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Trimeresurus salazar MIRZA, BHOSALE, PHANSALKAR, SAWANT, GOWANDE & PATEL, 2020

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Salazar’s pit viper 
SynonymTrimeresurus salazar MIRZA, BHOSALE, PHANSALKAR, SAWANT, GOWANDE & PATEL 2020
Trimeresurus salazar — VOGEL et al. 2022
Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) salazar— MIRZA et al. 2023 
DistributionIndia (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur)

Type locality: outskirts of Pakke Tiger Reserve, 0.64 nautical miles (1.19 km) north of Seijosa, East Kameng district, Arunachal Pradesh (26.968790N, 93.013984E, elevation 172 m a.s.l, datum WGS84), India.  
Reproduction 
TypesHolotype. BNHS 3554, adult male, collected by Harshal Bhosale, Pushkar Phansalkar, Mandar Sawant, and Zeeshan Mirza on 1 July 2019.
Paratype. BNHS 3555, adult female same data as for the holotype but collected on 5 July 2019.
Additional specimens: ZMUC 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A species of the genus Trimeresurus with (1) 1st supralabial fused with nasal; (2) 19–21 moderately keeled dorsal scale rows at midbody; (3) dorsal colouration greenish yellow in both sexes; (4) an orange to reddish stripe extends from the posterior borders of the preocular, running through the lower margin of the eyes to the lateral side of the nape in males; (5) ventrolateral stripe predominantly yellow with a faint orange at the base in males, yellow in females; (6) tail to total length ratio (TaL/TL) 0.18 in males, 0.14 in females; (7) short, bilobed hemipenis reaching 8th caudal scale; (8) 6 palatine, 15 pterygoid and 19 dentary teeth.

Comparison. The new species is here compared to all species of the genus Trimeresurus for differing and non-overlapping characters: first supralabial fused with nasal (vs separate in T. macrolepis Beddome, 1862, T. trigonocephalus (Latreille, 1801), T. malabaricus (Jerdon, 1854), T. strigatus Gray, 1842, T. gramineus (Shaw, 1802), T. stejnegeri Schmidt, 1925, T. hageni (Lidth de Jeude, 1886), T. phuketensis Sumontha, Kunya, Pauwels, Nitikul & Punnadee, 2011, T. nebularis Vogel, David & Pawels, 2004, T. truongsonensis Orlov, Ryabov, Thanh & H. Cuc, 2004, T. gunaleni Vogel, David & Sidik, 2014, T. sabahi Regenass & Kramer, 1981, T. popeorum, T. yingjiangensis Chen, Zhang, Shi, Tang, Guo, Song & Ding, 2019, T. sichuanensis (Guo & Wang, 2011), T. nebularis Vogel, David & Pauwels, 2004, and T. yunnanensis); dorsal scale rows 19–21 (vs >23 rows in T. andersoni Theobald, 1868, T. cantori (Blyth, 1846), T. erythrurus, T. gracilis Oshima, 1920, T. gumprechti, T. labialis (Steindachner, 1867), T. purpureomaculatus (Gray, 1832), T. vogeli David, Vidal & Pawels, 2001, T. stejnegeri, and T. arunachalensis); eye sized in relation to head not large, DEYE 2.33 (DEYE 4.03–4.46 relatively large eyes in T. cardomomensis Malhotra, Thrope, Mrinalini & Staurt, 2011, T. macrops Karmer, 1977, and T. rubeus Malhotra, Thrope, Mrinalini & Staurt, 2011), dorsum green with a yellow tinge bearing a yellowish ventrolateral stripe along the body lacking any dorsal markings (vs dorsum reddish brown to grey, black, or green with dark markings in T. tibetanus Huang, 1982, T. flavomaculatus (Gray, 1842), T. fasciatus (Boulenger, 1896), T. arunachalensis, T. malabaricus, T. strigatus, T. kanburiensis Smith, 1943, T. puniceus (Boie, 1827), T. schultzei Griffin, 1909, T. mutabilis Stoliczka, 1870, T. honsonensis (Grismer, Ngo & Grismer, 2008), T. malcolmi Loveridge, 1938, T. wiroti Trutnau, 1981, T. venustus, Vogel, 1991, T. mcgregori Taylor, 1919, T. sumatranus (Raffles, 1822), T. andersonii, T. labialis, T. andalasensis David, Vogel, Vijaykumar & Vidal, 2006, T. borneensis (Peters, 1872), T. brongersmai Hoge, 1968, T. cantori); 167–171 ventrals (vs 136–150 in T. brongersmai, 141–149 in T. gracilis, 133–143 in T. macrolepis, 143–158 in T. malabaricus, 138–149 in T. medoensis, and 128–150 in T. strigatus).
The new species is most similar to T. septentrionalis, T. insularis Kramer, 1977, and T. albolabris in its scalation but differs in bearing an orange to reddish stripe from the lower margin of the eye to the posterior of the posterior border of the mouth in males (vs a white stripe from the posterior border of the nasal to posterior part of the head in T. septentrionalis and T. albolabris); hemipenis short and bilobed (vs long and deeply forked in T. septentrionalis and T. albolabris); palatine with six teeth (vs five in T. albolabris, T. insularis, and T. septentrionalis); pterygoid with 15 teeth (vs 11 in T. septentrionalis, 16 in T. insularis, and 12 in T. albolabris); 19 dentary teeth (vs 11 in T. septentrionalis, 12 in T. albolabris, and 14 in T. insularis). A comparison of selected characters is presented in Table 1 (Mirza et al. 2020).

