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Trimeresurus malabaricus (JERDON, 1854)

IUCN Red List - Trimeresurus malabaricus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Malabarian Pit Viper 
SynonymTrigonocephalus (Cophias) malabaricus JERDON 1854
Trigonocephalus (Cophias) wardii JERDON 1854 (fide SMITH 1943)
Trimeresurus anamallensis GÜNTHER 1864
Lachesis anamallensis BOULENGER 1896
Lachesis anamallensis — WALL 1906: 322
Lachesis coorgensis RAO 1917
Trimeresurus malabaricus SMITH 1943: 513
Trimeresurus malabaricus — WELCH 1994: 115
Trimeresurus malabaricus — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 338
Trimeresurus malabaricus — GUMPRECHT et al. 2004
Trimeresurus malabaricus — MALHOTRA & THORPE 2004
Trimeresurus (Craspedocephalus) malabaricus — DAVID et al. 2011
Craspedocephalus malabaricus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 187
Craspedocephalus malabaricus — GUO et al. 2018 
DistributionS India (Maharashtra (South of Mahabaleshwar – N. Khaire (pers. comm.), Koyna) Karnataka (Castle Rock) [A. Captain, pers. comm.], Kerala, Tamil Nadu)

Type locality: “all the forests of the West coast” [= Western Ghats, SW India]  
TypesSyntypes: lost; formerly at ZSI, reported lost by Smith (1943), Toriba (1993b), Wallach et al. (2014). BMNH 1946.1.19.82 was mentioned as type in older online catalogue but no longer. 

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
  • BHAISARE, DHIRAJ & ELLIOT PELLING 2015. Trimeresurus malabaricus (Malabar pit viper): Diving behaviour and underwater apnoea duration. Herpetological Bulletin (134) - get paper here
  • Bhupathy, Subramanian & N. Sathishkumar 2013. Status of reptiles in Meghamalai and its environs, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 5 (15): 4953-4961 - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum, Vol. 3. London (Taylor & Francis), xiv + 727 pp. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, George A. 1890. The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor & Francis, London, xviii, 541 pp. - get paper here
  • DAVID, PATRICK; GERNOT VOGEL & ALAIN DUBOIS 2011. On the need to follow rigorously the Rules of the Code for the subsequent designation of a nucleospecies (type species) for a nominal genus which lacked one: the case of the nominal genus Trimeresurus Lacépède, 1804 (Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae). Zootaxa 2992: 1–51 - get paper here
  • Dost, O. 2020. Die Western Ghats - Biodiversitäts-Hotspot und Froschparadies in Indien. Elaphe 2020 (2): 14-23
  • Ganesh, S. R.; Subramanian Bhupathy, Patrick David, N. Sathishkumar, G. Srinivas 2014. Snake Fauna of High Wavy Mountains, Western Ghats, India: Species Richness, Status, and Distribution Pattern. Russ. J. Herpetol. 21 (1): 53-64
  • Gemel, R.; G. Gassner & S. Schweiger 2019. Katalog der Typen der Herpetologischen Sammlung des Naturhistorischen Museums Wien – 2018. Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, B 121: 33–248
  • Gumprecht, A.; Tillack, F.; Orlov, N.L.; Captain, A. & Ryabow, S. 2004. Asian pitvipers. Geitje Books, Berlin, 368 pp.
  • Guo, P.; Jadin, R.C.; Malhotra, A. & Li, C. 2009. An investigation of the cranial evolution of Asian pitvipers (Serpentes: Crotalinae), with comments on the phylogenetic position of Peltopelor macrolepis. Acta Zoologica 91: 402-407 - get paper here
  • Guo, Peng; Qin Liu, Guanghui Zhong, Fei Zhu, Fang Yan, Ting Tang, Rong Xiao, Min Fang, Ping Wang and Xin Fu 2015. Cryptic diversity of green pitvipers in Yunnan, South-west China (Squamata, Viperidae). Amphibia-Reptilia 36 (3): 265 - 276 - get paper here
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • Inger, Robert F.;Shaffer, H. Bradley;Koshy, Mammen;Bakde, Ramesh 1984. A report on a collection of amphibians and reptiles from the Ponmudi, Kerala, South India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 81 (3): 551-570 - get paper here
  • Jerdon,T.C. 1854. Catalogue of the Reptiles inhabiting the Peninsula of India. Part 2. J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal xxii: 522-534 [1853] - get paper here
  • Kanagavel, Arun; Rajkumar Sekar, Nikhil Whitaker & Rajeev Raghavan 2012. A Malabar Pit Viper, Trimeresurus malabaricus (Jerdon, 1854) morph from the southern Western Ghats. Reptile Rap (14): 27–28 - get paper here
  • Malhotra, Anita & Thorpe, Roger S. 2004. A phylogeny of four mitochondrial gene regions suggests a revised taxonomy for Asian pitvipers (Trimeresurus and Ovophis). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 32: 83 –100 [erratum p. 680] - get paper here
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Murthy, T.S.N. 2010. The reptile fauna of India. B.R. Publishing, New Delhi, 332 pp.
  • Palot, M.J. 2015. A checklist of reptiles of Kerala, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 7(13): 8010–8022 - get paper here
  • Sagar, Uday 2016. Some observations on the Malabar Pit Viper Trimeresurus malabaricus in central Western Ghats, India. Reptile RAP (18): 36–39 - get paper here
  • Sawant, Nitin S. and Trupti D. Jadhav 2012. Factors Influencing Habitat Selection by Arboreal Pit Vipers. Zoological Science Jan 2013, Vol. 30, No. 1: 21-26. - get paper here
  • Sharma, R. C. 2004. Handbook Indian Snakes. AKHIL BOOKS, New Delhi, 292 pp.
  • Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
  • Wachtel, Eric 2019. Eine Reise zu den Königskobras in die Western Ghats. Ophidia 13 (2): 2-11
  • Wall, F. 1906. The poisonous snakes of India and how to recognize them, Part II. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 17: 299-334 - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Whitaker, Romulus and Ashok Captain 2004. Snakes of India. Draco Books, 500 pp., reprinted 2007 - get paper here
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