Azemiops feae 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Viperidae

Scientific Name: Azemiops feae Boulenger, 1888
Common Name(s):
English Fea's Viper

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2011-08-31
Assessor(s): Lau, M. & Rao, D.-q.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.A. & Bauder, J.
Contributor(s): Nguyen, T.Q.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This snake is found in southern and central China, from western Yunnan and southern Shaanxi east to Zhejiang, south to Guangxi. It ranges into northern Myanmar and northern Viet Nam (Zhao 1993). It has been found at elevations of 100 to 2,200 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
China (Anhui, Fujian, Gansu, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hunan, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Tibet [or Xizang], Yunnan, Zhejiang); Myanmar (Myanmar (mainland)); Viet Nam
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):100
Upper elevation limit (metres):2200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is a uncommon species, but may be under-recorded due to its secretive habits and limited field surveys for this snake (D-q.  Rao pers. comm. March 2012). It is described as being very rare in Vietnam (Q.T. Nguyen pers. comm. March 2012). Although some population decline is possible as a result of exploitation for the international pet trade, due to this snake's rarity and low overall levels of exploitation, this is not thought likely to approach 30% over a ten-year period (M. Lau pers. comm.  March 2012).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This viper lives in mountainous areas, above altitudes of 2,000 feet (610 m). It is found in open areas, rocky areas, sometimes in villages, and also in forest or shrubland. The largest specimens are just under thirty inches in length. The diet in the wild is unknown, one captive specimen fed upon small pre-killed laboratory mice. They are reported to be oviparous, and lay about six eggs.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is in high demand in certain sections of the international pet trade (Weissgold and Leuteritz 2011), where specimens fetch high prices in Western markets. This may be the result of its scarcity, as it is only occasionally encountered in the wild and is consequently found only occasionally in markets in China (D-q. Rao pers. comm. March 2012). It is also difficult to breed in captivity, and captive animals rarely survive long (D-q. Rao and M. Lau pers. comm. March 2012). It is not known to be included in trade in Vietnam (Q.T. Nguyen pers. comm. March 2012). There are no records of imports of this species to the United States since 2009, but the accuracy of these data is uncertain as the species is not included on CITES (B. Weissgold pers. comm. March 2012).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There appear to be no significant threats to this species, which survives in degraded habitats and has a large range. As a cryptic and apparently rare snake, however, there is little information on threats generally (M. Lau pers. comm. March 2012). There is some exploitation of the species for the pet trade, where it is in high demand among hobbyists with an interest in rare and attractive vipers. This is however a minority interest among reptile keepers, and consequently the overall level demand for this snake is "rather small" (M. Lau pers. comm. March 2012). While the pet trade is only considered to be a minor threat at present due to the limited level of exploitation, this situation requires monitoring (D-q. Rao pers. comm. March 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation actions are currently known for this species. It is present in some protected areas. More information is needed on this species' distribution, population status, natural history and threats. There is a need to review the trade in this species, including monitoring of both local markets in China and of internet-based international trade (D-q. Rao pers. comm. March 2012) and possibly introduce regulations on exports. The species is not presently listed on CITES.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
3. Shrubland -> 3.7. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
suitability:Suitable  major importance:Yes
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.2. Trade management
5. Law & policy -> 5.1. Legislation -> 5.1.1. International level
5. Law & policy -> 5.1. Legislation -> 5.1.2. National level

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: (Accessed: 19 June 2012).

Mehrtens, J.M. 1987. Living Snakes of the World in Color. Sterling Publishing Company, New York.

Wang, S. and Xie, Y. (eds.). 2009. China Species Red List Vol. II - Vertebrates Part 2. Biodiversity Working Group of China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, Beijing.

Weissgold, B. and Leuteritz, T. 2011. Presentation of the US. CITES Asian Snake Trade Workshop, Guangzhou, China.

Zhao, E. and Adler, K. 1993. Herpetology of China. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

Citation: Lau, M. & Rao, D.-q. 2012. Azemiops feae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T190641A1955758. . Downloaded on 14 August 2018.
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