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Protobothrops elegans is a venomous pitviper species endemic to Japan in the southern Ryukyu Islands. No subspecies are currently recognized.[2] Common names include: elegant pitviper,[3] Sakishima habu (サキシマハブ),[4] and elegant tree viper.[5]

Protobothrops elegans
Protobothrops elegans.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae
Genus: Protobothrops
P. elegans
Binomial name
Protobothrops elegans
(Gray, 1849)
  • Craspedocephalus elegans
    Gray, 1849
  • Trimeresurus luteus
    Boettger, 1895
  • Lachesis luteus Boulenger, 1896
  • Lachesis lutea – Boettger, 1898
  • Trimeresurus elegans
    Stejneger, 1907
  • Trimeresurus mucrosq[uamatus]. elegans – Mell, 1929
  • Protobothrops elegans
    – Kraus, Mink & Brown, 1996[1]



Scalation includes 25 (sometimes 23) rows of dorsal scales at midbody, 179-192 (males) or 182-196 (females) ventral scales, 63-90 subcaudal scales, and 8 (sometimes 7 or 9) supralabial scales.[3]

During 1965-2011, 2447 snakebites from this snake are reported with one fatality.[6]

Geographic rangeEdit

It is found in Japan in the southern Ryukyu Islands. The type locality is unknown. Boulenger listed it as "---- ?" while Gray's original 1849 description gives "West Coast of [North?] America." A restriction to "Ishigaki-Shima [Ryukyu Islands, Japan]" was proposed by Stejneger (1907).[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  2. ^ "Trimeresurus elegans". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 25 July 2008.
  3. ^ a b Gumprecht A, Tillack F, Orlov NL, Captain A, Ryabov S. 2004. Asian Pitvipers. GeitjeBooks. Berlin. 1st Edition. 368 pp. ISBN 3-937975-00-4.
  4. ^ Mehrtens JM. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. New York: Sterling Publishers. 480 pp. ISBN 0-8069-6460-X.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-02. Retrieved 2013-03-11.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) 沖縄県における平成23 年の毒蛇咬症 沖縄県衛生環境研究所

Further readingEdit

  • Gray, J.E. 1849. Catalogue of the Specimens of Snakes in the Collection of the British Museum. Trustees of the British Museum. London. xv + 125 pp. (Craspedocephalus elegans, p. 7.)

External linksEdit