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Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2017
   

 

   
   
 
Cameron Highlands Pit Viper
   
   

Fig 1
 


Fig 2
 


Fig 3
 


Fig 4
 

 

Family : VIPERIDAE
Species :  Popeia nebularis
Maximum Size : 100 cm

The Cameron Highlands Pit Viper is named after the montane 'hill resort' from which it was first described, and which lies in the northern part of Pahang State, Peninsular Malaysia at around 1500 metres elevation. It has subsequently been found at Fraser's Hill, 100 km to the south : the specimen illustrated here was found at night in a forested stream gully near the Jeriau Waterfall at Fraser's Hill, at an elevation of around 1000 metres.

Thus, according to current knowledge, the species appears restricted to elevations of between 1000 to 1500 metres in the central part of the Titiwangsa Range which forms the spine of Peninsular Malaysia.

Little is known of the ecology of this species. Its diet is presumed to comprise rodents and birds, however the fact that the specimen illustrated here was found in strike pose in a shallow stream gully suggests it may also prey on frogs.

Its body colour is an intense green above, with a slight bluish tinge : this tinge is more apparent at the margin of the dorsal body scales. Ventrally the body scales are yellowish.

The species lacks the adornments of other green-coloured pit-vipers : it has no coloured streak behind the eye, and generally no lateral stripes along the flanks. The dorsal part of the tail, however, is brown in colour.


Fig 1 : Specimen lying coiled on a fallen branch, 20 cm above a shallow, sandy stream at night. The strike pose indicates the snake is awaiting passing prey, in this case perhaps frogs. 

Fig 2 : Close-up of the triangular head - in this specimen the iris is yellowish-orange.

Fig 3 : Stream gully in which Popeia nebularis was found.

Fig 4 : Close-up of keeled body scales showing bluish tinge at the edge of each scale.

All photos from Fraser's Hill, Peninsular Malaysia at around 1000 metres elevation.


References : H12