Wall’s Humpnose Viper

Wall’s Humpnose Viper
Hypnale walli
GLOYD, 1977


Higher Taxa Viperidae, Crotalinae, Serpentes (snakes)
Common Names Sri Lanka Humpnose Viper
Synonym Coluber nepa LAURENTI 1768: 97
Hypnale nepa — GÜNTHER 1864 (part.)
Ancistrodon hypnale BOULENGER 1896
Ancistrodon nepa — SMITH 1937
Ancistrodon nepa — SMITH 1943: 500
Agkistrodon nepa — TAYLOR 1950: 595
Agkistrodon walli GLOYD 1977
Hypnale walli — WELCH 1994: 67
Hypnale nepa — WELCH 1994: 67
Hypnale nepa — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 310
Hypnale walli — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 311
Hypnale walli — GUMPRECHT et al. 2004
Hypnale nepa — GUMPRECHT et al. 2004
Distribution Sri Lanka, elevations above 900 m.
Type locality: “obviously Sri Lanka” fide HOGE & ROMANO-HOGE (1981: 199); originally given as “Habitat in Africa”, in error. Type locality of neotype: Agra Arboretum, Agarapatana, 06º50’N, 80º40’ E, elevation 1665 m.
walli: S Sri Lanka;Type locality: Kanneliya Forest, Udugama, Southern Province, Ceylon, elevation approx. 1000 ft.
Types Neotype: WHT 6515 (designated by MAduwage et al. 2009)
Comment Venomous!
Reproduction: ovoviviparous
Common names: Wall’s hump-nosed viper. Sri Lankan hump-nosed viper
Hypnale walli is a venomous pitviper species endemic to Sri Lanka. The smallest member of its genus, it is distinguished by having a strongly upturned nose and lower scale counts. No subspecies are currently recognized
Hypnale nepa is a venomous pitviper species endemic to Sri Lanka where it is known as මූකලන් තෙලිස්සා (mukalan thelissa) in Sinhala. Earlier thought that Hypnale walli and Hypnale nepa were two distinct species, but it is now accepted that it is the same species and Hypnale walli is a synonym name. Relatively small, they are distinguished by a strongly upturned snout. No subspecies are currently recognized.
Etymology The specific name, walli, is in honor of Ceylonese-born British herpetologist Frank Wall.
Description The smallest member of the genus Hypnale, the only male with a complete tail measured 30.5 cm (12 inches) in total length with a tail of 4.3 cm (1⅝ in) (14% of total length), while the largest female was 28.3 cm (11⅛ inch) in total length with a tail of 3.5 cm (1⅜ in) (12% of total length). The body is stoutly built.
This species is distinguished from H. hypnale by a snout that has a strongly upturned tip. This is due to an extended rostral scale, which is immediately followed by a raised wart-like hump covered with 10 minute scales. Also, the hemipenes have clearly visible spines. It is distinguished from H. nepa by its lower scale counts.
The scalation includes 17 rows of dorsal scales at midbody that usually lack keels, 7 supralabial scales, 120-126 ventral scales, and 28-33 subcaudal scales.
Regarding the color pattern, Gloyd and Conant (1990) examined a number of preserved specimens, mentioning that some were so faded as to render the pattern almost invisible. One of these, however, had a faint narrow stripe down the center of its back. In general, the color pattern is described as consisting of a series of 18-24 dorsolateral small subtriangular brown blotches, pointing upwards. These are slightly darker than the ground color, except for the upper edges that may be considerably darker. A pair of dark brown blotches are present on the side of the head, along with a pair of dark stripes curving backward on the sides of the neck. The ventral surface is strongly flecked and dappled with grayish brown.
Geographic range Hypnale walli is found in Sri Lanka. The type locality given is “Kanneliya Forest, Udugama Southern Province, Ceylon [Sri Lanka], elevation approximately 1,000 ft. [300 m]”.
According to Gloyd and Conant (1990), the taxonomic status of this species is unclear. Although described here as a species, it may eventually be classified as a subspecies of H. nepa, or even as the minimum extreme for H. nepa with regard to its low ventral and subcaudal scale counts, as well as its relatively short tail.[
References Boulenger, George A. 1890. The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and Batrachia. Taylor & Francis, London, xviii, 541 pp. –
Gloyd, H.K. 1977. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 90: 1002 –
Gumprecht, A.; Tillack, F.; Orlov, N.L.; Captain, A. & Ryabow, S. 2004. Asian pitvipers. Geitje Books, Berlin, 368 pp.
Hoge & ROMANO-Hoge 1981. Poisonous snakes of the world. Part I. Check list of the pit vipers, Viperoidea, Viperidae, Crotalinae. Mem. Inst. Butantan 42/43 [1978-1979]: 179-309
Janzen, P.; Klaas, P. & Ziesmann, S. 2007. Sri Lankas Schlangenfauna. Draco 7 (30): 56-64 –
Laurenti, J. N. 1768. Specimen medicum, exhibens synopsin reptilium emendatam cum experimentis circa venena et antidota reptilium austracorum, quod authoritate et consensu. Vienna, Joan. Thomae, 217 pp.
MADUWAGE, KALANA; ANJANA SILVA, KELUM MANAMENDRA-ARACHCHI & ROHAN PETHIYAGODA 2009. A taxonomic revision of the South Asian hump-nosed pit vipers (Squamata: Viperidae: Hypnale). Zootaxa 2232: 1-28 –
McDiarmid,R.W.; Campbell,J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
Taylor, Edward H. 1950. The snakes of Ceylon. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 33 (14): 519-603 –







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Wall’s Sea Snake

Wall’s Sea Snake
Disteira walli
KHARIN, 1989

Higher Taxa Elapidae (Hydrophiinae), Serpentes (snakes)
Common Names Wall’s Sea Snake
Synonym Hydrophis nigrocinctus DAUDIN 1803: 380
Hydrophis nigro-cinctus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854: 1350
Hydrophis nigrocincta — FISCHER 1856: 46
Melanomystax nigrocinctus — WALL 1921: 383
Hydrophis nigrocinctus — SMITH 1943: 452
Disteira walli KHARIN 1989
Disteira nigrocincta — WELCH 1994: 55
Hydrophis nigrocinctus — DAS 1996: 61
Disteira nigrocinctus — RASMUSSEN 1997
Disteira nigrocincta — HEATWOLE 1999: 131
Hydrophis nigrocinctus — SHARMA 2004
Disteira walli — KHARIN 2005
Disteira nigrocincta — KHARIN 2005
Hydrophis nigrocinctus — RASMUSSEN et al. 2011
Distribution Indian Ocean: India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar (= Burma), Thailand, Malaysia
Type locality: “salted waters of a river near Calcutta,Sundarbans”, Bengal
Types Holotype: BMNH 1946.1.10.13, but original description based on Russell, 1801, p. 7, pl. 6
Comment Venomous! Not listed by GRANDISON 1977 for West Malaysia or Singapore.
Identification.— Mental scute large, not concealed in mental groove; 1–3 maxillary teeth behind fangs; 7–9 palatine teeth, similar in size to ptergyoid teeth; head with yellow supraorbital stripe surrounding a blackish crown patch that extends forward to prefrontals; olive to brown above with 40 to 60 narrow dark annuli; yellowish below; 27–33 scale rows around neck, 39–45 around midbody, imbricate and keeled; ventrals 296–330, distinct throughout but not twice as large as adjacent scales; preanal scales enlarged. Total length 1080 mm, tail length 125 mm. [after LEVITON 2003]
Habitat: marine.
Synonymy: RASMUSSEN et al. 2011 synonymized H. walli with H. nigrocinctus; H. walli “is closely related to D. nigrocincta and differs from it in teethless (excluding fangs) maxillare, characters of the heart and hemipenis, absence of the cuneate on infralablials” (from KHARIN 1989).
Disteira was characterized by Boulenger in 1890 as having grooved maxillary teeth following the first pair of poison fangs. However, later dental examination under more powerful magnification found all sea snakes have grooves in their teeth, some deep and wide channels visible to the naked eye, others only at the base of the tooth and requiring magnification to observe. In light of those new findings, Disteira and Hydrophis were merged until McDowell resurrected Disteira as a separate genus in 1972 to accommodate new species. He redefined Disteira as possessing a broad dorsal portion of the venom gland muscle called the Oxyuranus pattern.
Although McDowell rolled the monotypic genera Astrotia – which contains only Stoke’s seasnake – into Disteira, that classification is not widely adopted.

