TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia  (turtles, snakes, lizards, and relatives)
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae (Vipers)

Genus/species: Tropidolaemus wagleri

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Males are green in color. Females have 4 color phases. In the Malaysian phase seen here, the snake has a black background with yellow bars across it’s back, a yellow belly and green spots, one on each scale. Length to 4 ft. 

Wagler's Pit Viper 8324403992_9febc37327_b

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: They are arboreal living in the lowland tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia, including southern Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, Sumatra, Sulawesi and southern Philippines.

DIET IN THE WILD: Ambush nocturnal predator. Like all pit vipers, T. wagleri has heat-sensing organs (called loreal pits) on its head below and in front of their eyes which are used to sense prey, even when they can’t see it. Juveniles and adult males prefer lizards, especially geckos. Females eat a more varied diet, including rats, birds, frogs and lizards, Needs only 3 meals a month.

REPRODUCTION: Viviparous (bears young alive). Litters contain 6-50 young.

PREDATORS: King Cobra.

Wagler's Pit Viper  3506502014_96d97cbdb9_b

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red list; Least Concern (LC)

REMARKS: They have hemotoxic, venom, preventing blood from clotting. Bites can cause local pain, swelling, bruising, and bleeding but bites are rarely fatal to humans.

The Temple of the Azure Cloud in Penang Island, Malaysia is known as Snake Temple. It was once filled with hundreds of Wagler’s pit vipers. Tourists would be photographed with the snakes. Locals collected the snakes, and, fortunately, the ones used for photography had their fangs removed.

Borneo Cave Cluster B005

References

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/790394/details

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/8324403992/in/set-72157620567930293

California Academy of Sciences Docent Rainforest Training class 2014

Ron’s WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-Vu

 Borneo Cave Cluster B005