Description and Variation (based on examined specimens). Body moderately elongate, slender; head elongate, triangular, flattened, broadest width occurs from eyes to end of the head just before the starting of neck, over twice as long as broad, clearly distinct from neck; snout moderate, overall flattened from top and side view, rounded from top view, truncate when seen from lateral side, one third of total head length, twice as long as diameter of eye, canthus rostralis distinct; eye moderate; tail typically cylindrical in cross section fairly short, prehensile, tapering. SVL: 459–565 mm; TaL: 92–116 mm; TL: 571–659 mm; HL: 21.01–26.93 mm, HW 10.05–16.34 mm; ratio TaL/TL: 0.193–0.196 in males and 0.143–0.152 in females; VEN: 163–170; PV 2–3; SC: 62–73 pairs in males, 56–59 pairs in females; anal entire. DSR: 19–23:21:15–17 scales, rhomboid, moderately keeled, first row smooth. Rostral visible from above, one and a half times broader than high, triangular; nasal+first supralabial pentagonal, about as broad as high, undivided, nostril in the middle; one pair of enlarged internasals, in good contact with each other, slightly broader than long, about 4 times larger than adjacent upper snout scales; canthal scales between the internasal and corresponding supraocular, slightly larger than adjacent snout scales; 1 triangular loreal between lower preocular and second supralabial; two upper preoculars above the loreal pit, elongated, lower in contact with the loreal; lower preocular forms posterior-upper margin of loreal pit; 2/2 postoculars; 1 large, entire, long and narrow supraocular on each side; supraocular lightly indented on their inner margin by the upper head scales; scales on upper snout surface smooth, juxtaposed, irregular in shape, moderately but distinctly enlarged, typically looking like a juxtaposition of irregular paving stones; only 3 snout scales between internasals and supraoculars; cephalic and occipital scales smaller, irregular, juxtaposed, smooth and flat on upper head surface, scales confined on middle and occipital area slightly smaller than snout scales; temporal scales larger than cephalic and occipital scales, lightly swollen but not keeled; 10–12 cephalic scales in a line between supraoculars; 10/11 SL; 1st SL completely fused with nasal, forms irregular pentagonal shape, about as broad as high; 2nd SL high, slightly shorter than nasal+1 SL, forms the anterior border of loreal pit, 3rd SL largest, longest of all, about twice as long as 2nd SL, longer than high, in contact with the subocular; 4th SL distinctly shorter, more than 2/3 times as high as 3rd one, 5th and other posterior SL slightly smaller than 4th; both 4th and 5th SL separated from the subocular by one scale row, others in contact with the first lowest row of temporals; 11/13 IL, first pair in contact with each other behind mental, the first three pairs in contact with the anterior chin shields; 4/4+1 smooth gular scales; posterior chin shields nearly half of anterior chin shields. In life, green or yellowish green to yellow above. In preservative, the upper and lateral body surfaces uniformly dark brown or bluish. Ventrolateral stripe distinct; off-white or yellow (CESS535) in colour; the stripes largely restricted to last row of dorsal scales, not extending on to the edges of ventral scales. Ventral scales predominantly yellow and often outlined with dark brown. Upper and lower lip as yellowish as underside. A dark brown eye streak of about one scale breadth passing from upper of 2nd SL, upper of 3rd SL to scale row below suture to last 4 SL and finally forms the dark ventrolateral line below yellow-white line. More than half of tail rusty red which gradually turns darker towards tip. Eyes with greenish yellow iris and black vertically elliptical pupil. Tongue blackish pink, with tips slightly darker. (Vogel et al. 2022)

