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Citation: Midtgaard, Rune. RepFocus - A Survey of the Reptiles of the World. (www.repfocus.dk).
Latest update: May 26th, 2024.

Taxonomy of the family Viperidae
Bibliography of the genus Ovophis
Biodiversity of the family Viperidae


Asian Mountain Pitvipers


Asiatiske Bjerghugorme

1981 Ovophis Burger in Hoge & Romano-Hoge (type species: Trimeresurus monticola Günther 1864)
Contents: 8 species, of which 2 (25.0%) are endemic.
Endemism: 0% 100%
Remarks: Previously part of the genus Trimeresurus. Formerly included Garthius chaseni. The recently revealed presence of more than one species in parts of northeastern India, northwestern Burma, western China, and north and central Vietnam has complicated interpretation of surveys done in the past (Malhotra, Dawson, Guo & Thorpe 2011). The distributions given below should be regarded as tentative, since much confusion regarding the validity and distribution of the various taxa of the genus continue to occur in the literature. A revision of the genus is needed.
Distribution: E. Asia, Malay Archipelago.
Reported from: Bhutan, Cambodia, China (Anhui, Chongqing, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Henan, Hong Kong, Hunan, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Tibet, Yunnan, Zhejiang), India (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, West Bengal), Indonesia (Sumatra), Japan (Ryukyu Islands [Okinawa Islands, Satsunan Islands (incl. Amami Islands [incl. Tokunoshima], Tokara Islands)]), Laos, Malaysia (West Malaysia [incl. Langkawi Archipelago, Penang Island, Seribuat Archipelago (incl. Tioman)]), Myanmar, Nepal, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam.

Ovophis convictus

Indo-Malayan Mountain Pitviper, Malayan Brown Pitviper

Indo-Malaiische Berg-Grubenotter

Indo-malayisk Bjerghugorm

1870 Trimeresurus convictus Stoliczka
Ovophis convictus Burger in Hoge & Romano-Hoge 1981
Ovophis monticola convictus Golay & al. 1993

Remarks: Previously regarded variously as either a subspecies of monticola (e.g., Golay & al. 1993) or as a separate species (e.g., Burger in Hoge & Romano-Hoge 1981; Das & Yaakob 2007; Das 2010). Validity confirmed by Malhotra, Dawson, Guo & Thorpe (2011). Status of convictus in Laos needs clarification (Malhotra, Dawson, Guo & Thorpe 2011). David, Teynié & Vogel (2023) did not consider the species part of the snake fauna of Laos, although noting that the genus needs further study.
Distribution: Cambodia, Indonesia (Sumatra), Malaysia (West Malaysia [incl. Langkawi Archipelago, Penang Island, Seribuat Archipelago (incl. Tioman)]), Thailand, Vietnam.

Ovophis gracilis

Kikushi Habu



1920 Trimeresurus gracilis Oshima
Ovophis gracilis Wallach, Williams & Boundy 2014

Remarks: Status uncertain, but possibly related to Ovophis okinavensis (e.g., Malhotra & Thorpe 2000; Guo, Malhotra, Creer & Pook 2009; Malhotra, Creer, Pook & Thorpe 2009). Should be referred to a separate genus, according to Malhotra & Thorpe (2004). Hoser (2012) placed the species in the new genus Oxyus, a valid names, unless the publication becomes rejected (David & Vogel in Visser 2015). Since Hoser's publications are generally ignored herein as a rule, Wallach, Williams & Boundy (2014) are followed in placing gracilis in the genus Ovophis.
Distribution: Taiwan.

Ovophis makazayazaya

Eastern Mountain Pitviper

Östliche Berg-Grubenotter

Østlig Bjerghugorm

1922 Trimeresurus Makazayazaya Takahashi
Trimeresurus monticola makazayazaya Leviton 1964
Ovophis monticola makazayazaya Burger in Hoge & Romano-Hoge 1981
Ovophis makazayazaya Malhotra, Dawson, Guo & Thorpe 2011
1925 Trimeresurus orientalis Schmidt (McDiarmid, Campbell & Touré 1999)
Trimeresurus monticola orientalis Mell 1931
Ovophis monticola orientalis Burger in Hoge & Romano-Hoge 1981

Other common names:
makazayazaya: Taiwan Mountain Pitviper, Arisan Habu
orientalis: Oriental Mountain Pitviper
Distribution: China (Chongqing, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hong Kong, Hunan, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Tibet, Yunnan, Zhejiang), Laos, Taiwan, Vietnam.

Ovophis malhotrae

Pingbian Mountain Pitviper



2023 Ovophis malhotrae Zeng, Li, Liu, Wu, Hou, Zhao, Nguyen, Guo & Shi

Distribution: China (Yunnan).

