Trimeresurus elegans

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Trimeresurus elegans
Protobothrops elegans.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Crotalinae
Genus: Trimeresurus
Species: T. elegans
Binomial name
Trimeresurus elegans
(Gray, 1849)
  • Craspedocephalus elegans
    Gray, 1849
  • Trimeresurus luteus
    Boettger, 1895
  • Lachesis luteus Boulenger, 1896
  • Lachesis lutea – Boettger, 1898
  • Trimeresurus elegans
    Stejneger, 1907
  • Trimeresurus mucrosq[uamatus]. elegans – Mell, 1929
  • Protobothrops elegans
    – Kraus, Mink & Brown, 1996[1]
Common names: elegant pitviper,[2] Sakishima habu (サキシマハブ?),[3] elegant tree viper.[4]

Trimeresurus elegans is a venomous pitviper species endemic to Japan in the southern Ryukyu Islands. No subspecies are currently recognized.[5] The species is aggressive with large fangs. It can strike at over one half the length of its body.


Scalation includes 25 (sometimes 23) rows of dorsal scales at midbody, 179-192 (males) or 182-196 (females) ventral scales, 63-90 subcaudal scales, and 8 (sometimes 7 or 9) supralabial scales.[2]

During 1965-2011, 2447 snakebites from this snake are reported with one fatality.[6]

Geographic range[edit]

Found in Japan in the southern Ryukyu Islands. The type locality is unknown. Boulenger listed it as "---- ?" while Gray's original 1849 description gives "West Coast of [North?] America." A restriction to "Ishigaki-Shima [Ryukyu Islands, Japan]" was proposed by Stejneger (1907).[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  2. ^ a b Gumprecht A, Tillack F, Orlov NL, Captain A, Ryabov S. 2004. Asian Pitvipers. GeitjeBooks. Berlin. 1st Edition. 368 pp. ISBN 3-937975-00-4.
  3. ^ Mehrtens JM. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.
  4. ^ Brown JH. 1973. Toxicology and Pharmacology of Venoms from Poisonous Snakes. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas. 184 pp. LCCCN 73-229. ISBN 0-398-02808-7.
  5. ^ "Trimeresurus elegans". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 25 July 2008. 
  6. ^ 沖縄県における平成23 年の毒蛇咬症 沖縄県衛生環境研究所

Further reading[edit]

  • Gray, J.E. 1849. Catalogue of the Specimens of Snakes in the Collection of the British Museum. Trustees of the British Museum. London. xv + 125 pp. (Craspedocephalus elegans, p. 7.)

External links[edit]