The 'Siamese Peninsula Pit
Viper' Popeia fucata was first acknowledged as a separate
species in 2004. Prior to 2004 it was considered a variant of Pope's Pit Viper
(formerly Trimeresurus popeiorum).
There is significant local variation in patterning. A dual lateral stripe
(white over red) generally extends along each flank, though in some
specimens the red stripe is absent and in others the white stripe is also
absent. Red-over-white postocular stripes (i.e. those immediately behind
the eye) occur in many specimens, but in others this feature may be
absent. (In some populations the latter feature may occur exclusively in
males, though this is not certain).
Regular, dark banding may occur over the back, but this is generally
very faint. The tail is reddish brown, sometimes banded, and the belly pale
The images presented here are of the same specimen which was found resting
on a sapling two metres from the forest floor, on the Malaysian island of
Langkawi. It remained on the same sapling for at least three days before
heading deeper into the forest.
This stunning pit viper occurs in southern Thailand and northern Peninsular
Malaysia, with an apparent stronghold on Langkawi.
Figs 1 to 3 :
Three images of an adult Siamese Peninsula Pit Viper, seen at Datai Bay,
Langkawi, northern Peninsular Malaysia. Note the well-developed postocular
stripe (i.e. the red and white stripe immediately behind the eye).
Family : CROTALIDAE
Species : Popeia fucata
Maximum Size : 86cm