Trimeresurus kaulbacki

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Protobothrops kaulbacki
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Genus: Protobothrops
P. kaulbacki
Binomial name
Protobothrops kaulbacki
(M.A. Smith, 1940)

Protobothrops kaulbacki, commonly known as the Kaulback's lance-headed pit viper,[4] is a venomous pit viper species endemic to Asia. No subspecies are currently recognized.[5]


The specific name, kaulbacki, is in honor of British explorer Ronald Kaulback.[6][7][8]


Adult males of P. kaulbacki may attain a total length of 134 cm (53 in), which includes a tail 22.5 cm (8.9 in) long. Females may grow longer: maximum total length 141 cm (56 in), tail 23 cm (9.1 in).

Dorsally, it is green, with a vertebral series of dark angular spots, which may be joined to form a zigzag stripe. The top of the head is black with yellow stripes. Ventrally, except for the whitish throat area, it is gray with large squarish or crescent-shaped yellow spots.[9]

Scalation includes 25 rows of dorsal scales at midbody, 201-212 ventral scales, 66-78 subcaudal scales, and 8 supralabial scales of which the third is the largest.[4]

Geographic range[edit]

P. kaulbacki had originally been known only from the type locality, which is "Pangnamdim, north of the Triangle, Upper Burma" (Myanmar).[2] In 2005 it was reported that it is also found in China.[10] The species was reportedly also spotted in Northeast India, at Dafla Hills in Papum Pare, East Kameng and Kurung Kumey Districts, Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India.[citation needed]


P. kaulbacki is oviparous. The adult female lays a clutch of 6-32 eggs in a hole in the ground, and then remains with the eggs to guard them. Eggs measure 48–53 mm x 26–27 mm (about 2 in x 1 in). Each hatchling is 26–27 cm (about 10½ inches) in total length.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T (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).
  3. ^ "Protobothrops kaulbacki ". The Reptile Database.
  4. ^ a b Gumprecht A, Tillack F, Orlov NL, Captain A, Ryabov S (2004). Asian Pit vipers. Berlin: Geitje Books. First Edition. 368 pp. ISBN 3-937975-00-4.
  5. ^ "Protobothrops kaulbacki ". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 28 July 2008.
  6. ^ Smith MA (1940).
  7. ^ Guo, Peng (2007). "New evidence on the phylogenetic position of the poorly known Asian pitviper Protobothrops kaulbacki (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae) with a redescription of the species and a revision of the genus Protobothrops ". Herpetological Journal 17 (4): 237-246.
  8. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins. Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. (Protobothrops kaulbacki, p. 138).
  9. ^ a b Smith MA (1943). The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-region. Reptilia and Amphibia. Vol. III.—Serpentes. London: Secretary of State for India. (Taylor and Francis, printers). xii + 583 pp. (Protobothrops kaulbacki, p. 512).
  10. ^ Rao D, Zhao E (2005). "A New Record from China – Protobothrops kaulbacki (Reptilia, Serpentes, Viperidae)". Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica 30: 209-211.

Further reading[edit]

  • Kraus, Fred; Mink, Daniel G.; Brown, Wesley M. (1996). "Crotaline Intergeneric Relationships Based on Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Data". Copeia 1996 (4): 763-773. (Protobothrops kaulbacki, new combination).
  • Smith MA (1940). "The Amphibians and Reptiles obtained by Mr. Ronald Kaulback in Upper Burma". Records of the Indian Museum 42: 465-486. (Protobothrops kaulbacki, new species, p. 485, Plate VIII, Figure 5).

External links[edit]