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Trimeresurus caudornatus CHEN, DING, VOGEL & SHI, 2020

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Ornamental tailed pit- viper
Chinese: 饰尾竹叶青 (Shì Wěi Zhú Yè Qîng) 
SynonymTrimeresurus caudornatus CHEN, DING, VOGEL & SHI in CHEN et al. 2020 
DistributionChina (Yunnan)

Type locality: Nabang Town, Yingjiang County, Yunnan Province (24.6973°N, 97.5805° E, and 389 m elevation), China  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype: ZMNH AR1238, adult male, collected by L. Ding and Z. Chen on 17 September 2018 (Fig. 2A).
Paratype. ZMNH AR1239, adult female, same collecting data as the holotype (Fig. 2B). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. (1) Head and body generally dark green, postocular stripes absent in both genders, upper labials light green; (2) ventrolateral stripe faint green yellow, present on the first row of DSR in both genders; (3) iris golden yellow in both genders; (4) dorsal tail mostly dark red, lateral and ventral green; an orange red stripe along the ventral part of the tail; (5) DSR 21/22 –21–15 (n=2), VEN 161–163, SC 52–72; (6) Cep 10, first upper labial partially fused to the nasal; (7) hemipenes elongated, bilobed at 6th plate, tips reaching SC 37–38, small spines present posterior to the bifurcation, sulcus spermaticus shallow, visible, divides at the base of the organ.

