Trimeresurus jerdonii

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Trimeresurus jerdonii
T. jerdonii at the San Diego Zoo
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Crotalinae
Genus: Trimeresurus
Species: T. jerdonii
Binomial name
Trimeresurus jerdonii
Günther, 1875
Protobothrops jerdonii distribution.png
  • Trimeresurus jerdonii Günther, 1875
  • Lachesis jerdonii Boulenger, 1896
  • Lachesis melli Vogt, 1922
  • Trimeresurus jerdonii melli
    – Mell, 1931
  • T[rimeresurus]. j[erdonii]. jerdoni
    Bourret, 1936
  • Trimeresurus jerdoni
    M.A. Smith, 1943
  • Trimeresurus jerdoni bourreti Klemmer, 1963
  • P[rotobothrops]. jerdoni
    Hoge & Romano-Hoge, 1983
  • Protobothrops jerdonii jerdonii
    – Welch, 1988
  • Protobothrops jerdonii bourreti Welch, 1988
  • Protobothrops jerdonii meridionalis Welch, 1988
  • Protobothrops jerdonii xanthomelas Welch, 1988[2]
  • Trimeresurus jerdonii – Sharma, 2004[3]
Common names: Jerdon's pit viper[4], yellow-speckled pit viper, oriental pit viper.

Trimeresurus jerdonii is a venomous pit viper species endemic to India (Assam), Bangladesh, Myanmar, Tibet, China and Vietnam. Three subspecies are currently recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here.[5]


The specific name, jerdonii, is in honor of British herpetologist Thomas C. Jerdon who collected the type series.[6]


Trimeresurus jerdonii, illustration by G.H. Ford (1875) for Günther's original description.

Males grow to a maximum total length of 835 mm (32.9 in), with a tail length of 140 mm (5.5 in); females to 990 mm (39 in), with a tail length of 160 mm (6.3 in).[7]

Scalation: dorsal scales in 21 longitudinal rows at midbody (rarely 23); snout length a little more than twice diameter of eye; head above, except for large internasals and supraoculars, covered by small, unequal, smooth scales that are feebly imbricate or juxtaposed; first labial completely separated from nasal scales by a suture; internasals separated by 1-2 small scales; 6-9 small scales in line between supraoculars; 7-8 upper labials, third and fourth beneath eye, in contact with subocular or separated by at most a single series of small scales; ventrals: males 164-188, females 167-193; subcaudals: males 50-78, females 44-76.[7]

Geographic range[edit]

Found in Assam in India, Bangladesh,[8] through northern Burma to Tibet, China (Hupeh, Szechwan, and Yunnan), and Vietnam. The type locality given by Günther is "Khassya" (=Khasi Hills, India).[2]


Subspecies[5] Taxon author[5] Common name[9] Geographic range[9]
T. j. bourreti Klemmer, 1963 Bourret's pitviper Northwestern Vietnam (in the provinces of Lào Cai and Lai Châu, and possibly also in adjacent China (Yunnan).
T. j. jerdonii Günther, 1875 Jerdon's pitviper Southwestern China (in the provinces of southern Xizang (Tibet), western Sichuan and Yunnan), northeastern India, Bangladesh, Burma (Chin and Kachin state), and northeastern Nepal.
T. j. xanthomelas Günther, 1889 Red spotted pitviper Central and southern China, in the provinces of Henan, Shaanxi, Gansu, Sichuan, Guizhou, Hubei and Guangxi.

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. ^ The Reptile Database.
  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. ^ a b c "Trimeresurus jerdonii". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 25 May 2007. 
  6. ^ 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. (Protobothrops jerdonii, p. 134).
  7. ^ a b Leviton AE, Wogan GOU, Koo MS, Zug GR, Lucas RS, Vindum JV. 2003. The Dangerously Venomous Snakes of Myanmar, Illustrated Checklist with Keys. Proc. California Acad. Sci. 54 (24): 407-462.
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b Gumprecht A, Tillack F, Orlov NL, Captain A, Ryabov S. 2004. Asian Pitvipers. First Edition. Berlin: GeitjeBooks. 368 pp. ISBN 3-937975-00-4.

Further reading[edit]

  • Boulenger GA. 1890. The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. London: Secretary of State for India in Council. (Taylor and Francis, Printers). xviii + 541 pp. (Trimeresurus jerdonii, pp. 427–428).
  • Günther A. 1875. Second Report on Collections of Indian Reptiles obtained by the British Museum. Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1875: 224-234. (Trimeresurus jerdonii, new species, pp. 233–234 + Plate XXXIV).

External links[edit]