References Daudin 1802. Histoire Naturelle, Générale et Particulière des Reptiles. vol. 7. Paris: Dufart [1802], 436 pp.
Dowling, H.G., & Jenner, J.V. 1988. Snakes of Burma: checklist of reported species and bibliography. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (76): 19 pp. –
Duméril, A. M. C., BIBRON, G. & DUMÉRIL, A. H. A., 1854. Erpétologie générale ou histoire naturelle complète des reptiles. Tome septième. Deuxième partie, comprenant l’histoire des serpents venimeux. Paris, Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret: i-xii + 781-1536 –
Fischer, J.G. 1856. Die Familie der Seeschlangen. Abhandl. Nat. Ver. Hamburg 3: 1-78
Heatwole, H. 1999. Sea snakes, 2nd ed. Krieger, Malabar, 148 pp. [review in Copeia 2000 (4): 1136]
Kharin V E 1989. A new sea snake species of the genus Disteira (Serpentes, Hydrophoriidae) from the waters of the Malay Archipelago [in Russian]. Vestnik Zoologii, Kiev 1989 (1): 29-32.
Kharin, Vladimir E. and Vladimir P. Czeblukov 2009. A Revision of the Sea Snakes of Subfamily Hydrophiinae. 1. Tribe Disteirini Nov. (Serpentes: Hydrophiidae). Russian Journal of Herpetology 16 (3):183-202 –
Leviton, Alan E.; Guinevere O.U. Wogan; Michelle S. Koo; George R. Zug; Rhonda S. Lucas and Jens V. 2003. The Dangerously Venomous Snakes of Myanmar Illustrated Checklist with Keys. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 54 (24): 407–462
Rasmussen, Arne R.; Ineich, Ivan; Elmberg, Johan; McCarthy, Colin 2011. Status of the Asiatic Sea Snakes of the Hydrophis nigrocinctus group (H. nigrocinctus, H. hendersoni, and H. walli; Elapidae, Hydrophiinae). Amphibia-Reptilia 32 (4): 459-464 –
Rasmussen,A.R. 1997. Systematics of sea snakes: a critical review. In: Thorpe,R.S., Wüster,W. & Malhotra,A. (eds.) Venomous snakes – ecology, evolution and snakebite. Clarendon Press (Oxford)/Symp. zool. Soc. Lond. 70: 15-30
Russell 1801. A continuation of an account of Indian serpents: containing descriptions and figures from specimens and drawings, transmitted from various parts of India to the hon. Court of Directors of the East Indian Company. Volume 2. London, W. Bulmer and Co., 53 pp. [1801-1810]
Sharma, R. C. 2004. Handbook Indian Snakes. AKHIL BOOKS, New Delhi, 292 pp.
Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
Wall, FRANK 1921. Ophidia Taprobanica or the Snakes of Ceylon. Colombo Mus. (H. R. Cottle, govt. printer), Colombo. xxii, 581 pages




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Wall’s Bronzeback

Wall’s Bronzeback
Dendrelaphis cyanochloris
WALL, 1921

Full-grown adult photographed at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Singapore. Photos thanks to Shawn Mathai

Higher Taxa Colubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Serpentes (snakes)
Common Names E: Wall’s Bronzeback
G: Blaue Bronzenatter
Synonym Dendrophis pictus var. cyanochloris WALL 1921: 155
Dendrophis boiga cyanochloris — MEISE & HENNIG 1932
Ahaetulla cyanochloris — SMITH 1940: 482
Ahaetulla cyanochloris — SMITH 1943: 244
Dendrelaphis cyanochloris — MANTHEY & GROSSMANN 1997: 337
Dendrelaphis cyanochloris — COX et al. 1998: 70
Distribution India (Assam, Arunachal Pradesh (Namdapha – Changlang district) [A. Captain, pers. comm.]; Andaman Islands), Bangladesh, Myanmar (= Burma), S Thailand,
W Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, Pahang, Pulau Tioman.
Type locality: Eastern Himalaya, Assam, Myanmar (= Burma) [see comment]. Corrected to “Darjeeling” by VOGEL & VAN ROOIJEN 2007.
Types Lectotype: BMNH 1940.3.4.27 (designated by VOGEL & ROOIJEN 2007).
Distribution: Possibly in Bhutan (Lenz 2012). The original type locality seems to have included the Nicobar Islands but the species has not been listed for these islands by DAS 1999 or VIJAYAKUMAR & DAVID 2006.
Similar species: Can be confused with D. formosus.
The original description of D. cyanochloris is composite as it was partly based on specimens of D. humayuni Tiwari & Biswas, 1973 (fide VOGEL & ROOIJEN 2007).
Description of lectotype (subadult male from “Darjeeling”, State of West Bengal, India): SVL 59.0 cm; TAIL 26.0 cm; Head-length 19.0 mm; 201 ventrals; 137 divided subcaudals; anal plate divided; dorsals 15:15:11; vertebral scales larger than first row of dorsals, hexagonal in shape and with straight posterior margin; 1 loreal (L+R); 1 preocular (L+R); 2 postoculars (L+R); 1 supraocular (L+R); 9 supralabials (L+R); supralabials 5 and 6 touch the eye (L+R); 9 infralabials, 5th largest (L), 10 infralabials, 6th largest (R); first infralabials touch at the mental groove; infralabials 1 through 4 touch anterior chin shield (L), infralabials 1 through 5 touch anterior chin shield (R); infralabials 4 and 5 touch posterior chin shield (L); infralabials 5 and 6 touch posterior chin shield (R); first sublabial long, touches infralabials 5 through 9 (L), first sublabial short, touches infralabials 6 and 7 (R); temporals 2:2:2 (L+R); eye small, 4.3 mm in diameter (L and R averaged); a black temporal stripe starts behind the eye, covers the whole temporal region and extends onto the neck up to the level of the 4th ventral scale. In the anterior part of the body, there are groups of dorsals with white spots, these white spots are partly covered by adjoining dorsals; all dorsals, except first row, have black anterior and lower edges which are largely covered by preceding and adjoining dorsals; vertebral scales with black edges anteriorly which are largely covered by preceding vertebrals and adjoining dorsals; some vertebral scales lack a white lateral margin, some have a unilateral white margin and some have white margins bilaterally, these white margins are covered by adjoining dorsal scales; subcaudals without a black point medially; no lateral black stripes in posterior half of the body; dorsals on tail without black margins; no light ventrolateral stripe (from VOGEL & ROOIJEN 2007).
Behavior: diurnal
Habitat: arboreal
Reproduction: oviparous.
The Blue Bronzeback Dendrelaphis cyanochloris occurs predominantly in lowland primary forest and adjacent mature secondary forest.

This long and slender snake is an agile climber in common with other whip-like bronzebacks. It hunts by day for lizards and frogs.

It is similar in colour and patterning to the Elegant Bronzeback Dendrelaphis formosus, with which it has long been confused. The Blue Bronzeback can be distinguished from the Elegant Bronzeback by the black stripe which starts immediately in front of the eye and extends onto the neck only. The eye is slightly smaller than that of the Elegant Bronzeback, and it lacks the three narrow, black lines which are present posteriorly on the latter snake.

The species is most easily identified when its anterior body is inflated in defense : at such times the vivid blue of the interstitial skin (the skin between the scales) is revealed. Though the Elegant Bronzeback also has blue interstitial skin, this appears to be far more intense in the Blue Bronzeback.

Full-grown adult photographed at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, Singapore. Photos thanks to Shawn Mathai

The species ranges from India through Burma and Thailand to Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore.
The Blue Bronzeback Snake is a quick, nervous snake. It lives in bushes and in the trees of hilly areas and can move just as quickly along a branch as on the ground. The snake is active during the day. It feeds on lizards and frogs.
This handsome, very slender bronzeback resembles Dendrelaphis formosus from the South. It also somewhat resembles Cohn’s Bronzeback (Dendrelaphis striatus) from the South, but lacks the latter’s series of characteristic black, oblique bars on the anterior part of the body. Its morphology has a strong resemblance to that of a bronzeback known from Tak province, which probably is a new, thusfar undescribed species (see the article: Dendrelaphis spec., een bronzeback uit West-Thailand). The latter, however, can easily be distinghuised by its remarkable black saw-tooth pattern on the neck.
The Blue Bronzeback reaches a length of 140 cm. The back is covered with brownish bronze, smooth scales. The skin between the scales of the anterior part of the body is light blue or greenish blue and will be exposed when the body is expanded, as is the case in other bronzeback species. The name Blue Bronzeback refers to this phenomenon.
The head is moderately distinct from the neck and copper brown, similar in colour to the Common Bronzeback’s head. The iris of the eye is brown, the round pupil is black.
A conspicuous black streak runs from the loreal scale to the eye, and extends from the back of the eye onto the neck where peters out. (2).
There is no black or cream stripe on the flank, and the belly is uniformly yellowish or light green. The vertebral scales are much enlarged. The tongue is scarlet.

