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Trimeresurus stejnegeri

Basic information:

Chinese name:竹叶青蛇
Latin name: Trimeresurus stejnegeri

English name: Chinese green tree viper


Grows to a maximum total length of 75 centimetres (30 in), with a tail length of 14.5 centimetres (5.7 in). The males have hemipenes that are short and spinose beyond the bifurcation.

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.

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.


Geographic range

Assam (India), and Nepal through Burma and Thailand to China (Guangxi, Guangdong, Hainan, Fujian, Zhejiang, Yunnan) and Taiwan. Leviton et al. (2003) also mention Vietnam. The type locality was originally listed as "Shaowu, Fukien Province, China", and later emended to "N.W. Fukien Province" by Pope & Pope (1933) (Fukien being the former romanization of Fujian).



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.


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