Trimeresurus jerdonii

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Trimeresurus jerdonii
T. jerdonii at the San Diego Zoo
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
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
    K. Vogt, 1922
  • Trimeresurus jerdonii melli
    — Mell, 1931
  • T [rimeresurus]. j [erdonii ]. jerdonii
    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]

Trimeresurus jerdonii (Jerdon's pit viper,[4] yellow-speckled pit viper, oriental pit viper) 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]

Jerdon's red spotted pit viper, P. j. xanthomelas, from West Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh, India.


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

The subspecific name, bourreti, is in honour of French herpetologist René Léon Bourret.[6]


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

Males of P. jerdonii grow to a maximum total length of 835 mm (32.9 in), which includes a tail length of 140 mm (5.5 in); females grow 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]

P. jerdonii is 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) and northeastern India(Arunachal Pradesh).[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wogan G, Das I, Jiang J, Bain R (2012). "Protobothrops jerdonii ". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017-2.
  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 jerdonii ". 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. ^ a b 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 jerdonii, p. 134; P. j. bourreti, p. 35).
  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.
  10. ^ Zambre, Amod; Sheth, Chintan; Dalvi, Shashank; Kulkarni, Nirmal (2009). "First record of Protobothrops jerdonii xanthomelas (Günther, 1889) from Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, India". J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 106 (2): 325-327.

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).
  • Boulenger GA (1896). Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume III., Containing the ... Viperidæ. London: Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History). (Taylor and Francis, printers). xiv + 727 pp. + Plates I-XXV. (Lachesis jerdonii, pp. 551-552).
  • Das I (2002). A Photographic Guide to Snakes and other Reptiles of India. Sanibel Island, Florida: Ralph Curtis Books. 144 pp. ISBN 0-88359-056-5. (Protobothrops jerdonii, p. 63).
  • 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).
  • 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. (Trimeresurus jerdoni, pp. 510-511, Figure 162).

External links[edit]