Chan-ard,T.; Grossmann,W.; Gumprecht,A. & Schulz,K. D. 1999. Amphibians and reptiles of peninsular Malaysia and Thailand – an illustrated checklist [bilingual English and German]. Bushmaster Publications, Würselen, Gemany, 240 pp. [book review in Russ. J Herp. 7: 87] –
Cox, Merel J.; Van Dijk, Peter Paul; Jarujin Nabhitabhata & Thirakhupt,Kumthorn 1998. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Ralph Curtis Publishing, 144 pp.
Das, Abhijit; Uttam Saikia, B. H. C. K. Murthy, Santanu Dey and Sushil K. Dutta 2009. A herpetofaunal inventory of Barail Wildlife Sanctuary and adjacent regions, Assam, north-eastern India. Hamadryad 34 (1): 117 – 134
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 –
Dowling, H.G., & Jenner, J.V. 1988. Snakes of Burma: checklist of reported species and bibliography. Smithsonian Herp. Inf. Serv. (76): 19 pp. –
Goldberg, Stephen R. and L. Lee Grismer. 2014. Dendrelaphis cyanochloris (Wall’s bronzeback) reproduction. Herpetological Review 45 (2): 337
Goldberg, Stephen R., Charles R. Bursey and L. Lee Grismer. 2014. Dendrelaphis cyanochloris (Wall’s bronzeback) endoparasite. Herpetological Review 45 (2): 337
Grossmann,W. & Tillack,F. 2001. Bemerkungen zur Herpetofauna des Khao Lak, Phang Nga, thailändische Halbinsel. Teil II: Reptilia: Serpentes; Testudines; Diskussion. Sauria 23 (1): 25-40 –
Hien,P. Grossmann,W. & Schäfer, C. 2001. Beitrag zur Kenntnis der landbewohnenden Reptilienfauna von Pulau Tioman, West-Malaysia. Sauria 23 (4): 11-28 –
Lenz, Norbert 2012. Von Schmetterlingen und Donnerdrachen – Natur und Kultur in Bhutan. Karslruher Naturhefte 4, Naturkundemuseum Karslruhe, 124 pp.
Manthey, U. & Grossmann, W. 1997. Amphibien & Reptilien Südostasiens. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 512 pp. –
Meise,Wilhelm & HENNIG,Willi 1932. Die Schlangengattung Dendrophis. Zool. Anz. 99 (11/12): 273-297
Pauwels, O.S.G.; David, P.; Chimsunchart, C. & Thirakhupt, K. 2003. Reptiles of Phetchaburi Province, Western Thailand: a list of species, with natural history notes, and a discussion on the biogeography at the Isthmus of Kra. Natural History Journal of Chulalongkorn University 3 (1): 23-53 –
Pauwels,O.S.G. et al. 2000. Herpetological investigations in Phang-Nga Province, southern Peninsular Thailand, with a list of reptile species and notes on their biology. Dumerilia 4 (2): 123-154 –
Rooijen, J. van & Vogel, G. 2008. Contributions to a review of the Dendrelaphis pictus complex (Serpentes: Colubridae) – 1. Description of a sympatric species. Amphibia-Reptilia 29: 101-115 –
Rooijen, J. van & Vogel, G. 2008. A new species of Dendrelaphis (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Java, Indonesia. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 56 (1): 189-197 –
Sharma, R. C. 2004. Handbook Indian Snakes. AKHIL BOOKS, New Delhi, 292 pp.
Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
Taylor,E.H. 1965. The serpents of Thailand and adjacent waters. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 45 (9): 609-1096 –
van Rooijen J. & van Rooijen, M. 2002. Einige Ergänzungen, Berichtigungen und neue Beobachtungen zur Herpetofauna von Pulau Tioman, West-Malaysia. Sauria 24 (3): 3-12 [erratum in 24 (4): 34] –
Vogel, G. & J. VAN ROOIJEN 2007. A new species of Dendrelaphis (Serpentes: Colubridae) from Southeast Asia. Zootaxa 1394: 25-45 –
VOGEL, GERNOT; JOHAN VAN ROOIJEN & SJON HAUSER 2012. A new species of Dendrelaphis Boulenger, 1890 (Squamata: Colubridae) from Thailand and Myanmar. Zootaxa 3392: 35–46 –
Wall. F. 1921. Remarks on the lndian species of Dendrophis and Dendrelaphis. Records of the Indian Museum 22: 151 – 162 –
Whitaker, Romulusand Ashok Captain 2004. Snakes of India. Draco Books, 500 pp. –

Part of the posterior section of the body, showing typical scale arrangement and a variety of shades of brown and cream.






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Wall’s Keelback

Wall’s Keelback
Amphiesma xenura
WALL, 1907


Higher Taxa Natricidae, Colubroidea, Serpentes (snakes)
Common Names Wall’s Keelback
Synonym Tropidonotus xenura WALL 1907: 616
Natrix xenurus — WALL 1923
Natrix xenura — SMITH 1943: 292
Paranatrix xenura — MAHENDRA 1984
Amphiesma xenura — DAS 1996: 54
Amphiesma xenura — DAVID et al. 2007
Distribution India (Assam)
Type locality: Cherrapunji, Khasi Hills, Assam.
Types Type: BNHM (Collection of the Bombay Natural History Society)
Comment The original description did not have a type locality, but WALL 1909 found additional specimens from Khasi Hills, henceforth assumed to be the type locality.
Similar species: Amphiesma modestum.

References David, P., Bain, R. H., Nguyen Quang Truong, Orlov, N. L., Vogel, G., Vu Ngoc Thanh & T. Ziegler 2007. A new species of the natricine snake genus Amphiesma from the Indochinese Region (Squamata: Colubridae: Natricinae). Zootaxa 1462: 41-60 –
Mahendra B C 1984. Handbook of the snakes of India, Ceylon, Burma, Bangladesh and Pakistan. ANNALS OF ZOOLOGY (AGRA) 22 (B): i-xvi, 1-412
Sharma, R. C. 2004. Handbook Indian Snakes. AKHIL BOOKS, New Delhi, 292 pp.
Smith, M.A. 1943. The Fauna of British India, Ceylon and Burma, Including the Whole of the Indo-Chinese Sub-Region. Reptilia and Amphibia. 3 (Serpentes). Taylor and Francis, London. 583 pp.
Wall,F. 1907. Some new Asian snakes. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 17: 612-618 –
Wall,F. 1909. Remarks on some little known Indian Ophidia. Records of the Indian Museum 3 (2): 145-150. –
Whitaker, Romulusand Ashok Captain 2004. Snakes of India. Draco Books, 500 pp. –
Ziegler, T., and Quyet, L.K. 2006. A new natricine snake of the genus Amphiesma (Squamata: Colubridae: Natricinae) from the central Truong Son, Vietnam. Zootaxa 1225:39-56 –




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Walker’s Slender Snake

Walker’s Slender Snake
Tachymenis attenuata
WALKER, 1945

Higher Taxa Dipsadidae, Colubroidea, Serpentes (snakes)
Subspecies Tachymenis attenuata attenuata WALKER 1945
Tachymenis attenuata boliviana WALKER 1945
Common Names Walker’s Slender Snake
Synonym Tachymenis attenuata WALKER 1945: 24
Tachymenis attenuata attenuata — MARX 1958
Distribution Bolivia, S Peru
Type locality: Peru (Dep. Madre de Dios fide Walker 1945)
Types Holotype: FMNH 40071
Comment Venomous!
Distribution: This species has been reported from Peru, but without specific locality (T. Doan, pers. comm. 30 Apr 2012).
Tachymenis is a genus of venomous snakes belonging to the family Colubridae. They are commonly known as slender snakes or short-tailed snakes and are primarily found in southern South America. Tachymenis are capable of producing a medically significant bite, with at least one species, T. peruviana, responsible for human fatalities
References Walker, W.F. 1945. A Study of the Snake, Tachymenis peruviana Wiegmann AND ITS Allies. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. Harvard 96: 1-56 –




