Cryptelytrops rubeus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA VIPERIDAE

Scientific Name: Cryptelytrops rubeus
Species Authority: Malhotra, Thorpe, Mrinalini & Stuart, 2011
Common Name(s):
English Ruby-eyed Green Pitviper
Taxonomic Notes: This species was recently described based on southern Vietnamese records formerly attributed to Cryptelytrops macrops (Malhotra et al. 2011). The identity of a Vietnamese record from Phu Quoc of a viper in the C. macrops complex requires clarification, as this subpopulation may belong to either C. cardamomensis or C. rubeus. Although this record is not included in either this account or that for C. cardamomensis pending clarification, biogeographic affinities suggest this record is most likely to represent C. cardamomensis (B. Stuart and L. Grismer pers. comm. September 2011).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2011-09-01
Assessor(s): Stuart, B., Grismer, L., Thy, N. & Nguyen, T.Q.
Reviewer(s): Bowles, P. & Bauder, J.
Justification:
Listed as Vulnerable on the basis that this species has an estimated extent of occurrence slightly less than 20,000 km², it is known from four locations where the threats include deforestation and overexploitation, and there is a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat as a result of plantation agriculture, and possibly in the number of mature individuals as a result of harvesting.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This recently described species (Malhotra et al. 2011) has been recorded from southern Vietnam in the vicinity of Ho Chi Minh City, and also from the low-elevation hills on the southern and western edges of the Langbian (Da Lat) Plateau in southern Vietnam and eastern Cambodía's Mondolkiri Province. It was recently confirmed in Cat Tien National Park, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam (Geissler et al. 2011), from which it was known previously only from photographs (Malhotra et al. 2011). It has been found between 450 and 500 m asl. It has an estimated extent of occurrence of approximately 19,570 km².
Countries:
Native:
Cambodia; Viet Nam
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There are many records of this recently-described species from Mondolkiri Province in Cambodia, and it is thought to be common in Vietnam. In Vietnam, the population may be experiencing localized declines as a result of overharvesting for food and snake wine (Q.T. Nguyen pers. comm. September 2011).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This snake occurs in evergreen forest, including lightly disturbed forest. Specimens from Cambodia have all been reported from sites near fast-flowing stream, often close to waterfalls, and the snake was recorded in Cat Tien near a pool. All animals have been recorded at night in dense vegetation (Malhotra et al. 2011). In common with other species of Cryptelytrops, this snake is ovoviviparous.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Somaweera and Somaweera (2010) report green pit vipers as being common in snake wine, but were not able to distinguish between species. C. rubeus probably forms a significant part of this trade (B. Stuart pers. comm. September 2011). Embryos from this live-bearing species are eaten in southern Vietnam in low numbers (Q.T. Nguyen pers. comm. September 2011).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species has only been found in evergreen forest, and Cambodian sites are at risk from the development of rubber and cassava plantations, despite nominal protected status (T. Neang pers. comm. September 2011). There are no records of the snake from these habitats, although they have not yet been subjected to targeted surveys (T. Neang pers. comm. September 2011). There may be localized declines from exploitation for food and snake wine, however this is only a threat in southern Vietnam (Q.T. Nguyen pers. comm. September 2011). As a venomous snake, this species is subject to persecution by humans, and may be at greater risk in degraded, more accessible habitats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species has been recorded from protected areas in Vietnam and Cambodia, with only one of the known localities (in Vietnam) being unprotected (Malhotra et al. 2011, Geissler et al. 2011). Surveys of degraded habitat, including plantations, are recommended to establish the limits of this snake's habitat tolerances and hence its susceptibility to threats. Taxonomic study is needed to establish the identity of animals from Phu Quoc.

Bibliography [top]

Geissler, P, Nguyen, T.Q., Poyarkov, N.A. and Böhme, W. 2011. New records of snakes from Cat Tien National Park, Dong Nai and Lam Dong provinces, southern Vietnam. Bonn Zoological Bulletin 60(1): 9-16.

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 19 June 2012).

Malhotra, A., Thorpe, R.S., Mrinalini and Stuart, B.L. 2011. Two new species of pitviper of the genus Crptelytrops Cope 1860 (Squamata: Viperidae: Crotalinae) from Southeast Asia. Zootaxa 2757: 1-23.

Somaweera, R. and Somaweera, N. 2010. Serpents in jars: the snake wine industry in Vietnam. Journal of Threatened Taxa 2(11): 1251-1260.


Citation: Stuart, B., Grismer, L., Thy, N. & Nguyen, T.Q. 2012. Cryptelytrops rubeus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 July 2014.
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