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Bothrops asper (GARMAN, 1883)

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Terciopelo
G: Rauhschuppige Lanzenotter
S: Víbora Equis 
SynonymTrigonocephalus asper GARMAN 1883: 124
Trigonocephalus xanthogrammus COPE 1868: 110
Bothrops atrox septentrionalis MÜLLER 1885: 699
Bothrops quadriscutatus POSADA-ARANGO 1889: 345
Lachesis xanthogrammus — BOULENGER 1896
Bothrops xanthogrammus — AMARAL 1930: 24
Bothrops atrox asper — SMITH & TAYLOR 1945
Bothrops atrox asper — TAYLOR 1949: 215
Bothrops asper — HOGE 1966: 113
Bothrops asper — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 43
Bothrops xanthogrammus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 55
Bothrops asper — LINER 1994
Bothrops atrox xanthogrammus — SCHÄTTI & KRAMER 1993
Bothrops xanthogrammus — WELCH 1994: 35
Bothrops asper — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 254
Bothrops asper — FENWICK et al. 2009
Bothrops asper — CARRASCO et al. 2012
Bothrops asper — WALLACH et al. 2014: 115 
DistributionS Mexico (Campeche, Yucatan, Quintana Roo, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Puebla, Quéretaro, Hidalgo, San Luis Potosí, Hidalgo, Tamaulipas southwards), Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, Colombia (Valle del Cauca), W Ecuador, Venezuela; elevation (Honduras): 880-1160 m, 0-1500 m (Colombia)

Type locality: Obispo, Darién, Panama.  
Reproductionviviparous with up to 90 newborns 
TypesType: MCZ 2718, 2 heads.
Holotype: ANSP 9978; Ecuador, Pallatanga (formerly at USNM) [xanthogrammus] 
CommentVenomous! The most dangerous venomous snake in Central America.

Distribution: Has often been confused with B. atrox and hence erroneously reported from Trinidad and El Salvador (W. Wüster, pers. comm.). Populations of the northern South American are Bothrops colombiensis, while the distribution of asper is Central America and part of the Pacific, hence not in Venezuela (Luis Esqueda, pers. comm., 21 April 2016, see also Natera-Mumaw et al. 2015). See map in Saldarriaga-Córdoba et al. 2017: Fig. 1

Nomenclature: The name xanthogrammus has priority over asper but asper is used by many authors inorder to maintain nomenclatural stability. See discussion in McDiarmid et al. (1999: 255).

Synonymy partly after PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970. CAmpbell & Lamar 1992 synonymized Trigonocephalus xanthogrammus with B. asper.

Relative abundance in Honduras: common; causes most snake bites in Costa Rica.

Max. total length: > 2m

Diversity: Across Mesoamerica, B. asper populations show remarkable differences in natural history traits, morphological variation, venom composition, and biological effects of venoms. Nevertheless, Saldarriaga-Córdoba et al. (2017) refrained from proposing any taxonomic changes for these B. asper lineages at present, as their phylogenetic relationships with the B. atrox group remains unclear. 
EtymologyNamed after Latin “asper” = rough, in reference to the nasty temper of the snake, or to the roughness of the keeled scales on the dorsum. 
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