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Wagner’s Viper

Wagner’s Viper
Vipera wagneri

Vipera wagneri (5)” by TimVickersOwn work. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Higher Taxa Viperidae, Viperinae, Serpentes (snakes)
Common Names E: Wagner’s Viper
G: Wagners Bergotter
Synonym Vipera wagneri NILSON & ANDRÉN 1984
Vipera wagneri — WELCH 1994: 123
Viperus [sic] wagneri — MATTISON 1995: 244
Vipera (Montivipera) wagneri — NILSON et al. 1999: 101
Vipera wagneri — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 412
Vipera wagneri — SCHMIDT & KUNZ 2005: 66
Montivipera wagneri — GARRIGUES et al. 2005
Vipera (Montivipera) wagneri — VENCHI & SINDACO 2006
Montivipera wagneri — ARIKAN et al. 2008
Distribution E Turkey (E Anatolia), NW Iran
Type locality: Vicinity of lake Urmia (Armenian-persian
border), Azerbaijan province, NW Iran.
Types Holotype: ZFMK 23495, in original description and verified by to U. Joger. [The caption for figure 1 on p. 178, in error cited ZFMK 32495 as the holotype.]
Comment Venomous!
Reproduction: (ovo-) viparous.
Common names: ocellated mountain viper, Wagner’s viper.
Vipera wagneri is a venomous viper species endemic to eastern Turkey and northwestern Iran. No subspecies are currently recognized.
Etymology The specific name, wagneri, is in honor of Moritz Wagner, a German explorer, who collected the type specimen in 1846.
Description It grows to a maximum total length (body + tail) of 70 to 95 cm (28 to 37 in).
The head is relatively large, elongate, and distinct from the neck. The snout is rounded and covered with small keeled scales. The rostal is in contact with 2-3 apical scales. The eyes are in broad contact with the large supraoculars and surrounded by 12-15 circumorbital scales. Across the top of the head, there are 6-7 interocular scales. There are usually 9 upper labials and 12-13 lower labials. The former are separated from the eye by 1-2 rows of scales. The nostril is located within a single nasal scale. The temporal scales are keeled, and there is usually one canthal scale on either side of the head.
Midbody there are 23 rows of keeled dorsal scales. There are 2-3 preventral scales, 161-170 ventrals, and 23-31 paired subcaudals. The anal plate is single.
The dorsal color pattern consists of a grayish ground color, overlaid with a central series of occasionally connected blotches or spots that run from the back of the head to the tail. These blotches are light brown to yellowish brown or orange, with black borders, and each is 4-8.5 scales wide.
The top of the head usually has two black elongated blotches that form a large dark open V marking, but without an apex. The arms of the V end on the neck. There is usually a dark stripe that runs from the corner of the eye to the angle of the mouth.
Geographic range It is found in the mountains of eastern Turkey and adjacent northwestern Iran.
The type locality given is “vicinity of Lake Urmia (Armenisch-Persische Grenze [=Armenian-Persian border]), province Azerbaijan, N.W. Iran”.
Conservation status This species is classified as Endangered (EN) according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species with the following criteria: A1d+2d, B1+2e, C1 (v2.3, 1994). This indicates a population reduction in the form of an observed, estimated, inferred or suspected reduction of at least 50% over the last 10 years or three generations, whichever is the longer, based on actual or potential levels of exploitation. For the same reason, a reduction of at least 50% is projected or suspected to be met within the next 10 years or three generations, whichever is the longer. The extent of occurrence is estimated to be less than 5,000 km² or area of occupancy estimated to be less than 500 km², and indicate that the population is either severely fragmented or known to exist at no more than five locations. In addition, a continuing decline is inferred, observed or projected in number of mature individuals. The total population is estimated to number less than 2500 mature individuals and will likely suffer a decline of at least 20% within five years or two generations, whichever is longer. Year assessed: 1996. In 2008 status changed to Critically Endangered due to collection for the international pet trade. Additionally, planned Kara kurt dam complex will result in loss of over 80% of the suitable habitat.
This species is also listed on CITES Appendix II, which means that it is not necessarily threatened with extinction, but may become so if it is not listed. It is, however, listed as a strictly protected species (Appendix II) under the Berne Convention.
The main threats are capture for the exotic pet trade and habitat loss due to dam construction.
Nine endangered ocellate mountain vipers were born on August 16, 2013 at the St. Louis Zoo. The St. Louis Zoo is a part of a cooperative breeding and conservation program for these endangered species. The zoo’s vipers were bred on the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan.
Habitat V. wagneri is found at altitudes of 1,600 to 1,900 m (5,200 to 6,200 ft) in rocky and grassy habitats.
References Arakelyan, M. S.; F. D. Danielyan, C. Corti, R. Sindaco, and A. E. Leviton 2011. The Herpetofauna of Armenia and Naganorno-Karabakh. SSAR, Salt Lake City, 154 pp.
Arıkan, H., Göçmen, B., Kumlutaş, Y., Alpagut-Keskin, N., Ilgaz, Ç & Yıldız, M.Z. 2008. Electrophoretic characterisation of the venom samples obtained from various Anatolian snakes (Serpentes: Colubridae, Viperidae, Elapidae). North-Western Journal of Zoology 4 (1): 16-28 –
Arıkan, Hüseyin; Yusuf Kumlutas, Öguz Türkozan, Ibrahim Baran, Çetin Ilgaz 2004. The morphology and size of blood cells of some viperid snakes from Turkey. Amphibia-Reptilia 25 (4): 465-470 –
Bergman, J. 1992. Ein erster Fund einer abnormen, runden Pupille bei Vipera wagneri NILSON & ANDRÉN 1984. Sauria 14 (1): 33-34
Garrigues, Thomas; Catherine Dauga; Elisabeth Ferquel; Valérie Choumet and Anna-Bella Failloux 2005. Molecular phylogeny of Vipera Laurenti, 1768 and the related genera Macrovipera (Reuss, 1927) and Daboia (Gray, 1842), with comments about neurotoxic Vipera aspis aspis populations . Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution Volume 35 (1): 35-47 –
Joger, U., A. Teynié & D. Fuchs 1988. Morphological characterization of Vipera wagneri NILSON & AENDRÉ, 1984 (Reptilia: Viperidae), with first description of the males. Bonner zoologische Beiträge 39 (2/3): 221-228. –
Mallow, D. Ludwig, D. & Nilson, G. 2003. True Vipers: Natural History and Toxinology of Old World Vipers. Krieger, Malabar, Florida, 410 pp. [review in HR 35: 200, Reptilia 35: 74]
Mattison, Chris 1995. The Encyclopedia of Snakes. New York: Facts on File, 256 pp.
McDiarmid,R.W.; Campbell,J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
Nilson G; Andren C 1984. Systematics of the Vipera xanthina complex (Reptilia: Viperidae). 2. An overlooked viper within the xanthina species-group in Iran. Bonner Zoologische Beiträge 35 (1-3): 175-184 –
Nilson G; Andren C 1986. The mountain vipers of the Middle East – the Vipera xanthina complex (Reptilia: Viperidae). Bonn. Zool. Monogr. 20: 1-90
Nilson G; Andren C; Flardh B 1990. Vipera albizona, a new mountain viper from central Turkey, with comments on isolating effects of the Anatolian ‘Diagonal’. Amphibia-Reptilia 11(3): 285-294 –
Nilson, G., Andren, C., & Flärdh, B. 1988. Die Vipern der Türkei. Salamandra 24 (4): 215-247.
Nilson,G.; TUNIYEV,B.; ANDRÉN,C.; ORLOV,N.; JOGER,U. & HERRMANN,H. W. 1999. Taxonomic position of the Vipera xanthina complex. Kaupia (Darmstadt) (8): 99-102
Phelps, T. 2010. Old World Vipers. Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt, 558 pp. [critical review in Sauria 33 (3): 19 and HR 43: 503]
Preißler, D. 2004. Alles über Schlangen. Draco 5 (17): 4-21 –
RASTEGAR-POUYANI, NASRULLAH; HAJI GHOLI KAMI, MEHDI RAJABZADEH, SOHEILA SHAFIEI AND STEVEN CLEMENT A 2008. Annotated Checklist of Amphibians and Reptiles of Iran. Iranian Journal of Animal Biosystematics4 (1): 7-30
Schmidt, D. & Kunz, K. 2005. Ernährung von Schlangen. Natur und Tier Verlag, Münster, 159 pp. –
Sindaco, Roberto; Alberto Venchi, Giuseppe M. Carpaneto, Marco A. Bologna 2000. The Reptiles of Anatolia: a Checklist and Zoogeographical analysis. Biogeographia, 21-2000: 441-554.
Stümpel, Nikolaus; Ulrich Joger 2009. Recent advances in phylogeny and taxonomy of Near and Middle Eastern Vipers – an update. ZooKeys 31: 179-191 –
Venchi, Alberto and Roberto Sindaco 2006. Annotated checklist of the reptiles of the Mediterranean countries, with keys to species identification. Part 2 -Snakes (Reptilia, Serpentes). Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale “G. Doria”, Genova, XCVIII: 259-364







