The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.
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Authors: Anita Malhotra , Roger S. Thorpe And Bryan L. Stuart
Abstract: Morphological similarity has created considerable taxonomic uncertainty among the Asian green pitvipers. A new species of green pitviper, Trimeresurus vogeli, was recently described from Thailand. T. vogeli represents a distinct phylogenetic clade within the Trimeresurus stejnegeri group and is morphologically different from other clades of the T. stejnegeri group in several respects. However, the only obvious consistent difference between T. vogeli and other clades of T. stejnegeri is its lack of a red tail. Here, we perform a morphometric analysis to compare T. vogeli to other species with which it may be confused. Our data on T. vogeli differs in many respects to those presented in the species description, including characters considered diagnostic. In the past, T. vogeli has frequently been mistakenly identified as Trimeresurus popeiorum, from which it can be distinguished by the hemipenis structure in males. The tail colour characteristic is not reliable in distinguishing T. vogeli from all populations of T. popeiorum, and we review the morphological differences between these and T. vogeli females. We report a range extension to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, and provide habitat data for the species. The range of T. vogeli does not overlap with that of T. popeiorum or other members of the T. stejnegeri group.
Keywords: green pitviper, SE Asia, taxonomy, Viperidae