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Mamushi togurosugata.jpg
Gloydius blomhoffii, Japanese mamushi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Crotalinae
Genus: Gloydius
Hoge & Romano-Hoge, 1981
Common names: Asian moccasins, Asian ground pit viper.

Gloydius is a genus of venomous pitvipers endemic to Asia. Named after American herpetologist Howard K. Gloyd,[2] this genus is very similar to the North American genus Agkistrodon. Nine species are currently recognized.[3]

Geographic range[edit]

Species of Gloydius are found in Russia, east of the Ural Mountains through Siberia, Iran, Himalayas from Pakistan, India, Nepal, China, Korea, Japan and the Ryukyu Islands.[1]


Species[3] Taxon author[3] Subsp.*[3] Common name[4] Geographic range[1]
G. blomhoffii (H. Boie, 1826) 3 Japanese mamushi China, Korea and Japan.
G. halysT (Pallas, 1776) 4 Siberian pitviper Russia, east of the Ural Mountains through Siberia, Iran, Mongolia to northern and central China, as well as the southern Ryukyu Islands.
G. himalayanus (Günther, 1864) 0 Himalayan pitviper Along the southern slopes of the Himalayas from northeastern Pakistan, to northern India (Kashmir, Punjab) and Nepal. Found at 1524–3048 m altitude.
G. intermedius (Strauch, 1868) 2 Central Asian pitviper Southeastern Azerbaijan, northern Iran, southern Turkmenistan, northwestern Afghanistan, southern Russia, northwestern China and Mongolia.
G. monticola (F. Werner, 1922) 0 Likiang pitviper The mountains of northern Yunnan in China.
G. saxatilis (Emelianov, 1937) 0 Rock mamushi[5] Russia (eastern Siberia), northeastern China and North and South Korea.
G. shedaoensis (Zhao, 1979) 0 Shedao island pitviper Shedao Island, off the coast of Liaotung, China.
G. strauchi (Bedriaga, 1912) 0 Strauch's pitviper The Tibetan Plateau in the provinces of Tsinghai and western Szechwan, China.
G. tsushimaensis (Isogawa, Moriya & Mitsui, 1994) 0 Tsushima Island pitviper Tsushima Island, Japan.
G. ussuriensis (Emelianov, 1929) 0 Ussuri mamushi Far east Russia (Primorskiy Kray), northeastern China, North and South Korea, as well as Quelpart Island.

*) Not including the nominate subspecies.
T) Type species.


Due to the strong morphological similarity, these snakes were classified in the genus Agkistrodon until very recently. However, by 1999 cladistic studies clearly showed that Agkistrodon did not form a clade (indeed, it was not even paraphyletic) and was thus split into several genera.

A new species, G. tsushimaensis, was described by Isogawa, Moriya & Mitsui (1994). It is referred to as the Tsushima island pitviper and is found only on Tsushima Island, Japan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré TA (1999). Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Washington, District of Columbia: Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  2. ^ Beolens B, Watkins M, Grayson M. 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Gloydius, p. 102).
  3. ^ a b c d "Gloydius ". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 17 October 2006. 
  4. ^ Gumprecht A, Tillack F, Orlov NL, Captain A, Ryabov S (2004). Asian Pitvipers. First Edition. Berlin: Geitje Books. 368 pp. ISBN 3-937975-00-4.
  5. ^ Gloyd HK, Conant R (1990). Snakes of the Agkistrodon Complex: A Monographic Review. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. 614 pp. 52 plates. LCCN 89-50342. ISBN 0-916984-20-6.

Further reading[edit]

  • Hoge AR, Romano-Hoge SA (1981). "Poisonous Snakes of the World. I. Checklist of the Pitvipers: Viperoidea, Viperidae, Crotalinae". Memórias do Instituto Butantan 42/43: 179-309. (Gloydius, new genus).
  • Isogawa K, Moriya A, Mitsui S (1994). "A new snake from the genus Agkistrodon (Serpentes: Viperidae) from Tsushima Island, Nagasaki Prefecture". Japanese J. Herpetol. 15: 101-111. (Agkistrodon tsushimaensis, new species).

External links[edit]