Ovophis monticola

Western Mountain Pitviper, Large-spotted Pitviper, Blotched Pitviper, (Southeast Asian Mountain Pitviper, Montane Pitviper)

Westliche Berg-Grubenotter

Vestlig Bjerghugorm

1853 Parias maculata Gray [not Trimeresurus maculatus Gray 1842] (McDiarmid, Campbell & Touré 1999)
1864 Trimeresurus monticola Günther
Lachesis monticola Boulenger 1896
Agkistrodon monticola Pope 1932
Ovophis monticola Burger in Hoge & Romano-Hoge 1981
1931 Trimeresurus monticola formosensis Mell "1929" [not Trimeresurus gramineus formosensis Maki 1931] (Golay & al. 1993; Zhao & Adler 1993)
1935 Trimeresurus monticola meridionalis Bourret (David & Vogel 2012)
Ovophis monticola meridionalis Burger in Hoge & Romano-Hoge 1981

Other common names:
meridionalis: Southern Mountain Pitviper
monticola: Western Mountain Pitviper
Remarks: Previously included convictus, makazayazaya, tonkinensis, and zayuensis. Records from Chongqing, Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan, and Zhejiang are tentatively referred to makazayazaya. Some older records from Bhutan (e.g., Wall 1907, Mahendra 1984) were based on Waddell (1899), which in fact referred to specimens from Sikkim (Tillack, Shah, Gumprecht & Husain 2003), but several other authors have since then reported the species from the country. Records from the Sunderbans in Bangladesh are doubtful and need confirmation, but the species is present in the Chittagong Hill tracts (Gumprecht, Tillack, Orlov, Captain & Ryabov 2004). Status of the taxon meridionalis is uncertain; it was previously regarded as a synonym of convictus (e.g., Golay & al. 1993; Zhao & Adler 1993).
Distribution: Bhutan, China (Tibet, Yunnan), India (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, West Bengal), Laos, Myanmar, Nepal.

Ovophis okinavensis

Kufah, Hime Habu, (Okinawan Pitviper)



1892 Trimeresurus okinavensis Boulenger
Lachesis okinavensis Boulenger 1896
Ovophis okinavensis Burger in Hoge & Romano-Hoge 1981

Remarks: The systematic position of this species has been questioned (e.g., Malhotra & Thorpe 2000; Tu, Wang, Tsai, Toda, Lee, Zhang & Ota 2000). A closer relationship with gracilis was suggested, but no taxonomic rearrangement has been made so far. It is recommended to avoid using the common name "Okinawan Pitviper" to prevent confusion with the Okinawan Habu (Protobothrops flavoviridis).
Distribution: Japan (Ryukyu Islands [Okinawa Islands, Satsunan Islands (Amami Islands [Tokunoshima], Tokara Islands)]).

Ovophis okinavensis
© Rune Midtgaard

Ovophis tonkinensis

Tonkin Pitviper, Tonkinean Pitviper



1934 Trimeresurus tonkinensis Bourret
Ovophis monticola tonkinensis Burger in Hoge & Romano-Hoge 1981 (see remarks)
Trimeresurus monticola tonkinensis Orlov 1997
Ovophis tonkinensis Burger in Hoge & Romano-Hoge 1981 (see remarks)

Remarks: Regarded by some authors as a subspecies or a synonym of monticola (e.g., McDiarmid, Campbell & Touré 1999) or of its subspecies convictus (e.g., Orlov, Ananjeva & Khalikov 2002), but as a valid species by others (e.g., Golay & al. 1993; Malhotra, Dawson, Guo & Thorpe 2011). Listed as both O. monticola tonkinensis and O. tonkinensis in Burger in Hoge & Romano-Hoge (1981)!
Distribution: China (Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Hong Kong), Vietnam.

Ovophis zayuensis

Zayu Mountain Pitviper, Zayuan Mountain Pitviper



1977 Trimeresurus monticola zayuensis Jiang
Ovophis monticola zayuensis Burger in Hoge & Romano-Hoge 1981
Ovophis zayuensis Zhao 1995
Trimeresurus zaynensis [lapsus] Orlov & Helfenberger 1997
1995 Ovophis monticola zhaokentangi Zhao (Malhotra, Dawson, Guo & Thorpe 2011)

Other common names:
zhaokentangi: Gaoligong Mountain Pitviper
Remarks: McDiarmid, Campbell & Touré (1999) considered zayuensis a subspecies of monticola, pending further studies. Validity supported by Guo, Lu, Huang, Zhao & Zhao (2006) and Malhotra, Dawson, Guo & Thorpe (2011).
Distribution: China (Tibet, Yunnan), India, Myanmar.