Thai National Parks

Species of Thailand

Indo-Malayan mountain pit viper

Ovophis convictus, Ferdinand Stoliczka, 1870

(In Thai: งูหางแฮ่มภูเขาใต้, ngu hang haem phukhao dtai)

Ovophis monticola is a venomous pitviper species found in Asia. Currently, two subspecies are recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here. Recent taxonomic work suggests that most of these should be considered as separate species. IUCN has already evaluated O. m. makazayazaya as Ovophis makazayazaya.


Total length of males 49 cm (19¼ inches), of females 110 cm (43¼ inches); tail length of males 8 cm (3⅛ inches), of females 15 cm (5⅞ inches).

The head has a short snout, a little more than twice the length of the diameter of the eye. The crown is covered by small scales rather than large shields, while the scales are usually smooth, feebly imbricate. The first upper labial is not fused to the nasal and is completely separated by a suture. The supraoculars are large, 5-9 scales in a line between them. The internasals are usually not in contact with one another, separated by 2 small suprapostrostral scales. There are 7-10 upper labials, the second of which is usually fused to the scale bordering the facial sensory pit anteriorly. The fourth and fifth upper labials are beneath the eye, but separated from orbit by a series of 2-4 small scales.

The body is stout. The dorsal scales are smooth or weakly keeled, in 23-25, occasionally in 19 or 21 longitudinal rows at midbody. Ventral scales and subcaudals (Myanmar, northeastern India and adjacent areas of China and Thailand) 137-176 and 36-62 respectively, subcaudals mixed paired and single, occasionally all unpaired (ventrals and subcaudals for southern China, Vietnam, Laos: 127-144 and 36-54, and Malaysian Peninsula: 133-137 and 22-28 respectively ).

Common names

Mountain pitviper, mountain viper, Chinese pit viper, spotted pit viper, Arisan habu, mountain pit viper, Chinese mountain pit viper. Bengali name: পাহাড়ী বোড়া সাপ (Pahari boda sap).

Geographic range

Found in Asia in Nepal, India (Assam, Sikkim, Mizoram, Nagaland), Bangladesh (already stated on the subspecies table), Myanmar, China (Zhejiang, Fujian, Sichuan, Yunnan, Tibet), Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, West Malaysia and Indonesia (Sumatra). The type locality is described as "Sikkim" (India).


Subspecies Taxon author Common name Geographic range
O. m. monticola (Günther, 1864) Mountain pitviper Bangladesh (Chittagong Hill Tracts), China (Sichuan, Tibet Autonomous Region, Yunnan, India (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim, Uttarakhand and West Bengal), Myanmar (Chin, Kachin and Shan) and Nepal.
O. m. makazayazaya (Takahashi, 1922) Taiwanese mountain pitviper Taiwan(Majia, Pingtung, Chiayi Alishan), China(Southeast), Vietnam
O. m. zhaokentangi Zhao, 1995 Gaoligong mountain pitviper Goaligong Shan, north of Pianma, Lushui County, Yunnan Province, China.


Little is known about the venom of this species but it is presumed to contain haemorrhagins and procoagulants. There has been one recorded fatality from the bite of this species.(another person from Meghalaya, India died in 2017 due to mountain pit viper bite).

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Scientific classification

Ovophis convictus

Common names

  • German: Indo-Malaiische Berg-Grubenotter
  • English:
    • Indo-Malayan mountain pit viper
    • Mountain pit viper
  • Thai: งูหางแฮ่มภูเขาใต้, ngu hang haem phukhao dtai


  • Ovophis convictus, Van Stanley Bartholomew Wallach et al. (2014)
  • Ovophis convictus, Andreas Gumprecht & Peter van Issem (2013)
  • Ovophis convictus, Patrick David & Gernot Vogel (2012)
  • Ovophis convictus, Indraneil Das & Norsham S. Yaakob (2007)
  • Ovophis monticola convictus, Andreas Gumprecht et al. (2004)
  • Ovophis monticola convictus, Merel J. Cox et al. (1998)
  • Ovophis convictus, Kenneth R. G. Welch (1994)
  • Ovophis monticola convictus, P. Golay et al. (1993)
  • Ovophis convictus, Hobart Muir Smith & David Alfred Chiszar (1988)
  • Trimeresurus convictus, Konrad Klemmer (1963)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)


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Ovophis convictus

Copyright Khao Sok Snakes

Ovophis convictus
Ovophis convictus

Copyright Khao Sok Snakes

Ovophis convictus

Range Map

Distribution map of Indo-Malayan mountain pit viper, Ovophis convictus in Thailand
  • Betong District, Yala
  • Khao Luang National Park
  • Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Sok National Park
  • Khlong Nakha Wildlife Sanctuary
  • La-un District, Ranong
Range map of Ovophis convictus in Thailand