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  Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
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Shore Pit Viper
   
   

Fig 1


Fig 2


Fig 3


Fig 4
 

 

 

Family : VIPERIDAE
Species :  Trimeresurus purpureomaculatus
Maximum Size : 100 cm

A species of mangroves and coastal forests, the Shore Pit Viper has a reputation for being unpredictable and should be approached with caution. Giving no warning signs, this snake will strike readily at any threat, and its powerful haemotoxic venom can cause serious illness or even kill. By day it can be found resting on low branches one or two metres from the ground.

Its colour can vary from a uniform dark grey or purplish-brown to a weakly-patterned brown, with a white stripe along each flank, or even greenish-yellow with dark mottling. The scales are strongly keeled (i.e. ridged).

The species ranges from India and Burma, through Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia to Singapore and Sumatra.


Fig 1 : Brown and cream coloured specimen in back-beach, fringing mangrove at Pulau Sugi, Riau Archipelago, Indonesia.

Fig 2 : Another image of the same specimen, showing the diamond patterning on the tail.

Fig 3 : Dark brown specimen in mangrove inlet, Sungei Buloh, Singapore.

Fig 4 : Greyish-brown specimen at Pasir Ris mangrove, Singapore.


References : H1, H2, H3