Trimeresurus stejnegeri

Trimeresurus stejnegeri
Trimeresurus stejnegeri
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Subfamily: Crotalinae
Genus: Trimeresurus
Species: T. stejnegeri
Binomial name
Trimeresurus stejnegeri
Schmidt, 1925
  • Trimeresurus stejnegeri, Schmidt, 1925
  • Trimeresurus gramineus stejnegeri - Stejneger, 1927
  • Trimeresurus gramineus formosensis - Maki, 1931
  • Trimeresurus gramineus kodairai - Maki, 1931
  • Trimeresurus stejnegeri stejnegeri - Pope, 1935
  • Trimeresurus stejnegeri makii - Klemmer, 1963
  • Trimeresurus stejnegeri formosensis - Welch, 1988
  • Trimeresurus stejnegeri kodairai - Welch, 1988[1]
Common names: bamboo viper, Chinese tree viper,[2] Chinese green tree viper,[3] more.

Trimeresurus stejnegeri is a venomous pitviper species found in India, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, China and Taiwan. Three subspecies are currently recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here.[4]



Grows to a maximum total length of 75 cm, with a tail length of 14.5 cm. The males have hemipenes that are short and spinose beyond the bifurcation.[5]

Scalation: dorsal scales in 21 longitudinal rows at midbody. 9-11 upper labials, of which the first are separated from nasal scales by a distinct suture. The supraoculars are single, narrow, and sometimes divided by a transverse suture. There are 11-16 scales in a line between the supraoculars. The ventrals number 150-174 and the subcaudals 54-77, all paired.[5]

Color pattern: above bright to dark green, below pale green to whitish, the two separated by a bright bicolored orange or brown (below) and white (above) (males) or bicolored or white only (females) ventrolateral stripe, which occupies the whole of the outermost scale row and a portion of the second row.[5]

Common names

Bamboo viper, Chinese tree viper,[2] bamboo snake, Chinese green tree viper, Chinese bamboo viper, Stejneger's pit viper, Stejneger's palm viper, red tail snake,[3] Stejneger's bamboo pitviper,[6] Formosan bamboo viper (for T. gramineus formosensis), Taiwan green tree viper (for T. s. formosensis).[7]

Geographic range

Assam (India), and Nepal through Burma and Thailand to China (Kwangsi, Kwangtung, Hainan, Fujian, Chekiang, Yunnan) and Taiwan.[1] Leviton et al. (2003) also mention Vietnam.[5] The type locality was originally listed as "Shaowu, Fukien Province, China", and later emended to "N.W. Fukien Province" by Pope & Pope (1933).[1]


It has a potent hemotoxin. The wound usually feels extremely painful, as if it had been branded with a hot iron, and the pain does not subside until about 24 hours after being bitten. Within a few minutes of being bitten, the surrounding flesh dies and turns black, highlighting the puncture wounds. The wound site quickly swells, and the skin and muscle become black due to necrosis. The size of the necrotic area depends on the amount of venom injected and the depth of the bite.


Subspecies[4] Taxon author[4] Common name[6] Geographic range[6]
T. s. chenbihuii Zhao, 1997 Chen's bamboo pitviper China, Hainan Island: on Mount Diaoluo at 225-290 m elevation (Lingshui County) and on Wuzhi Mountain at 500 m elevation (Qiongzhong County).
T. s. stejnegeri Schmidt, 1925 Stejneger's bamboo pitviper China (in eastern Sichuan, Guizhou, Hubei, Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hunan, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong and Guangxi), Taiwan and Vietnam.
T. s. yunnanensis Schmidt, 1925 Yunnan bamboo pitviper India (in West Bengal, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim) and Burma.

See also


  1. ^ a b c McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  2. ^ a b Mehrtens JM. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.
  3. ^ a b U.S. Navy. 1991. Poisonous Snakes of the World. US Govt. New York: Dover Publications Inc. 203 pp. ISBN 0-486-26629-X.
  4. ^ a b c "Trimeresurus stejnegeri". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 25 May 2007. 
  5. ^ a b c d Leviton AE, Wogan GOU, Koo MS, Zug GR, Lucas RS, Vindum JV. 2003. The Dangerously Venomous Snakes of Myanmar, Illustrated Checklist with Keys. Proc. Cal. Acad. Sci. 54 (24): 407-462.
  6. ^ a b c Gumprecht A, Tillack F, Orlov NL, Captain A, Ryabov S. 2004. Asian Pitvipers. GeitjeBooks Berlin. 1st Edition. 368 pp. ISBN 3-937975-00-4.
  7. ^ 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.

Further reading

  • Creer, S.; Malhotra, A.; Thorpe, R.S.; Chou, W.H. 2001 Multiple causation of phylogeographical pattern as revealed by nested clade analysis of the bamboo viper (Trimeresurus stejnegeri) within Taiwan. Molecular Ecology 10(8):1967-1981
  • Malhotra, Anita & Roger S. Thorpe 2004 Maximizing information in systematic revisions: a combined molecular and morphological analysis of a cryptic green Pit Viper complex (Trimeresurus stejnegeri).Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 82 (2): 219
  • Parkinson,C.L. 1999 Molecular systematics and biogeographical history of Pit Vipers as determined by mitochondrial ribosomal DNA sequences. Copeia 1999 (3): 576-586
  • Peng, G. & Fuji, Z. 2001 Comparative studies on hemipenes of four species of Trimeresurus (sensu stricto) (Serpentes: Crotalinae). Amphibia-Reptilia 22 (1): 113-117
  • Tu, M.-C. et al. 2000 Phylogeny, Taxonomy, and Biogeography of the Oriental Pit Vipers of the Genus Trimeresurus (Reptilia: ViperidaCrotalinae): A Molecular Perspective. ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 17: 1147-1157

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