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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Lepidosauromorpha
Superordo: Lepidosauria
Ordo: Squamata
Subordo: Serpentes
Infraordo: Caenophidia
Superfamilia: Viperoidea

Familia: Viperidae
Subfamilia: Crotalinae
Genus: Protobothrops
Species (15): P. cornutus – P. dabieshanensis – P. elegans – P. flavoviridis – P. himalayanus – P. jerdonii – P. kaulbacki – P. kelomohy – P. mangshanensis – P. maolanensis – P. mucrosquamatus – P. sieversorum – P. tokarensis – P. trungkhanhensis – P. xiangchengensis

Protobothrops Hoge & Romano-Hoge, 1983: 87

Type species: Bothrops flavoviridis Hallowell, 1861, by original designation.


Triceratolepidophis Ziegler, Herrmann, David, Orlov & Pauwels, 2000: 201 [synonymized by Guo, Malhotra, Li, Pook & Creer (2007: 243)]
Type species: Triceratolepidophis sieversorum Ziegler, Herrmann, David, Orlov & Pauwels, 2000, by original designation and monotypy.
Ceratrimeresurus Liang & Liu in Liang, 2003: 411 [synonymized by David, Tong, Vogel & Tian (2008: 21)]
Type species: Ceratrimeresurus shenlii Liang & Liu, 2003, by monotypy.

Primary references

Hoge, A.R. & Romano-Hoge, S.A. [1980/81] 1983. Notes on micro and ultrastructure of “Oberhäutchen” in Viperoidea. Memórias do Instituto Butantan 44/45: 81–118. Full article. Reference page.
Ziegler, T., Herrmann, H.-W., David, P., Orlov, N.L. & Pauwels, O.S.G. 2000. Triceratolepidophis sieversorum, a New Genus and Species of Pitviper (Reptilia: Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae) from Vietnam. Russian Journal of Herpetology 7(3): 199–214. DOI: 10.30906/1026-2296-2000-7-3-199-214 [nonfunctional] Broken access Reference page.
Liang, Q. 2003. [Reptiles of Guangdong Nanling Nature Reserve]. pp. 408–417 In: Pang, X. (Ed.). [Studies on Biodiversity of the Guangdong Nanling National Nature Reserve] (In Chinese). Guangdong Science and Technology Press: Guangzhou. ISBN 978-7-5359-6919-4 Reference page.
Guo, P., Malhotra, A., Li, P.-P., Pook, C.E. & Creer, S. 2007. New evidence on the phylogenetic position of the poorly known Asian pitviper Protobothrops kaulbacki (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae) with a redescription of the species and a revision of the genus Protobothrops. Herpetological Journal 17(4): 237–246. Reference page.
David, P., Tong, H.-Y., Vogel G. & Tian, M.-Y. 2008. On the status of the Chinese pitviper Ceratrimeresurus shenlii Liang and Liu in Liang, 2003 (Serpentes, Viperidae), with the addition of Protobothrops cornutus (Smith, 1930) to the Chinese snake fauna. Asiatic Herpetological Research 11: 17–23. BHL Reference page.

Additional references

Kraus, F., Mink, D.G. & Brown, W.M. 1996. Crotaline intergeneric relationships based on mitochondrial DNA sequence data. Copeia 1996(4): 763–773. DOI: 10.2307/1447637 Hybrid open access journal Reference page.
Herrmann, H.-W., Ziegler, T., Malhotra, A., Thorpe, R.S. & Parkinson, C.L. 2004. Redescription and systematics of Trimeresurus cornutus (Serpentes: Viperidae) based on morphology and molecular data. Herpetologica 60(2): 211–221. DOI: 10.1655/03-37 Paywall Reference page.
Guo, P., Pang, J.-F., Zhang, Y.-P. & Zhao, E.-M. 2006. A Re-analysis of the phylogeny of the genus Protobothrops (Reptilia: Viperidae), with particular reference to the systematic position of P. xiangchengensis. Amphibia-Reptilia 27(3): 433–439. DOI: 10.1163/156853806778189954 Paywall Reference page.
Orlov, N.L., Ryabov, S.A. & Nguyen, T.T. 2009. Two New Species of Genera Protobothrops Hoge et Romano-Hoge, 1983 and Viridovipera Malhotra et Thorpe, 2004 (Ophidia: Viperidae: Crotalinae) from Karst Region in northeastern vietnam. Part I. Description of a New Species of Protobothrops. Russian Journal of Herpetology 16(1): 69–82. DOI: 10.30906/1026-2296-2009-16-1-69-82 [nonfunctional] Broken access Reference page.
Yang, J.-H., Orlov, N.L. & Wang, Y.-Y. 2011. A new species of pitviper of the genus Protobothrops from China (Squamata: Viperidae). Zootaxa 2936(1): 59–68. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.2936.1.3 Paywall Reference page.
Liu, Q., Myers, E.A., Zhong, G.-H., Hu, J., Zhao, H. & Guo, P. 2012. Molecular evidence on the systematic position of the lance-headed pitviper Protobothrops maolanensis Yang et al., 2011. Zootaxa 3178(1): 57–62. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3178.1.5 Paywall Reference page.
Huang, X., Pan, T., Han, D., Zhang, L., Hou, Y.-H., Yu, L., Zheng, H. & Zhang, B. 2012. A New Species of the Genus Protobothrops (Squamata: Viperidae: Crotalinae) from the Dabie Mountains, Anhui, China. Asian Herpetological Research 3(3): 213–218. DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1245.2012.00213 Open access Reference page.
Pan, H.-J., Chettri, B., Yang, D., Jiang, K., Wang, K., Zhang, L. & Vogel, G. 2013. A New Species of the Genus Protobothrops (Squamata: Viperidae) from Southern Tibet, China and Sikkim, India. Asian Herpetological Research 4(2): 109–115. DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1245.2013.00109 Open access Reference page.
Guo, P., Liu, Q., Wen, T., Xiao, R., Fang, M., Zhong, G-H., Nguyen, T.Q., Zhu, F., Jadin, R.C. & Li, C. 2016. Multilocus phylogeny of the Asian Lance-headed pitvipers (Squamata, Viperidae, Protobothrops). Zootaxa 4093(3): 382–390. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4093.3.5.Reference page.
Sumontha, M., Vasaruchapong, T., Chomngam, N., Suntrarachun, S., Pawangkhanant, P., Sompan, W., Smit, T., Kunya, K. & Chanhome, L. 2020. Protobothrops kelomohy sp. nov. (Squamata: Viperidae), the Second Known Species of Lance-Headed Pit Viper from Thailand. Tropical Natural History 20(1): 43–59. PDF Reference page.


