- Other Habitat Features
- Range elevation
- 200 to 1400 m
- 656.17 to 4593.18 ft
snake, it is relatively smaller than many of the species the genus Agkistrodon. They possess a protuberant, upturned snout. Pit-vipers bear a pit on each side of the face, between the nostril and the eye, which contains a temperature sensitive pit organ. The pit organ allows animals to sense thermal radiation at specific wavelengths and may also be used in thermoregulation and predator avoidance. Each side of the body is patterned with a prominent series of 15 to 23 pairs of large dark triangles, with a base color of gray or brown. The venter is whitish and speckled with conspicuous gray and black spots that vary in size and shape. Adults have darker coloration than juveniles, which have yellowish tails until adulthood. Adult coloration bears a striking resemblance to that of southern copper-heads found in the United States. Its upturned snout, dark triangular body patterning and strongly tuberculate-keeled scales are relatively unique characteristics that help distinguish it from similar species. is sexually dimorphic, as males have longer tails and females have longer body lengths. (Barrett, 1970; Gloyd, 1990)adults range in length from 910 to 1210 mm, with the largest specimen on record measuring 1545 mm. Although is a relatively large and stout-bodied
- Sexual Dimorphism
- female larger
- Range length
- 1545 (high) mm
- 60.83 (high) in
- Average length
- 910 to 1210 mm
Optimal temperature for hatching in (Gloyd, 1990)ranges from 22.6 C to 36.5 C, with an average of 27.6 C. Hatchlings measure about 21 cm in length. First molt tends to occur ten days after hatching. The number of molts per year is usually between three and four, but can be as many as five depending upon environmental conditions and food availability.
- Mating System
- polygynandrous (promiscuous)
- Breeding interval
- breeds twice yearly.
- Breeding season
- breeds from March through May and again from September through December.
- Range number of offspring
- 5 to 32
- Average number of offspring
- Range gestation period
- 20 to 35 days
- Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
- 36 months
- Parental Investment
- female parental care
There is little information available regarding the average lifespan of (Gloyd, 1990). In the wild, maximum lifespan has been estimated at 20 years, and the oldest known captive individual lived for 16 years and 3 months.
- Range lifespan
- 16 years and 3 months (high) years
- Range lifespan
- Typical lifespan
- 20 (high) years
- Typical lifespan
There is no information available regarding the home range of.
Communication and Perception
Pit organs, which are found in all pit vipers, help detect specific wavelengths of infrared heat emitted by prey and potential predators. Pit organs are also thought to help in thermoregulation. Fibers innervating pit-organ receptors are completely insensitive to tactile stimuli but visual and infrared stimuli allow the snake to locate endothermic prey such as small rodents, especially in the dark. Like many other snakes and lizards, the tongue of is used for olfactory perception. Vomeronasal functioning is essential for the initiation of male courtship of reproductively active females during breeding season. (Barrett, 1970; Mason and Halpern, 1992; Molenaar, 1992)
- Primary Diet
- eats terrestrial vertebrates
- Animal Foods
pit-vipers assume a "body bridge" position in which a portion of the body is raised in the direction of a predator. This species' quick-strike capabilities and venomous bite likely deter potential predators and reduce predation risk. (Gloyd, 1990; Greene, et al., 1988)has no known predators. However, it is vulnerable to attack by conspecifics and ophiophagous (i.e., cannabalistic) snakes. Anti-predator adaptations include cloacal discharge where the contents of the cloaca are expelled in a fine stream or spray, sometimes ejected a considerable distance. In addition,
- Known Predators
birds, rodents, lizards, frogs and toads. As a result, it may help control certain agricultural pest species (e.g., small rodents) throughout its geographic range. Known parasites of this species include pentastomid endoparasites and one species of spiny-headed worm. (Gloyd, 1990)preys upon small animals such as
- spiny-headed worm, (Centrorhynchus spilornae)
- pentastomid endoparasites, (Armillifer agkistrodontis)
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
- Positive Impacts
- source of medicine or drug
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
- Negative Impacts
- bites or stings
- household pest
Although (Huang, et al., 2007)is not listed on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species, China has listed this species as "vulnerable". Many populations throughout China have declined due to over-exploitation and habitat destruction. As a result, China began a captive breeding program that, so far, has been successful in decreasing commercial exploitation of wild populations.
Common names for humans. Its large, hinged fangs allow for effective delivery of large quantities of venom. Immediate bite symptoms include severe localized pain and bleeding. Several proteases in the venom are responsible for local tissue damage and immediate hemorrhagic symptoms. These symptoms are followed by swelling, blistering, necrosis, and ulceration. Systemic symptoms, which often include heart palpitations, may occur suddenly and soon after being bit. is responsible for many of the snake-bite related moralities in southern China and Taiwan. Fortunately, researchers have been able to manufacture a monovalent antivenin to administer to bite-victims. However, the antivenin is only effective if taken within a few hours of the bite. (Chen, et al., 2002; Zhao and Adler, 1993)include Chinese moccasin, hundred-pacer, sharp-nosed viper, and snorkel viper. The venom of contains a potent neurotoxin that is potentially lethal to
Jennifer Vicente (author), The College of New Jersey, Matthew Wund (editor), The College of New Jersey, John Berini (editor), Animal Diversity Web Staff.
uses sound to communicate
living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.
an animal that mainly eats meat
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
active at dawn and dusk
a substance used for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease
- female parental care
parental care is carried out by females
union of egg and spermatozoan
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
Referring to a burrowing life-style or behavior, specialized for digging or burrowing.
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
(as keyword in perception channel section) This animal has a special ability to detect heat from other organisms in its environment.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
This terrestrial biome includes summits of high mountains, either without vegetation or covered by low, tundra-like vegetation.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
chemicals released into air or water that are detected by and responded to by other animals of the same species
the kind of polygamy in which a female pairs with several males, each of which also pairs with several different females.
- seasonal breeding
breeding is confined to a particular season
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
Living on the ground.
defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement
an animal which has an organ capable of injecting a poisonous substance into a wound (for example, scorpions, jellyfish, and rattlesnakes).
movements of a hard surface that are produced by animals as signals to others
uses sight to communicate
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