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Wagler’s Snake

Wagler’s Snake
Waglerophis merremi
WAGLER, 1824
Xenodon merremii in Lençóis Maranhenses National Park – ZooKeys-246-051-g007-G” av Miranda J, Lopes Costa JC, Duarte da Rocha CF (2012) – Miranda J, Lopes Costa JC, Duarte da Rocha CF (2012) Reptiles from Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Maranhão, northeastern Brazil. ZooKeys 246: 51-68. doi:10.3897/zookeys.246.2593. Licensierad under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Higher Taxa Dipsadidae, Colubroidea, Serpentes (snakes)
Common Names Wagler’s Snake
Synonym Ophis Merremii WAGLER 1824: 47
Xenodon merremi – FITZINGER 1826
Xenodon irregularis GÜNTHER 1863
Xenodon merremi – BOULENGER 1894 (2): 150
Trigonocephalus flavescens BACQUÉ 1906
Trigonocephalus alternatus binocularius BACQUÉ 1906
Ophis merremii – SERIÉ 1936
Xenodon merremii – PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970
Waglerophis merremii – ROMANO & HOGE 1972: 209
Xenodon merremi — SCOTT & LOVETT 1975
Xenodon merremii — GASC & RODRIGUES 1980
Waglerophis merremi – CEI 1993
Waglerophis merremi — LEYNAUD & BUCHER 1999: 36
Xenodon merremii — BÉRNILS et al. 2001
Xenodon merremi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 785
Distribution Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana, Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul, Rondonia [HR 30: 56], Pará, Goias, Bahia, S Ceará, Piauí), Venezuela (KORNACKER 1999), Paraguay, N Argentina (Jujuy, Salta, Formosa, Chaco, Corrientes, Misiones, Catamarca, Tucumán, Santiago del Estero, La Rioja, San Juan, San Luis, Córdoba, Santa Fe, Entre Rios, Buenos Aires), Bolivia, Uruguay
Type locality: “Habitat ad urbem Bahiae” [Brazil, city of Salvador (13°00’S, 38°30’W)] according to the original description and Vanzolini (1981).
Types Types: Uncatalogued specimen(s) (lost), collected by Spix and Martius expedition to Brazil, 1817-1820.
Comment Synonymy after CEI 1993.
The color pattern of this species is quite variable.
Type species: Ophis Merremii WAGLER 1824 is the type species of the genus Waglerophis ROMANO & HOGE 1972. However, Waglerophis was synonymized with Xenodon by ZAHER et al. 2009.
Reproduction: oviparous.
Etymology Named after Blasius Merrem (1761-1824), German zoologist, and Johann Georg Wagler (1800-1832), German physician and zoologist.

References Amaral, A. D. 1934. Curiosos habitos e particularidades da boipeva (Xenodon merremii: Colubridae). Boletim Biologico 2 (1): 1-3
Bérnils, R.S.; Batista, M.A. & Bertelli, P.W. 2001. Cobras e lagartos do Vale: levantamento das espécies de Squamata (Reptilia, Lepidosauria) da Bacia do Rio Itajai, Santa Catarina, Brasil. Rev. Est. Ambientais (Blumenau) 3 (1): 69-79
Cacciali, Pier 2010. Chromatic variation in populations of Xenodon merremi (Serpentes: Dipsadidae) in Paraguay. Acta Herpetologica 5 (1): 107-112 –
Carreira Vidal, Santiago 2002. Alimentación de los ofidios de Uruguay. Asoc. Herp. Esp., Monograf. Herp. 6, 127 pp. –
CARREIRA, S., M. MENEGHEL AND F. ACHAVAL 2005. Reptiles de Uruguay. DI.R.A.C., Facultad de Ciências Ed., Montevideo, 637 pp.
Carreira, S.; Brazeiro, A.; Camargo, A.; da Rosa, I.; Canavero, A. & Maneyro, M. 2012. DIVERSITY OF REPTILES OF URUGUAY: KNOWLEDGE AND INFORMATION GAPS. Bol. Soc. Zool. Uruguay (2a época) 21 (1-2): 9-29 –
Cavalcanti, L.B.Q.; T.B. Costa; G.R. Colli; G.C. Costa; F.G.R. França; D.O. Mesquita; C.K.S. Palmeir 2014. Herpetofauna of protected areas in the Caatinga II: Serra da Capivara National Park, Piauí, Brazil. Check List 10(1):18-27 –
Cei, J. M. 1993. Reptiles del noroeste, nordeste y este de la Argentina. Museo Regionale Sci. Naturale Torino, Monografie 14: 1-949
Claessen, Hugo 2005. De slangen van de Guyana’s. Deel VIII. Lacerta 63 (4): 136-151 –
Cruz Centeno, Fernanda da; Ricardo Jannini Sawaya & Otavio Augusto Vuolo Marques 2008. Snake assemblage of Ilha de São Sebastião, southeastern Brazil: comparison to mainland. Biota Neotrop. 8(3): 63-68 –
Franca, F.G.R.; Daniel O. Mesquita, Cristiano C. Nogueira, and Alexandre F. B. Araújo 2008. Phylogeny and Ecology Determine Morphological Structure in a Snake Assemblage in the Central Brazilian Cerrado. Copeia 2008 (1): 23-38 –
Freitas, M.A.; D. Veríssimo; V. Uhlig. 2012. Squamate Reptiles of the central Chapada Diamantina, with a focus on the municipality of Mucugê, state of Bahia, Brazil. Check List 8(1):16-22 –
Frota, J.G. da; Pedroso dos Santos-Jr, Alfredo; Menezes-Chalkidis, H. de & Guimarães Guedes, A. 2005. AS SERPENTES DA REGIÃO DO BAIXO RIO AMAZONAS, OESTE DO ESTADO DO PARÁ, BRASIL (SQUAMATA). Biociências 13 (2): 211-220
Gasc & Rodrigues 1980. Liste preliminaire des Serpents de la Guyane francaise. Bull. Mus. Nat. Hist. Nat. Paris 2 (4): 559-598
Hamdan, B. & R. M. Lira-da-Silva 2012. The snakes of Bahia State, northeastern Brazil: species richness, composition and biogeographical notes. Salamandra 48 (1): 31-50 –
Kacoliris F.P.; Berkunsky I. & Williams J. 2006. Herpetofauna of Impenetrable, Argentinean Great Chaco. Phyllomedusa 5 (2): 149-158 –
Kornacker,P.M. 1999. Checklist and key to the snakes of Venezuela. PaKo-Verlag, Rheinbach, Germany, 270 pp.
Lambertz, M. 2010. Kommentierte Liste der squamaten Reptilien des Sanddünengebietes am mittleren Rio São Francisco (Bahia, Brasilien) unter besonderer Berücksichtigung endemischer Faunenelemente. Ophidia 4 (2): 2-17 –
Leynaud, Gerardo C. and Enrique H. Bucher 1999. La fauna de serpientes del Chaco Sudamericano: diversidad, distribución geografica y estado de conservación. Academia Nacional de Ciencias Miscelanea (98):1-46
Moura-Leite, Julio Cesar de;Bernarde, Paulo Sérgio 1999. Geographic distribution. Waglerophis merremii. Herpetological Review 30 (1): 56 –
Ribeiro, S. C., I. J. Roberto, D. L. Sales, R. W. Ávila & W. O. Almeida 2012. Amphibians and reptiles from the Araripe bioregion, northeastern Brazil. Salamandra 48 (3): 133-146 –
RIVAS, GILSON A.; CÉSAR R. MOLINA, GABRIEL N. UGUETO, TITO R. BARROS, CÉSAR L. BAR- RIO-AMORÓS & 2012. Reptiles of Venezuela: an updated and commented checklist. Zootaxa 3211: 1–64 –
Rodrigues, M.T. 2003. Herpetofauna da Caatinga. In: I.R. Leal, M. Tabarelli & J.M.C. Silva (eds.). Ecologia e conservação da Caatinga, pp. 181-236. Editora Universitária, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brasil.
Romano, S.A.R.W. de L. & Hoge, A.R. 1973. NOTA SOBRE XENODON E OPHIS SERPENTES COLUBRIDAE. Mem. Inst. Butantan 36: 209-211 [1972]
Scott, Norman J.;Lovett, Jonny Wayne 1975. A collection of reptiles and amphibians from the Chaco of Paraguay. The University of Connecticut Occasional Papers, Biological Series 2 (16): 257-266
Starace, Fausto 1998. Guide des Serpents et Amphisbènes de Guyane. IBIS Rouge Editions, Guadeloupe, Guyane, 450 pp.
Tourmente, Maximiliano; Laura C Giojalas, and Margarita Chiaraviglio 2010. Sperm Parameters Associated with Reproductive Ecology in Two Snake Species. Herpetologica 67 (1): 58-70. –
Vaz-Silva, W. et al. 2007. Herpetofauna, Espora Hydroelectric Power Plant, state of Goiás, Brazil. Check List 3 (4): 338-345 –
Vitt, L. J.; Caldwell, J. P.; Colli, G. R.; Garda, A. A.; Mesquita, D. O.; França, F. G. R. e Balbin 2002. Um guia fotográfico dos répteis e anfíbios da região do Jalapão no Cerrado brasileiro. Norman, Oklahoma: Special Publications in Herpetology. San Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
Vuoto, J.A. 1996. Ampliacion del area de distribucion de Waglerophis merremii (Wagler, 1824) (Serpentes: Colubridae) sobre las provincias de Entre Rios, Santa Fe y Buenos Aires, Argentina. Cuadernos de Herpetologia. 10 (1-2): 59-70. –
Wagler,J. 1824. Serpentum Brasiliensium species novae, ou histoire naturelle des espèces nouvelles de serpens. In: Jean de Spix, Animalia nova sive species novae. [NAtrix bahiensis: 27,. Monaco, Typis Franc. Seraph. Hübschmanni, vii + 75 pp.
Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
Zaher, Hussam; Grazziotin, Felipe Gobbi; Cadle, John E.; Murphy, Robert W.; Moura-Leite, Julio Cesar 2009. Molecular phylogeny of advanced snakes (Serpentes, Caenophidia) with an emphasis on South American Xenodontines: a revised classification and descriptions of new taxa. Pap. Avulsos Zool. (São Paulo) 49 (11): 115-153 –








