Brief insight into the behavior, activity, and interspecific interactions of urban Trimeresurus (Cryptelytrops) albolabris (Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae) vipers in Bangkok, Thailand

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Curt Hrad Barnes
Tyler Keith Knierim


Green Pit Vipers are a widely distributed, diverse group of snakes which occur across a variety of habitats.  Little is known about their natural history in anthropogenically modified environments, and no ecological work has investigated their persistence in cities.  We non-invasively photo-monitored White-lipped Green Pit Vipers Trimeresurus (Cryptelytrops) albolabris in the metropolis of Bangkok, Thailand (n = 4 individuals, mean = 2,658 minutes per individual).  Subsequently, we preliminarily characterize urban green pit vipers as nocturnal predators, displaying ambush-foraging at night, sheltering during the day, and having limited movement in between temporal periods.  We recorded two predation events of vipers capturing and ingesting anuran prey.  Vipers infrequently displayed tail undulations (239 minutes total), with one event occurring immediately before a predation event.  We also document chemosensory, probing, and mouth-gaping behaviors having occurred exclusively at night.  Other vertebrates including birds, frogs, geckos, small mammals, and a cobra were photographed interacting with focal vipers or their immediate surroundings (315 minutes total).  Knowledge of organisms in tropical urban environments is scarce, and the persistence of venomous snakes in these unique and challenging habitats requires further study.

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Barnes, C.H. and Knierim, T.K. 2019. Brief insight into the behavior, activity, and interspecific interactions of urban Trimeresurus (Cryptelytrops) albolabris (Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae) vipers in Bangkok, Thailand. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 11, 12 (Sep. 2019), 14503–14510. DOI:


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