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Tropidolaemus huttoni (SMITH, 1949)

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Hutton’s pitviper 
SynonymTrimeresurus huttoni SMITH 1949
Trimeresurus huttoni — WELCH 1994: 115
Tropidolaemus huttoni — DAVID & VOGEL 1998
Tropidolaemus huttoni — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 349
Tropidolaemus huttoni — GUMPRECHT et al. 2004
Tropidolaemus huttoni — HUTTON & DAVID 2009
Tropidolaemus huttoni — GANESH et al. 2014
Tropidolaemus huttoni — WALLACH et al. 2014: 748 
DistributionS India (Varushanad Hills, District of Madurai, State of Tamil Nadu)

Type locality: “The high Wavy Mountains, or Meghamalai hills, Theni District, Tamil Nadu; elevation 5200 feet”  
TypesHolotype: BMNH 1948.1.8.75, male, juvenile; Paratype: BNHS 2658 (in Mumbai, India) female, juvenile 

This species is known only from the two juvenile specimens both collected together by A.F. Hutton in 1949, based on which it was described. Exhaustive field surveys conducted at the type locality did not yield another specimen (Ganesh et al. 2014). The type specimens are very close to juveniles of the Indomalayan taxon Tropidolaemus wagleri. They differ from T. wagleri of the same size and respective sex by (1) a higher Tal/TL ratio, 0.016 to 0.279 (vs. 0.139 – 0.196 in T. wagleri), (2) midbody scalerows 21-23 (vs. 21-27 in T. wagleri), (3) cephalic scales in a row between supraoculars 9 (vs. 12-17 in T. wagleri), (4) supranasals separated by one or two scales (vs. supranasals in contact with each other in T. wagleri) (after, Hutton & David, 2009; Ganesh et al. 2014). A possible third specimen LSUMZ 45547 (see Boundy 2007) labeled as from Lonvala in Northern Western Ghats, though resembles T. huttoni in slightly lower no. of cephalic scales and possibly the shape of the snout, is actually more closer to T. wagleri in having internaslas in contact with each other and the longer relative tail length (Ganesh et al. 2014). 
  • 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
  • Boundy, J. 2008. A possible third specimen of the pitviper genus Tropidolaemus from India. Hamadryad 32 (1): 59-62
  • Das, Indraneil;Chaturvedi, Naresh 1998. Catalogue of the herpetological types in the collection of the Bombay Natural History Society. Hamadryad 23 (2): 150-156
  • David,P. & Vogel,G. 1998. Redescription of Trimeresurus huttoni SMITH, 1949 (Serpentes: Crotalinae) with a discussion of its relationships. Hamadryad 22 (2): 73-87
  • 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
  • Gumprecht, A.; Tillack, F.; Orlov, N.L.; Captain, A. & Ryabow, S. 2004. Asian pitvipers. Geitje Books, Berlin, 368 pp.
  • McDiarmid, R.W.; Campbell, J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. [type catalogue] Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
  • Smith, M.A. 1949. A new species of pit viper from South India: Trimeresurus huttoni sp. nov. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 48 (3): 596 - 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.
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