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Wagler’s Blind Snake

Wagler’s Blind Snake
Leptotyphlops adleri
Wagler, 1824

Higher Taxa Leptotyphlopidae, Leptotyphlopinae, Myriopholini, Typhlopoidea, Serpentes (snakes)
Common Names Adler’s worm snake
Synonym Leptotyphlops adleri HAHN & WALLACH 1998
Leptotyphlops adleri — TRAPE & MANE 2004
Leptotyphlops adleri — CHIRIO & INEICH 2006
Distribution Chad, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Benin, Niger
Type locality: Bongor, Chad (10° 17’ N, 15° 22’ E)
Types Holotype: MNHN 1978.1910
Leptotyphlops is a genus of non-venomous blind snakes found throughout North and South America, Africa and south-western Asia. Currently, 86 species are recognized
Description Most species look much like shiny earthworms. They are a pink or brown coloration, and their scales give them a segmented appearance. Other species are black in colour, but have the same general body structure. Their common name comes from the fact that their eyes are greatly reduced almost to the point of uselessness, and hidden behind a protective head scale. The thread snake species are so named because of their very narrow, long bodies.
Geographic range Found in the Americas, Africa and south-western Asia. In the Americas from the south-western United States, south through most of Central and South America as far as Uruguay and Argentina. Also found on San Salvador Island in the Bahamas, in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and in the Lesser Antilles. Also found on Socotra Island.
Behaviour Blind snakes are all burrowing snakes, spending most of their time deep in loose soil, typically only emerging when it rains and they get flooded out. Their primary diet is ant and termite larvae.
References Adalsteinsson, S.A.; Branch, W.R.; Trapé, S.; Vitt, L.J. & Hedges, S.B. 2009. Molecular phylogeny, classification, and biogeography of snakes of the Family Leptotyphlopidae (Reptilia, Squamata). Zootaxa 2244: 1-50 –
Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA
Chirio, L. 2009. Inventaire des reptiles de la région de la Réserve de Biosphère Transfrontalière du W (Niger/Bénin/Burkina Faso: Afrique de l’Ouest). [Herpetological survey of the W Transfrontier Biosphere Reserve area (Niger/Benin/Burkina Faso: West Africa]. Bull. Soc. Herp. France (132): 13-41
Chirio, L. & Lebreton, M. 2007. Atlas des reptiles du Cameroun. MNHN, IRD, Paris 688 pp.
Chirio, Laurent and Ivan Ineich 2006. Biogeography of the reptiles of the Central African Republic. African Journal of Herpetology 55(1):23-59. –
Hahn D. E. & V. WALLACH, 1998. Comments on the systematics of Old World Leptotyphlops (Serpentes: Leptotyphlopidae), with description of a new species. Hamadryad 23: 50-62 –
Hughes, B. 2013. Snakes of Bénin, West Africa. Bull. Soc. Herp. Fr. 144: 101-159
Trape, J.-F. 2002. Note sur le statut et la répartition de quelques Leptotyphlopidés (Serpentes: Scolecophidia) du Sahara et des savanes d’[Afrique de l’Ouest. Bull. Soc. Herp. France 102: 49-62 –
Trape, J.-F. & Mane, Y. 2004. Les serpents des environs de Bandafassi (Sénégal oriental). Bull. Soc. Herp. France 109: 5-34 –
Trape, J.-F. & Mane, Y. 2006. Guide des serpents d’Afrique occidentale. Savane et désert. [Senegal, Gambia, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger]. IRD Editions, Paris, 226 pp. –
TRAPE, Jean-François 2005. Note sur quelques serpents méconnus du Burkina Faso de la collection de Benigno Roman. Bull. Soc. Herp. France 116: 39-49 –




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Wagler’s Palm Viper, Wagler’s Pit Viper, Temple pitviper

Wagler’s Palm Viper, Wagler’s Pit Viper, Temple pitviper
Tropidolaemus wagleri
BOIE, 1827
Adult female in secondary forest at Seletar, Singapore.

Higher Taxa Viperidae, Crotalinae, Serpentes (snakes)
Common Names E: Wagler’s Palm Viper, Wagler’s Pit Viper, Temple pitviper
G: Waglers Bambusotter
Synonym Cophias wagleri BOIE 1826 (nomen nudum)
Cophias wagleri BOIE 1827: 561 (nomen nudum).
[Tropidolaemus] wagleri WAGLER 1830
Trigonocephalus wagleri – SCHLEGEL 1837
Trimesurus maculatus GRAY 1842
Trimesurus maculatus GRAY 1842
Trimesurus sumatranus (nec Coluber sumatranus RAFFLES 1822) – GRAY 1842
Trigonocephalus sumatranus var. – CANTOR 1847
Trigonocephalus wagleri, var. sumatrenis GRAY 1849
Trigonocephalus formosus (nec Trigonocephalus formosus MÜLLER & SCHLEGEL 1842) – GRAY 1849
Tropidolaemus wagleri – DUMÉRIL et al. 1854: 1524
Trimeresurus sumatranus – GÜNTHER 1858
Tropidolaemus sumatranus – PETERS 1862
Tropidolaemus maculatus – PETERS 1859
Trimeresurus wagleri – GÜNTHER 1864
Bothrops wagleri – MÜLLER 1882
Lachesis wagleri – BOULENGER 1896
Lachesis wagleri — BOULENGER’s var. D – VOLZ 1904
Lachesis wagleri — BOULENGER’s var. A – COHN 1905
Lachesis wagleri var. B – HOLTZINGER-TENEVER 1917
Trimeresurus wagleri wagleri – TAYLOR 1922
Lachesis sumatranus – OUWENS 1916
Lachesis wagleri — DE ROOIJ 1917: 286
Trimeresurus (Tropidolaemus) wagleri – CAMPBELL & BRODIE Jr. 1992
Tropidolaemus wagleri — WELCH 1994: 117
Tropidolaemus wagleri — MANTHEY & GROSSMANN 1997: 411
Tropidolaemus wagleri — COX et al. 1998: 23
Tropidolaemus wagleri — MCDIARMID, CAMPBELL & TOURÉ 1999: 349
Tropidolaemus wagleri — TU et al. 2000
Distribution S Vietnam ? (Minh Hai and Song Be) (Orlov et al., 2003),
S Thailand (Phang Nga, Pattani, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Tammarat, Narathiwat, and Yala (Nabhitabhata et al., 2004).
West Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia (Sumatra, Bangka, Mentawei Archipelago, Natuna Islands, Nias, and Riau Archipelago)
Type locality: “Asien”; corrected by neotype designation to “Deli: rivière de Bedagneh (Est de Sumatra)”, now Bedagai River (about 3°30’N, 99°13’E), Sumatera Barat Province, Sumatra, Indonesia.
Types Neotype: MNHN 1879.0708, adult female, collected by Mr. Rochet.
Comment Venomous!
Nomenclature: For a discussion of nomenclatorial issues see David & Vogel, 1996 and McDiarmid et al. (1999: 350). The latter authors argue that the author should be BOIE 1827 instead of WAGLER 1830 because BOIE doesn’t describe the species but refers to a plate in SEBA (1735) which is valid (Art. 12b and 72b of the Code). Portrait in Elaphe 5 (4): 81.
Adult female in secondary forest at Seletar, Singapore.