The original description states that ventral scales in T. salazar range from 163–171, and that subcaudals range from 59–74 (sexes pooled). Rathee et al. (2021) reported the counts as 164–170 and 68–70 respectively. In the specimens studied by Vogel et al. 2022, the corresponding ranges were 163–170 and 56–73, falling within the reported range (Mirza et al. 2020; Rathee et al. 2021). 
Comment 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a noun in apposition for J.K. Rowling’s fictional Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’s co-founder, Salazar Slytherin, in Harry Potter. He was a Parselmouth that links him to serpents. 
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
  • Elangbam, P. S., Biakzuala, L., Shinde, P., Decemson, H., Vabeiryureilai, M., & Lalremsanga, H. T. 2023. Addition of four new records of pit vipers (Squamata: Crotalinae) to Manipur, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 15(6), 23315-23326 - get paper here
  • Gogoi, Tikendrajit; Manab Jyoti Kalita & Sanghamitra Buragohain 2023. Recent rare sightings of four different snakes in Gauhati University Campus, Assam, India. Reptile Rap #234, In: Zoo’s Print 38(5): 08-11
  • Mirza ZA, Bhosale HS, Phansalkar PU, Sawant M, Gowande GG, Patel H 2020. A new species of green pit vipers of the genus Trimeresurus Lacépède, 1804 (Reptilia, Serpentes, Viperidae) from western Arunachal Pradesh, India. Zoosystematics and Evolution 96(1): 123-138 - get paper here
  • Mirza ZA, H. T. Lalremsanga, Bhosale H, Gowande G, Patel H, Idiatullina SS, Poyarkov NA 2023. Systematics of Trimeresurus popeiorum Smith, 1937 with a revised molecular phylogeny of Asian pitvipers of the genus Trimeresurus Lacépède, 1804 sensu lato. Evolutionary Systematics 7(1): 91-104 - get paper here
  • Rathee, Yashpal Singh; Jayaditya Purkayastha, Siddharth Dalal, Hmar Tlawmte Lalremsanga 2021. First record of Salazar’s Pitviper (Trimeresurus salazar) from Meghalaya, India, with comments on hemipenes. Reptiles & Amphibians 28 (1): 131-136 - get paper here
  • VOGEL, G., MALLIK, A. K., CHANDRAMOULI, S., SHARMA, V., & GANESH, S. 2022. A review of records of the Trimeresurus albolabris Gray, 1842 group from the Indian subcontinent: expanded description and range extension of Trimeresurus salazar, redescription of Trimeresurus septentrionalis and rediscovery of historical specimens Zootaxa 5175 (3): 343-366 - get paper here
 
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