellow median line. Pterygoideum with 11 teeth. Angulare very small, shorter than spleniale and much shorter than dentale. Dentale with 13 – 14 teeth. Quadratum long, directed downward and backward, and articulates with pterygoideum. 167 – 179 trunk vertebrae, 45 – 49 caudal vertebrae. Parapophyses without long ventral processes. Hypopophyses developed on all trunk vertebrae, they are much shorter than the spinous processes. Parapophyses without long ventral processes. A more detailed description is based on the specimen ZISP 25868, female. See Orlov et al. 2013:116 for details. 

Type species: Azemiops feae Boulenger, 1888 is the type species of the genus Azemiops Boulenger, 1888. The subfamily was established by LIEM et al. 171. 
EtymologyNamed after Leonardo Fea, naturalist in Genoa. 
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  • Boulenger, GEORGE A. 1888. An account of the Reptilia obtained in Burma, north of Tenasserim, by M. L. Fea, of the Genova Civic Museum. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Genova, ser. 2, 6: 593-604 - get paper here
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