Distribution: Reported from Sulawesi by MÜLLER (1895: 865) but actually subannulatus and laticinctus. Reports from Vietnam are questionable as these specimens were obtained from a local dealer.
Diagnosis: A species of the genus Tropidolaemus, characterized by (1) internasals always in contact; (2) a strong ontogenetic variation of the background body colour: black (never green) in adult females, whereas males and juveniles retain a vividly green background colour; (3) a strong ontogenetic variation of the pattern: yellow crossbands around the body in adult females, white spots in adult and juvenile males, white crossbars in juvenile females; (4) a black postocular stripe in adult females and a white and red one in males and juveniles of both sexes; (5) a banded belly in adult females and a uniform belly in males and juveniles; (6) 21–23 dorsal scale rows at midbody (DSR) at midbody in males and 23–27 in females, usually feebly keeled in males and distinctly keeled in females; (7) 143–152 ventrals (VEN) in males and 134–147 VEN in females; (8) 50–55 subcaudals (SC) in males and 45–54 in females (from VOGEL et al. 2007).
Type Species: Tropidolaemus wagleri is the type species of the genus Tropidolaemus which is characterized by the absence of a nasal pore, upper surfaces of the snout and head covered with distinctly keeled small scales, strongly keeled gular scales, second supralabial not bordering the anterior margin of the loreal pit and topped by a prefoveal, and a green coloration in juveniles which may or may not change with growth (VOGEL et al. 2007).
Reproduction: viviparous.
Etymology Named after Johann Georg Wagler (1800-1832), German physician and zoologist.
Common names: Wagler’s pit viper, temple viper, temple pit viper,.
Tropidolaemus wagleri is a venomous pitviper species native to southeast Asia. No subspecies are currently recognized. It is sometimes referred to as the temple viper because of its abundance around the Temple of the Azure Cloud in Malaysia.
Etymology The specific name, wagleri, is in honor of German herpetologist Johann Georg Wagler.
This species is sexually dimorphic: the females grow to approximately 1 m (39⅜ inches) in total length, while males typically do not exceed 75 cm (29½ inches). They have a large triangular-shaped head, with a relatively thin body. They are almost entirely arboreal, and the tail is prehensile to aid in climbing.
They are found in a wide variety of colors and patterns, often referred to as “phases”. In the past, some researchers classified the different phases as subspecies. The phases vary greatly from having a black or brown coloration as a base, with orange and yellow banding to others having a light green as the base color, with yellow or orange banding, and many variations therein.
Common names Wagler’s pit viper, temple viper, temple pit viper, bamboo snake, temple snake, speckled pit viper, temple pitviper.
Geographic range
Found in southern Thailand west Malaysia, in Indonesia on Sumatra, the islands of the Riau Archipelago, Bangka, Billiton, Nias, the Mentawai Islands (Siberut), Natuna, Karimata, Borneo (Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan), Sulawesi and Buton, and in the Philippines on the islands of Balabac, Basilan, Bohol, Dinagat, Jolo, Leyte, Luzon, Mindanao, Negros, Palawan, Samar and Tumindao. A type locality is not included in the original description, although Schlegel (1837) has given “Sumatra”.
Behavior Nocturnal and arboreal, they appear quite sluggish as they remain motionless for long periods of time waiting for prey to pass by. When prey does pass by, or if disturbed, they can strike quickly.
Feeding Their primary diet consists of rodents, birds, and lizards. The pits on the sides of the head between the eyes and nostrils are capable of detecting temperature difference of as little as 0.003 degree Celsius.[6]
Reproduction Sexually mature females of T. wagleri bear live young by ovoviviparity. Litter size varies from 15 to 41.
Venom The venom of Tropidolaemus wagleri contains 4 novel peptides (Waglerins 1-4). The Waglerins produce fatal respiratory paralysis of adult mice. An initial study indicated that micromolar concentrations of Waglerin 1 act both pre- and postsynaptically to inhibit transmission across rat neuromuscular junctions. However, Waglerin-1 is a more potent inhibitor of transmission across the mouse neuromuscular junction. A subsequent study demonstrated that Waglerin-1 inhibited the adult mouse endplate response to acetylcholine with an IC50 of 50 nanomolar. In striking contrast, transmission across neuromuscular junctions of neonatal or transgenic mice lacking the adult acetylcholine receptor was not altered by micromolar concentrations of Waglerin-1. Biochemical studies demonstrated that the exquisite selectivity of Waglerin-1 for the adult mouse acetylcholine receptor relies upon several amino acid residues unique to the epsilon subunit of the adult mouse acetylcholine receptor. Waglerin-1’s selectivity for the epsilon-subunit containing acetylcholine receptor of adult mice is complemented by selectivity of small peptide toxins purified from the venom of Conus geographus and pergrandis for the gamma-subunit containing acetylcholine receptor of neonatal skeletal muscle. The Waglerins and complementary conotoxins are useful tools to discover the contribution of acetylcholine receptor subunits to synaptogenesis. In addition, study of the Waglerins and related toxic peptides may lead to the discovery of novel molecular targets for drug development. While Waglerin-1 interacts with other members of the ligand-gated superfamily of ion channels, the potency is much less than for inhibition of the adult mouse muscle acetylcholine receptor. Structural study suggests that Waglerin-1 may undergo molecular rearrangement that allows for binding to multiple receptors. The actions of Waglerin-1 reverse upon removal of the peptide.
Waglerin-1 is included in several skin creams marketed as wrinkle removers. There is no scientific evidence supporting the manufacturers’ suggestion that the Waglerin-1 included in their products relaxes wrinkle producing skeletal muscles.
Taxonomy This species has undergone much taxonomic reclassification over the years and was previously placed in the genus Trimeresurus. However, their distinctly different morphology and venom characteristics set them apart, so that eventually a new genus was erected in which they were placed together with Hutton’s viper, Tropidolaemus huttoni.
Wagler’s Pit Viper, or Temple Pit Viper, is perhaps the commonest pit viper in Southeast Asia. It occurs in lowland forest, either primary or secondary, and in some coastal regions may occur in mangrove.

Pit vipers are all venomous, however Wagler’s Pit Viper is generally not considered to be aggressive. In the field, these snakes are most easily identified by their markedly triangular head.

Adult female in secondary forest at Seletar, Singapore.

Wagler’s Pit Viper is generally found resting on low vegetation, but a careful search may also locate the species at mid-canopy level many metres above the ground.

Individuals may remain on the same branch for many days, either as they digest a recent meal, or as they lie in wait for their next meal. Prey is detected at night by means of the heat-sensing pits which occur on either side of the head. Rodents, such as arboreal rats, and birds reportedly make up the bulk of their diet.

Juveniles and males have a slender, lime green dorsum sparsely patterned with pairs of small coloured spots or short bars either side of the vertebral line : these spots or bars are partly red and partly cream (longer bars may possibly indicate a juvenile female). There is a bicoloured stripe passing through the eye which comprises a thick red stripe below, and a thin white stripe above. The end of the tail is reddish brown.

In females the body is more thickset, dark above and pale yellow to white below. Numerous irregular pale yellow bands cross the body, and there is a thick dark stripe along the side of the head. The top of the head is mainly black.

This species occurs in southern Thailand, southern Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and parts of Indonesia including Sumatra and adjacent smaller islands, and the Riau Archipelago.

