Trimeresurus albolabris (Gray, 1842)
|Other name||White-lipped Pit viper|
|Total length||Average 50 cm, can reach 90 cm;|
|Description||Back and flank bright green. Females with a thin yellow line at junction of lowermost lateral scales with ventrals;
this line is white in males.
Skin with dark crossbands on dorsum; bands visible only when snakes inflates or after a large meal or in gravid females.
Ventrals yellow, without any markings.
Head green and strongly triangular. Eyes orange-yellow; with vertical, slit-like pupil.
A heat-sensing pit between eye and nostril. Two large, hinged fangs at the front of upper jaw.
Labials and side of neck yellow. Tail with a reddish-brown streak dorsally.
Head scales granular. Dorsal scales moderately keeled.
Hong Kong's most common venomous snake, present at all altitudes.
|Behaviour||Primarily nocturnal. This snake and Mountain Pit Viper (Ovophis monticola makazayazaya) use a heat sensing pit to locate warm-blooded prey, enabling an accurate strike even in total darkness.
Bite is painful and causes much swelling, but death is virtually unheard of in healthy people.
|Diet||Feeds on mammals, frogs, lizards and occasionally small birds.|
|Reproduction||Viviparous. Pairing occurs in May. The female gives birth 2 months later.
Average litter size is 12. Young snakes 15-20 cm long at birth.
|Distribution||Widely distributed throughout the territory including a number of small islands where it may be the only venomous snake present.
Ranges from northern India to central and southern China, south to Indonesia.
|Conservation Status||IUCN Redlist: NE (Not Evaluated)|