Uetz, P. & Hallermann, J. 2021. Protobothrops . The Reptile Database. Accessed on 18 November 2020.

Vernacular names
English: Asian Lance-headed Pitvipers

Protobothrops is a genus of pit vipers.[1] The venom of Protobothrops can be diverse and unique across individual organisms of the same and differing species and has demonstrated the ability to evolve in an accelerated manner.[2][3] One possible explanation for these traits is that the habitat in which Protobothrops reside contains a large variety of prey which may have prompted the diversification of the venom related genes.[2][3]

Image Common Name Distribution
Protobothrops cornutus (1).jpg Protobothrops cornutus (Smith, 1930) Vietnam
Protobothrops dabieshanensis Huang, Pan, Han, Zhang, Hou, Yu, Zheng & Zhang, 2012 China
Protobothrops elegans.jpg Protobothrops elegans (Gray, 1849) Japan in the southern Ryukyu Islands
Protobothrops flavoviridis.jpg Protobothrops flavoviridis (Hallowell, 1861) Ryukyu Islands, including Okinawa and the Amami Islands.
Protobothrops himalayanus Pan, Chettri, Yang, Jiang, Wang, Zhang & Vogel, 2013 China (S Tibet), Nepal, Bhutan, India (Sikkim)
Protobothrops jerdoni xanthomelas.jpg Protobothrops jerdonii (Günther, 1875) India, Nepal, Myanmar, China, and Vietnam.
Protobothrops kaulbacki (Smith, 1940) Myanmar, China
Protobothrops kelomohy Sumontha, Vasaruchapong, Chomngam, Suntrarachun, Pawangkhanant, Sompan, Smits, Kunya, & Chanhome, 2020 Northern Thailand
Protobothrops mangshanensis mang pitviper LA zoo top.jpg Protobothrops mangshanensis (Zhao, 1990) China (Guangdong, Hunan)
Protobothrops maolanensis Yang, Orlov & Wang, 2011 China (Guizhou)
Trimeresurus mucrosquamatus Taiwan.jpg Protobothrops mucrosquamatus (Cantor, 1839) India (Assam and Mizoram) and Bangladesh, to Myanmar, China (including Hainan, and as far north as Gansu and as far east as Zhejiang), Laos, northern and central Vietnam, also found in northern Thailand as well as in Taiwan
Protobothrops sieversorum (Ziegler, Herrmann, David, Orlov & Pauwels, 2000) Vietnam
Protobothrops tokarensis (Nagai, 1928) Kagoshima, Ryukyu Islands
Protobothrops trungkhanhensis Orlov, Ryabov & Nguyen, 2009 Vietnam, China
Protobothrops xiangchengensis (Zhao, Jiang & Huang, 1979) China(Yunnan, Sichuan)


Genus Protobothrops at The Reptile Database.
Shibata, Hiroki; Chijiwa, Takahito; Oda-Ueda, Naoko; Nakamura, Hitomi; Yamaguchi, Kazuaki; Hattori, Shousaku; Matsubara, Kazumi; Matsuda, Yoichi; Yamashita, Akifumi; Isomoto, Akiko; Mori, Kazuki (2018-07-26). "The habu genome reveals accelerated evolution of venom protein genes". Scientific Reports. 8 (1): 11300. Bibcode:2018NatSR...811300S. doi:10.1038/s41598-018-28749-4. ISSN 2045-2322. PMC 6062510. PMID 30050104.
Inamaru, Kento; Takeuchi, Ami; Maeda, Marie; Shibata, Hiroki; Fukumaki, Yasuyuki; Oda-Ueda, Naoko; Hattori, Shosaku; Ohno, Motonori; Chijiwa, Takahito (2020-03-12). "Discovery of the Gene Encoding a Novel Small Serum Protein (SSP) of Protobothrops flavoviridis and the Evolution of SSPs". Toxins. 12 (3): 177. doi:10.3390/toxins12030177. ISSN 2072-6651. PMC 7150969. PMID 32178380.


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