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Calloselasma rhodostoma
Callos rhodos 120610-0642 krw.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Genus: Calloselasma
Cope, 1860
C. rhodostoma
Binomial name
Calloselasma rhodostoma
(Kuhl, 1824)

  • [Trigonocephalus] rhodostoma Kuhl, 1824
  • [Trigonocephalus] rhodostoma
    F. Boie, 1827
  • [Trigonocephalus] praetextatus Gravenhorst, 1832
  • Tisiphone rhodostoma
    Fitzinger, 1843
  • L[eiolepis]. rhodostoma
    A.M.C. Duméril, 1853
  • [Calloselasma] rhodostomus
    Cope, 1860
  • T[isiphone]. rhodostoma
    W. Peters, 1862
  • T[rigonocephalus]. (Tisiphone) rhodostoma
    Jan, 1863
  • Calloselasma rhodostoma
    Günther, 1864
  • Calloselma rhodostoma
    Morice, 1875
  • Ancistrodon rhodostoma
    Boettger, 1892
  • Ancistrodon rhodostoma
    Boulenger, 1896
  • Agkistrodon rhodostoma
    Barbour, 1912
  • Ancistrodon (Calloselasma) rhodostoma Bourret, 1927
  • Ancistrodon annamensis
    Angel, 1933
  • [Agkistrodon] annamensis
    Pope, 1935
  • Calloselasma rhodostoma
    – Campden-Main, 1970[2]
Common names: Malayan ground pit viper, Malayan pit viper, Malayan ground snake, Malayan moccasin.

Calloselasma is a monotypic genus[3] created for a venomous pit viper species, C. rhodostoma, which is endemic to Southeast Asia from Thailand to northern Malaysia and on the island of Java.[2] No subspecies are currently recognized.[4]


From Karawang, West Java
Underside of its body

Attains an average total length of 76 cm (30 in), with females being slightly longer than males. Occasionally, they may grow as long as 91 cm (36 in).[5]

A specimen with a total length of 81 cm (32 in) has a tail 9 cm (3.5 in) long.

Dorsally it is reddish, grayish, or pale brown, with two series of large, dark brown, black-edged triangular blotches, which are alternating or opposite. There is also a thin dark brown vertebral stripe, which may be interrupted or indistinct in some specimens. The upper labials are pink or yellowish, and powdered with brown. There is a broad, dark brown, black-edged diagonal stripe from the eye to the corner of the mouth, with a narrower light-colored stripe above it. Ventrally it is yellowish, uniform or powdered or spotted with grayish brown.

The smooth dorsal scales are arranged in 21 rows at midbody. Ventrals 138-157; anal plate entire; subcaudals 34-54 pairs.

Snout pointed and upturned. Rostral as deep as broad. Two internasals and two prefrontals. Frontal as long as or slightly longer than its distance from tip of snout, as long as or slightly shorter than the parietals. 7-9 upper labials. Loreal pit not in contact with the upper labials.[6]

This is the only Asian pit viper with large crown scales and smooth dorsal scales.[7]

Geographic range[edit]

Found in Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, northern West Malaysia and on the Indonesian island of Java. The type locality is listed as "Java".[2] There are unconfirmed, but credible reports from southern Myanmar (Burma), northern Sumatra and northern Borneo.

Habitat and Diet[edit]

Prefers coastal forests, bamboo thickets, unused and overgrown farmland, orchards, plantations as well as forests around plantations,[5] where it searches for rats and mice.


This species is oviparous and the eggs are guarded by the female after deposition.[7]


This species has a reputation for being bad-tempered and quick to strike. In northern Malaysia it is responsible for some 700 incidents of snakebite annually with a mortality rate of about 2 percent. Remarkably sedentary, it has often been found in the same spot several hours after an incident involving humans.[7] Its venom causes severe pain and local swelling and sometimes tissue necrosis, but deaths are not common. Unfortunately many victims are left with dysfunctional or amputated limbs due to the lack of antivenom and early treatment.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  3. ^ "Calloselasma". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 3 November 2006.
  4. ^ "Calloselasma rhodostoma". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 3 November 2006.
  5. ^ a b Mehrtens JM. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.
  6. ^ Boulenger, G.A. 1896. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume III., Containing the...Viperidæ... Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). London. xiv + 727 pp. + Plates I.-XXV. (Ancistrodon rhodostoma, pp. 527-528.)
  7. ^ a b c U.S. Navy. 1991. Poisonous Snakes of the World. US Govt. New York: Dover Publications Inc. 203 pp. ISBN 0-486-26629-X.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]