Trimeresurus albolabris

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Trimeresurus albolabris
Trimeresurus albolabris male.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Genus: Trimeresurus
T. albolabris
Binomial name
Trimeresurus albolabris
Gray, 1842
  • Trimesurus albolabris Gray, 1842
  • T[rimeresurus]. albolabris
    Theobald, 1879
  • Trimeresurus gramineus albolabris – Mell, 1922
  • Trimeresurus albolabris
    Pope & Pope, 1933
  • Trimeresurus albolabris albolabris Regenass & Kramer, 1981[1]
  • Cryptelytrops albolabris
    Malhotra & Thorpe, 2004
  • Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) albolabris David et al., 2011[2]

Trimeresurus albolabris, the white-lipped pit viper, is a venomous pit viper species endemic to Southeast Asia.


Maximum total length males 600 mm (24 in), females 810 mm (32 in); maximum tail length males 120 mm (4.7 in), females 130 mm (5.1 in).[3]

Head scalation consists of 10-11(12) upper labials, the first partially or completely fused to the nasal. Head scales small, subequal, feebly imbricate, smooth or weakly keeled. The supraoculars are narrow (occasionally enlarged and undivided) with 8-12 interocular scales between them. Temporal scales smooth.[3]

Midbody has 21 (rarely 19) longitudinal dorsal scale rows. The ventral scales are 155-166 in males, 152-176 in females. The subcaudals are paired, 60-72 in males, 49-66 in females. The hemipenes are without spines.[3]

Color pattern: green above, the side of the head below the eyes is yellow, white or pale green, much lighter than rest of head. The belly is green, yellowish or white below. A light ventrolateral stripe is present in all males, but absent in females. The end of tail is not mottled brown.[3]

Common names[edit]

Common names include green tree pit viper, white-lipped pit viper,[4] white-lipped tree viper, white-lipped green pit viper and white-lipped bamboo pit viper.[5]

Geographic range[edit]

Found in northeastern India (Assam and Jharkhand), Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, southern China (Fukien, Hainan, Kwangsi, Kwangtung), Hong Kong, Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo, Flores, Sumba, Roti, Kisar, Wetar). The type locality given is "China".[1]


Giannasi et al. (2001) raised insularis and septentrionalis to species level.[4][6] Malhotra & Thorpe (2004) transferred this species (and a number of others) to the genus Cryptelytrops.[7] David et al. (2011) returned it to the genus Trimeresurus and assigned it the subgenus Trimeresurus, creating the new combination Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) albolabris.[2]


Its meals consist of birds, small frogs, and small mammals. This snake doesn't strike and release its prey; like many arboreal snakes, it strikes and holds on to the prey item until it dies.


Results of bites from this species range from mild envenoming to death. The venom of white-lipped pitviper contains procoagulant properties. There have been numerous reported bites with few fatalities.[8]


  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 The Reptile Database.
  3. ^ a b c d Leviton AE, Wogan GOU, Koo MS, Zug GR, Lucas RS, Vindum JV. 2003. The Dangerously Venomous Snakes of Myanmar, Illustrated Checklist with Keys. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 54 (24): 407-462. PDF Archived 30 August 2006 at the Wayback Machine at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Division of Amphibians and Reptiles. Accessed 8 August 2006.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ U.S. Navy. 1991. Poisonous Snakes of the World. US Govt. New York: Dover Publications Inc. 203 pp. ISBN 0-486-26629-X.
  6. ^ Giannasi N, Thorpe RS, Malhotra A. 2001. The use of amplified fragment length polymorphism in determining species trees at fine taxonomic levels: analysis of a medically important snake, Trimeresurus albolabris. Molecular Ecology 10: 419-426. PDF at Homepage of Professor Roger Stephen Thorpe, University of Wales, Bangor[permanent dead link]. Accessed 8 August 2006.
  7. ^ Malhotra, A. & R.S. Thorpe (2004) A phylogeny of four mitochondrial gene regions suggests a revised taxonomy for Asian pitvipers (Trimeresurus and Ovophis). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 32: 83–100.
  8. ^ Venomous Snakes of the World by Mark O'Shea, Page number 107

Further reading[edit]

  • Das I. 1999. Biogeography of the amphibians and reptiles of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. In: Ota, H. (ed) Tropical Island herpetofauna, Elsevier, pp. 43–77.
  • David P, Vogel V. 2000. On the occurrence of Trimeresurus albolabris (Gray 1842) on Sumatra Island, Indonesia (Reptilia, Serpentes, Viperidae, Crotalinae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 80 (1/2): 225-232.
  • David P, Vogel G, Dubois A. 2011. On the need to follow rigorously the Rules of the Code for the subsequent designation of a nucleospecies (type species) for a nominal genus which lacked one: the case of the nominal genus Trimeresurus Lacépède, 1804 (Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae). Zootaxa 2992: 1-51.
  • Einfalt P. 2002. Haltung und Vermehrung von Trimeresurus albolabris (Gray 1842). Elaphe 10 (4): 31-36.
  • Gray, JE. 1842. Synopsis of the species of Rattle-Snakes, or Family of CROTALIDÆ. The Zoological Miscellany 2: 47-51. (Trimeresurus albolabris, p. 48.)
  • Gumprecht, A. 2001. Die Bambusottern der Gattung Trimeresurus Lacépède Teil IV: Checkliste der Trimeresurus-Arten Thailands. Sauria 23 (2): 25-32.
  • Leviton AE, Wogan GOU, Koo MS, Zug GR, Lucas RS, Vindum JV. 2003. The Dangerously Venomous Snakes of Myanmar, Illustrated Checklist with Keys. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 54 (24): 407-462 .
  • Parkinson CL. 1999. Molecular systematics and biogeographical history of Pit Vipers as determined by mitochondrial ribosomal DNA sequences. Copeia 1999 (3): 576-586.
  • Tu MC, Wang HY, Tsai MP, Toda M, Lee WJ, Zhang FJ, Ota H. 2000. Phylogeny, Taxonomy, and Biogeography of the Oriental Pit Vipers of the Genus Trimeresurus (Reptilia: Viperidae: Crotalinae): A Molecular Perspective. Zoological Science 17: 1147-1157.

External links[edit]