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Ovophis makazayazaya (TAKAHASHI, 1922)

IUCN Red List - Ovophis makazayazaya - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Taiwan mountain pitviper
Chinese: 台湾烙铁头蛇 
SynonymTrimeresurus Makazayazaya TAKAHASHI 1922: 4
Trimeresurus monticora [sic] makazayazaya TAKAHASHI 1930
Trimeresurus orientalis SCHMIDT 1925
Trimeresurus monticola formosensis MELL 1929
Ovophis monticola makazayazaya — GOLAY et al. 1993
Ovophis monticola makazayazaya — WELCH 1994: 95
Ovophis monticola orientalis — WELCH 1994: 95
Trimeresurus monticola makazayazaya — TU et al. 2000
Ovophis monticola makazayazaya — GUMPRECHT et al. 2004
Ovophis monticola makazayazaya — ZHAO 2006: 154
Ovophis makazayazaya — MALHOTRA et al. 2011
Ovophis makazayazaya — WALLACH et al. 2014: 513
Ovophis makazayazaya — WANG et al. 2022
Ovophis makazayazaya — ZENG et al. 2023 
DistributionSE China (Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan, Shaanxi, Sichuan, SE Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang), Taiwan, N Vietnam, Laos (Louangphrabang, Houaphan)

Type locality: "Makazayazaya, Formosa" [= vicinity
of Beiye village, Pingtung Co., S Taiwan, 22°43'N, 120° 467'E, elevation 1500 m].  
TypesHolotype: nondesignated (fide WALLACH et al. 2014: 503) 
DiagnosisDIAGNOSIS (DIAGNOSTIC CHARACTERS).— Body stout; snout short, a little more than twice the length of the diameter of the eye; head covered above by small scales rather than large shields, scales usually smooth, feebly imbricate; first upper labial not fused to nasal, completely separated by a suture; body scales, smooth or weakly keeled, in 23–25, occasionally 19 or 21 longitudinal rows at midbody; supraoculars large, 5–9 scales in a line between them; internasals usually not in contact with one another, separated by 2 small suprapostrostral scales; 7–10 upper labials, second usually fused to the scale bordering the facial sensory pit anteriorly, fourth and fifth beneath eye but separated from orbit by 2–4 series of small scales; ventrals and subcaudals (Myanmar, northeastern India and adjacent areas of China and Thailand) 137–176 and 36–62 respectively, subcaudals mixed paired and single, occasionally all unpaired (ventrals and subcaudals for southern China, Vietnam, Laos: 127–144 and 36–54, and Malaysian Peninsula: 133–137 and 22–28 respectively [fide Smith 1943:509]). Total length males 490 mm, females 1100; tail length males 80 mm, females 150 mm. [after LEVITON 2003] 

Subspecies: GOLAY et al. (1993) recognized four subspecies, monticola, convictus, makazayazaya, and zayuensis while DAVID & VOGEL (1996) mentioned only 3 (monticola, orientalis, and zhaokentangi). MCDARMID et al. (1999) didn’t explicitely adopt any of these arrangements by listing all of these forms in the synonymy of monticola. However, they “prefer to treat zayuensis as a subspecies of O. monticola.” Ovophis monticola zayuensis (JIANG 1977) is treated here as a full species. Ovophis (monticola) convictus (STOLICZKA, 1870) is listed here as a valid species.

Types: The name-bearing type specimens of Trimeresurus monticola meridionalis Bourret, 1935 are shown to be composed of two primary syntypes that are referable to Ovophis monticola (Günther, 1864) as currently conceived, and a secondary syntype that belongs to Ovophis convictus (Stoliczka, 1870). David & Vogel 2012 selected one of the primary syntypes from northwestern Vietnam as the lectotype of T. monticola meridionalis Bourret, 1935 and fixed the status of this taxon as a junior subjective synonym of Ovophis monticola.

The original description is available online (see link below).

Distribution: not in Hong Kong fide Francis 2021. 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
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