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Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) sp., Bamboo pitvipers and others

See also the other subgenera of the genus TrimeresurusTrimeresurus (Craspedocephalus), Trimeresurus (Himalayophis)Trimeresurus (Parias), Trimeresurus (Peltopelor), Trimeresurus (Popeia), Trimeresurus (Sinovipera), and Trimeresurus (Viridovipera) 


  • 1. Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) albolabris
  • 2. Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) andersonii
  • 3. Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) arunachalensis
  • 4. Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) cantori
  • 5. Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) cardamomensis
  • 6. Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) caudornatus
  • 7. Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) davidi
  • 8. Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) erythrurus
  • 9. Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) fasciatus
  • 10. Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) honsonensis
  • 11. Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) insularis
  • 12. Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) kanburiensis
  • 13. Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) labialis
  • 14. Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) macrops
  • 15. Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) mutabilis
  • 16. Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) purpureomaculatus
  • 17. Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) rubeus
  • 18. Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) salazar
  • 19. Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) septentrionalis
  • 20. Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) venustus

The original genus Trimeresurus underwent substantial revision.


On behalf of molecular and morphological findings Malhotra and Thorpe 2004 split the genus Trimeresurus up into various new genera or reactivated ancient taxa. They proposed the genera Cryptelytrops, Himalayophis, Parias, Peltopelor, Popeia and Viridovipera.


According to Gumprecht et al. (2004) the genus Cryptelytrops still belongs to Trimeresurus. David et al. (2011) suggest: "The generic nomen Trimeresurus should be associated with the Trimeresurus albolabris group of species currently placed in the genus or subgenus Cryptelytrops". Furthermore they proposed to adapt the findings of Malhotra and Thorpe but to define the new genera as 'clades'/subgenera.


See also Trimeresurus (Craspedocephalus) sp. for detailed discussion about the revision of the genus Trimeresurus.



Serpentes; Viperidae; Crotalinae

Common names

  • 1. White-lipped pitviper
  • 2. Anderson's pitviper
  • 3. Arunachal pitviper
  • 4. Cantor's pitviper
  • 5. Cardamom Mountains green pitviper
  • 8. Red-tailed bamboo pitviper
  • 9. Banded pitviper
  • 11. White-lipped island pitviper
  • 12. Kanburi pitviper
  • 13. Nicobar bamboo pitviper
  • 14. Large-eyed pitviper
  • 15. Central Nicobar pitviper, Central Nicobar bamboo pitviper
  • 16. Shore pitviper
  • 17. Ruby-eyed green pitviper
  • 19. Northern white-lipped pitviper
  • 20. Beautiful pitviper


Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, Trimeresurus (Trimeresurus) albolabris in Southern China also. See link "Distribution" at the top of the page for detailed information.


Descriptions of the genus Trimeresurus according to the old classification (including the new subgenera/genera Craspedocephalus, Himalayophis, Ovophis, Parias, Peltopelor, Popeia, Protobothrops, Sinovipera, Trimeresurus, Tropidolaemus and Viridovipera):


Mostly smaller snakes under 1 m. Colouring and pattern very variable. T. (Trimeresurus) albolabris, T. (Craspedocephalus) gramineus, T. (Trimeresurus) erythrurus, T. (Trimeresurus) macrops, T. (Popeia) popeiorum and T. (Viridovipera) stejnegeri are green, but without markings, or only faint ones. Taxonomic differentiation of these green species, some of which are amongst the most medically important species of their genus, is difficult. Morphological distinctions frequently only consist of minor differences in the head shields. 

Most species are arboreal, but ground-dwelling species do exist. The arboreal species are green (see above), sometimes with markings (e.g. T. (Cryptelytrops) cantori, T. (Craspedocephalus) trigonocephalus, Prothobothrops jerdoni or Tropidolaemus wagleri), and possess a fairly well-formed prehensile tail. Some arboreal species often live on the outskirts and in the green areas of larger cities.

The ground-dwellers are usually of a brown colour with dark markings. Among others, Protobothrops flavoviridis and Protobothrops mucrosquamatus belong to this group and are found in wooded or open regions, but also often in agricultural areas and inhabited regions. Other ground-dwellers are the smaller mountain species Ovophis monticola, T. (Craspedocephalus) malabaricus and T. (Craspedocephalus) strigatus.


Descriptions of the genus Trimeresurus according to the old classification (including the new subgenera/genera Craspedocephalus, Himalayophis, Ovophis, Parias, Peltopelor, Popeia, Protobothrops, Sinovipera, Trimeresurus, Tropidolaemus and Viridovipera):


Bites from most species generally only cause local effects. The following species, however, also cause more serious consequences: T. (Trimeresurus) albolabris (rarely fatalities), T. (Trimeresurus) erythrurus, T. (Popeia) popeiorum, T. purpureomaculatus, Protobothrops flavoviridis (few, but regular fatalities) and Protobothrops mucrosquamatus (known fatalities in Taiwan).


There are several hundred bites each year due to Protobothrops flavoviridis on the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. Of these, approx. 50% occur in people working in the fields and approx. 20% in living quarters. Around 25% of cases have a severe course, with local necroses or systemic envenoming, and on average 8 patients die each year (Sawai et al. 1970, 1971b).

In Taiwan, Protobothrops mucrosquamatus is held responsible for half of all venomous snakebites (Sawai 1969).


T. (Trimeresurus) albolabris bites are common in Southeast Asia. In Indonesia, around 50% of all venomous snakebites are believed to be due to this species (Sawai et al. 1971b).

Literature (biological)

Captain et al. 2019, Chandramouli et al. 2020, Chen et al. 2020, Gumprecht et al. 2004, Malhotra and Thorpe 2004, Malhotra et al. 2011, Mirza et a. 2020, Vogel et al. 2014

The Reptile Database