The Bornean Keeled Pit Viper T. subannulatus, was once considered to be a form of Wagler’s Pit Viper, but is now considered a separate species.
References Auliya, M. 2006. Taxonomy, Life History, and conservation of giant reptiles in west Kalimantan. Natur und Tier Verlag, Münster, 432 pp. –
Blackburn, Daniel G. 1999. Are Viviparity and Egg-guarding Evolutionarily Labile in Squamates?. Herpetologica 55 (4): 556-573 –
Boie, F. 1827. Bemerkungen über Merrem’s Versuch eines Systems der Amphibien, 1. Lieferung: Ophidier. Isis van Oken 20: 508-566. –
Bong Heang, Kiew 1987. An annotated checklist of the herpetofauna of Ulu Endau, Johore, Malaysia. Malayan Nature J. 41(2-3): 413-423.
Boulenger,G.A. 1894. On the herpetological fauna of Palawan and Balabac. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (6) 14: 81-90 –
Chan-ard,T.; Grossmann,W.; Gumprecht,A. & Schulz,K. D. 1999. Amphibians and reptiles of peninsular Malaysia and Thailand – an illustrated checklist [bilingual English and German]. Bushmaster Publications, Würselen, Gemany, 240 pp. [book review in Russ. J Herp. 7: 87] –
Cox, Merel J.; Van Dijk, Peter Paul; Jarujin Nabhitabhata & Thirakhupt,Kumthorn 1998. A Photographic Guide to Snakes and Other Reptiles of Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. Ralph Curtis Publishing, 144 pp.
David,P. & Vogel,G. 1996. The snakes of Sumatra. An annotated checklist and key with natural history notes. Bücher Kreth, Frankfurt/M.
de Lang, R. & Vogel, G. 2006. The Snakes of Sulawesi. Herpetologica Bonnensis II: 35-38 –
de Rooij, N. DE 1917. The Reptiles of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. Il. Ophidia. Leiden (E. J. Brill), xiv + 334 S.
Duméril, A. M. C., BIBRON, G. & DUMÉRIL, A. H. A., 1854. Erpétologie générale ou histoire naturelle complète des reptiles. Tome septième. Deuxième partie, comprenant l’histoire des serpents venimeux. Paris, Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret: i-xii + 781-1536 –
Ferner, John W., Rafe M. Brown, Rogelio V. Sison and Robert S. Kennedy 2000. The amphibians and reptiles of Panay Island, Philippines. Asiatic Herpetological Research 9: 1-37 –
Grossmann,W. & Tillack,F. 2001. Bemerkungen zur Herpetofauna des Khao Lak, Phang Nga, thailändische Halbinsel. Teil II: Reptilia: Serpentes; Testudines; Diskussion. Sauria 23 (1): 25-40 –
Grossmann,W. & Tillack,F. 2001. Bemerkungen zur Herpetofauna des Khao Lak, Phang Nga, thailändische Halbinsel. Teil III: Ergebnisse der Jahre 1999 und 2000. Sauria 23 (3): 21-34 –
Gumprecht, A.; Tillack, F.; Orlov, N.L.; Captain, A. & Ryabow, S. 2004. Asian pitvipers. Geitje Books, Berlin, 368 pp.
Kuch, U.; Gumprecht, A. & Melaun, C. 2007. A new species of Temple Pitviper (Tropidolaemus Wagler, 1830) from Sulawesi, Indonesia (Squamata: Viperidae: Crotalinae). Zootaxa 1446: 1–20 –
Laita, Mark 2013. Serpentine. Abrams and PQ Blackwell, Auckland, New Zealand, 200 unnumbered pages
Lang, R. de & G. Vogel 2005. The snakes of Sulawesi. A field guide to the land snakes of Sulawesi with identification keys. Frankfurter Beiträge zur Naturkunde, 25, Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, 312 pp.
Leviton,A.E. 1964. Contributions to a review of Philippine snakes. V. The snakes of the genus Trimeresurus. Philippine J. Sci. 93: 251-276 –
Malkmus, R. 2000. Herpetologische Beobachtungen auf Sulawesi. Sauria 22 (2): 11-17 –
Malkmus, R.; Manthey, U.; Vogel, G. Hoffmann, P. & Kosuch, J. 2002. Amphibians and reptiles of Mount Kinabalu (North Borneo). A.R.G. Ganther Verlag, Rugell, 404 pp.
Manthey, U. & Grossmann, W. 1997. Amphibien & Reptilien Südostasiens. Natur und Tier Verlag (Münster), 512 pp. –
McDiarmid,R.W.; Campbell,J.A. & Touré,T.A. 1999. Snake species of the world. Vol. 1. Herpetologists’ League, 511 pp.
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Parkinson,C.L. 1999. Molecular systematics and biogeographical history of pitvipers as determined by mitochondrial ribosomal DNA sequences. Copeia 1999 (3): 576-586 –
Pauwels,O.S.G. et al. 2000. Herpetological investigations in Phang-Nga Province, southern Peninsular Thailand, with a list of reptile species and notes on their biology. Dumerilia 4 (2): 123-154 –
QUAH, EVAN S.H.; SHAHRULANUAR, M.S., GRISMER, L.L., MOHD ABDUL MUIN, M.A.; CHAN, K.O. and GRISMER, J 2011. Preliminary Checklist of the Herpetofauna of Jerejak Island, Penang, Malaysia. Malayan Nature Journal 63(3): 595-600
Rooijen, J. van & Rooijen, M. van 2004. Einige Beobachtungen zur terrestrischen Schlangenfauna auf der Halbinsel Santubong, Sarawak, Ost-Malaysia. Sauria 26 (4): 19-28 –
Sang, Nguyen Van; Ho Thu Cuc, Nguyen, Quang Truong 2009. Herpetofauna of Vietnam. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 768 pp.
Stuebing,R.B. & INGER,R.F. 1999. A field guide to the snakes of Borneo. Natural history Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu, 254 pp. [corrections in HR 31: 124].
Taylor,E.H. 1965. The serpents of Thailand and adjacent waters. Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull. 45 (9): 609-1096 –
Teo, R.C.H. & Rajathurai, S. 1997. Mammals, reptiles and amphibians in the Nature Reserves of Singapore – diversity, abundance and distribution. Proc. Nature Reserves Survey Seminar. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore 49: 353-425
Tu, M.-C. et al. 2000. Phylogeny, Taxonomy, and Biogeography of the Oriental Pitvipers of the Genus Trimeresurus (Reptilia: Viperidae: Crotalinae): A Molecular Perspective. ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 17: 1147–1157
van Rooijen, Johan and Myriam van Rooijen. 2007. The land snakes of the Santubong Peninsula, Sarawak, Borneo: A preliminary list of species with natural history notes. Russian Journal of Herpetology 14 (1):27-38 –
Van Rooijen, Johan, Chan Kin Onn, L. Lee Grismer & Norhayati Ahmad 2011. Estimating the herpetofaunal species richness of Pangkor Island, Peninsular Malaysia. Bonn zoological Bulletin 60 (1): 3-8 –
Vogel, Gernot 2010. Zur Systematik der Schlangen der orientalischen Region: Forschungsdefizite führen zur Unterschätzung der Artenvielfalt. Ophidia 4 (2): 18-26 –
Wagler, Jean G. 1830. Natürliches System der Amphibien, mit vorangehender Classification der Säugetiere und Vögel. Ein Beitrag zur vergleichenden Zoologie. 1.0. Cotta, München, Stuttgart, and Tübingen, 354 pp.

Sub-adult female on a low branch of a fig tree, at the edge of Singapore’s central forests.


Male or juvenile on low vegetation in secondary forest, Singapore



Head of a male or juvenile in a fig tree at Bukit Timah, Singapore.

Club W
Club W

Wagler’s Puffing Snake

Wagler’s Puffing Snake
Pseustes sexcarinatus
WAGLER, 1824


Higher Taxa Colubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Serpentes (snakes)
Common Names Wagler’s Puffing Snake
Synonym Natrix sexcarinatus WAGLER 1824: 35
Herpetodryas sexcarinatus – BOULENGER 1894: 72
Chironius sexcarinatus — BOULENGER 1894: 346
Chironius sexcarinatus – SERIÉ 1936
Pseustes sexcarinatus – HOGE 1964
Pseustes sexcarinatus – PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970
Pseustes sexcarinatus – CEI 1993
Distribution Brazil (Para)
Type locality: “Habitat rarus ad fl umen Amazonum” [Brazil, Rio Amazonas] according to the original description and Vanzolini (1981).
Types Holotype: ZSM 1744/0 (lost),collected by Spix and Martius expedition to Brazil, 1817-1820.
Comment Synonymy that of PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970 and CEI 1993. GIRAUDO & SCROCCHI 2002 state that old material identified as Herpetodryas
sexcarinatus is actually Chironius quadricarinatus maculoventris and thus this species does not occur in Argentina.
References Boulenger, George A. 1894. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History). Volume II., Containing the Conclusion of the Colubridæ Aglyphæ. British Mus. (Nat. Hist.), London, xi, 382 pp. –
Boulenger,G.A. 1894. List of reptiles and batachians collected by Dr. T. Bohls near Asuncion, Paraguay. Ann. Mag. nat. Hist. (6) 13: 342-348 –
Cei, J. M. 1993. Reptiles del noroeste, nordeste y este de la Argentina. Museo Regionale Sci. Naturale Torino, Monografie 14: 1-949
Wagler,J. 1824. Serpentum Brasiliensium species novae, ou histoire naturelle des espèces nouvelles de serpens. In: Jean de Spix, Animalia nova sive species novae. [NAtrix bahiensis: 27,. Monaco, Typis Franc. Seraph. Hübschmanni, vii + 75 pp.





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