Trimeresurus mangshanensis

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Protobothrops mangshanensis
Protobothrops mangshanensis mang pitviper LA zoo top.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Genus: Protobothrops
Species: P. mangshanensis
Binomial name
Protobothrops mangshanensis
(Zhao, 1990)
  • Trimeresurus mangshanensis
    Zhao In Zhao & Chen, 1990
  • Ermia mangshanensis
    Zhang, 1993
  • Trimeresurus mangshanensis
    McDiarmid, Campbell & Touré, 1999[2]
  • Zhaoermia mangshanensis
    Gumprecht & Tillack, 2004
    (nomen novum)
  • Protobothrops mangshanensis
    Guo et al., 2007
  • Protobothrops mangshanensis
    Orlov et al., 2009[3]
Common names: Mangshan pitviper.[4]

Protobothrops mangshanensis is a venomous pitviper species endemic to Hunan and Guangdong provinces in China.[1][2] It is reputed to be one of two species (alongside the rinkhals) other than certain cobras known to spit venom.[5] No subspecies are currently recognized.[6]

Geographic range[edit]

The species is known from the type locality: "Pingkeng, Mangshan (Mt. Mang), Yizhang County, Hunan",[2] as well as from Ruyuan Yao Autonomous County in Guangdong province, both in southern China.[1]

Conservation status[edit]

This species is listed as "Endangered" by the IUCN on the basis that this species has an extent of occurrence and area of occupancy both unlikely to exceed 300 km2 (120 sq mi), it is known from two locations at risk from harvesting for the international pet trade, and there is a continuing decline in the number of mature individuals.[1]


Trimeresurus mangshanensis.jpg

This pitviper is found in mountainous regions in southern Hunan. Although first discovered in the Mt. Mang mountain range, it is also found in surrounding areas, primarily in forested areas with thick vegetation and cover. Frequently it rests against logs and other structures along animal trails to ambush prey, and can also be found in the numerous caves in the region. Winter temperatures in the region come close to freezing, whilst summer temperatures can reach 30 °C (86 °F) or higher.


This species was originally described in the genus Trimeresurus. A new genus, Ermia, named in honor of Chinese herpetologist Er-mi Zhao, was erected for the species in 1993.[7] However, by coincidence, this generic name was already in use for a genus of locusts. The new generic name Zhaoermia was therefore proposed as a replacement name for Ermia.[8] More recently, Guo et al. (2007)[9] transferred the species to the genus Protobothrops, based on evidence T. mangshanensis is phylogenetically nested within the existing species of that genus. The species is therefore currently known as Protobothrops mangshanensis.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Zhou, Z. (2012). "Protobothrops mangshanensis". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2012: e.T192140A2046130. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012-1.RLTS.T192140A2046130.en. Retrieved 11 January 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c 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).
  3. ^ The Reptile Database.
  4. ^ Gumprecht A, Tillack F, Orlov NL, Captain A, Ryabov S. 2004. Asian Pitvipers. Geitje Books. Berlin. 1st Edition. 368 pp. ISBN 3-937975-00-4.
  5. ^ O'Shea M. 2005. Venomous Snakes of the World. Princeton University Press. 160 pp. ISBN 0-691-12436-1.
  6. ^ "Trimeresurus mangshanensis". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 4 November 2006. 
  7. ^ Zhang F.-J. (1993), Division of the genus Trimeresurus (sensu lato) (Serpentes: Viperidae), based on the morphology of their skulls,” in: E.-M. Zhao, B.-H. Chen, and T. J. Papenfuss (eds.), Proc. of the First Asian Herpetol. Meeting, Huangshan, China. Forestry Press. Beijing. pp. 48 – 57.
  8. ^ Gumprecht A, Tillack F. 2004. Proposal for a replacement name of the snake genus Ermia Zhang, 1993. Russ. J. Herpetol. 11 (1): 73-76.
  9. ^ Guo, P., A. Malhotra, P.P. Li, C.E. Pook & S. Creer (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: 237-246.

Further reading[edit]

  • Zhao, Ermi and Yuanhui Chen. 1990. Description of a new species of the genus Trimeresurus. (in Chinese with abstract in English.) Sichuan Journal of Zoology 9 (1): 11-12.

External links[edit]