Comparison. Trimeresurus caudornatus sp. nov. is referred to subgenus Trimeresurus by the “Long papillose” hemipenis (Malhotra & Thorpe 2004 as Crypelytrops). Main characters separating it from T. albolabris and T. septentrionalis are presented in Tables 5 and 6.
We compared the type series of T. caudornatus sp. nov. with 46 specimens of T. albolabris (see Appendix I). These specimens originated from various localities in China, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia. Specimens from India and Myanmar were not included as they differ morphologically from T. albolabris from and near type locality, additionally systematic work further confirm these specimens should not be allocated to T. albolabris. T. caudornatus sp. nov. is distinct from T. albolabris by: (1) hemipenes relatively longer, reaching 37 or 38th SC vs extending to the 15th SC (Guo & Zhang 2000); (2) an orange red stripe presented on the ventral part of the tail vs absent in the latter species; (3) ventrolateral stripe very faint, green yellow vs lateral stripe yellow or white ; and (4) upper labials light green vs usually yellow or white.
T. caudornatus sp. nov. is distinct from T. septentrionalis by: (1) dorsal tail dark red, ventral tail with an orange red stripe vs “tail above bright red, belly light yellowish-green” (examined topotypes, Sharma et al. 2013). (2) fewer ventrals in males and females (163 for the male, 161 for the female) vs 164–170 in males and 166–171 in females. (3) fewer subcaudals (72 in the male, 52 in the female) vs 74–80 in males and 56–66 in females. (4) upper labials light green vs usually yellow or white. (5) ventrolateral stripe faint green yellow in both gender vs white in males.
T. caudornatus sp. nov. is distinct from T. insularis by: (1) The hemipenes forked at 6th plate with about 12 rows of small spines presented posterior to the bifurcation, tips reaching the 37–38th SC vs forked opposite 3rd plate with spongy structure to the end and reaching the 23th SC (examined type specimens, Kramer 1977). (2) An orange red stripe presented on the ventral part of the tail vs no stripe on the ventral part of the tail. (3) DSR weakly keeled expect the first two rows vs strongly keeled except the first row. (4) Tail relatively shorter, TaL/TL in the male 0.185 vs 0.214–0.224. (5) Usually more supralabials 10 (11) vs 11–13. (6) Upper labials light green vs usually yellow or white.
T. caudornatus sp. nov. is distinct from T. erythrurus by: (1) lesser dorsal scales, 21 rows at mid-body vs usually 23–25 rows. (2) Head scales not or weakly keeled vs strongly keeled. (3) More subcaudals in males (72 vs 49–71). (4) An orange red stripe presented on the ventral part of the tail vs no stripe on the ventral part of the tail. (5) A very faint green yellow ventrolateral stripe vs a thin white line present in males and in most females.
T. caudornatus sp. nov. is distinct from T. purpureomaculatus by: (1) first upper labials partially fused to the nasal vs “almost completely united with first upper labial”. (2) The hemipenes forked at 6th plate with about 12 rows of small spines presented after the bifurcation and reaching the 37–38 SC vs forked opposite 3rd plate entirely devoid of spines and reaching the 20th SC. (3) Scales in 21 longitudinal rows at mid-body and with lesser DSR vs 25–27 (29). (4) Head scales not or weakly keeled vs strongly keeled. (5) Basic color green vs usually not green (except some specimens from Sumatra). (6) Upper labials light green vs usually not lighter than body but in some populations yellow. (7) Lower number of Cep, 10 vs 13–18 (11).
T. caudornatus sp. nov. is distinct from T. macrops, T. rubeus and T. cardamomensis by: (1) No postocular streak in both gender vs prominent in males. (2) ventrolateral stripe very faint, green yellow vs prominent, white in males. (3) an orange red stripe presented on the ventral part of the tail vs no stripe on the ventral part of the tail. (4) Head more elongated. (5) The supraoculars are narrower. T. caudornatus sp. nov. further differs from T. rubeus by iris golden yellow vs deep red.
T. caudornatus sp. nov. is distinct from T. cantori: (1) Fewer DSR (21 vs 25–29), (2) Fewer SL (10 vs 11–13, only very exceptionally 11. (3) Fewer Cep (10 vs 13–17). (4) Fewer ventrals (161–163 vs 170–182). (5) the new species much slender than T. cantori (Vijayakumar & David 2006). Only one of three-color morphs of T. cantori is uniformly green.
T. caudornatus sp. nov. is distinct from T. fasciatus: (1) Dorsal body dark green with faint dark crossbands on the skin vs brownish-grey with olivaceous brown or dark brown crossbands on the back (examined topotypes David et al. 2003). (2) Venter pale green yellow and dorsal tail dark red vs “venter pale greyish brown or brown, heavily speckled with dark brown, anterior part and tip of ventrals nearly totally dark brown”. (3) tail relatively shorter in both gender, TaL/TL in the male/female 0.185/0.153 vs 0.202–0.210/0.183-0.198. (4) Internasals broad trapezoidal, broadly in contact vs “separated from each other by one scale” (David et al. 2003; examined specimens, Appendix I). Additionally, T. fasciatus is endemic to Tanahjampea Island.
T. caudornatus sp. nov. is distinct from T. andersoni: (1) Body uniform dark green vs color above and below variable, usually brown, buff or blackish. (2) Fewer DSR at midbody (21 vs 23 to 25, rarely 21). (3) Fewer ventrals (161–163 vs 171–183) (Gumprecht et al. 2004). Additionally, T. andersoni is endemic to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
T. caudornatus sp. nov. is distinct from T. labialis, Trimeresurus honsonensis, T. venustus and T. kanburiensis by the body color and pattern. The body uniform dark green and with a faint dark crossbands on skin in T. caudornatus sp. nov. while brown in T. labialis (Vogel et al. 2014), green patterned with spotted brownish speckles in T. honsonensis, T. venustus (Vogel 1991) and T. kanburiensis (David et al. 2004). 
CommentT. caudornatus is nested within some former subspecies of T. albolabris. 
EtymologyThe specific name of the new species was made up of the Latin word “caud” (tail) and “ornatus” (ornamental), indicating a red stripe on the subcaudal scales. 
References
  • Chandramouli SR, Campbell PD, Vogel G. 2020. A new species of green pit viper of the genus Trimeresurus Lacépède, 1804 (Reptilia: Serpentes: Viperidae) from the Nicobar Archipelago, Indian Ocean. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 14(3) [Taxonomy Section]: 169–176 (e264) - 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
 
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