Thai National Parks

Species of Thailand

Brown-spotted pit viper

Protobothrops mucrosquamatus, Theodore Edward Cantor, 1839

Protobothrops mucrosquamatus is a venomous pit viper species endemic to Asia. Common names include: brown spotted pit viper, and pointed-scaled pit viper. No subspecies are currently recognized. The species was first described by Theodore Cantor in 1839.


Males grow to a maximum total length of 112 cm with a tail length of 19.5 cm. Females grow to a maximum total length of 116 cm with a tail length of 20.5 cm.

The hemipenes are spinose.

Scalation: dorsal scales in 25 longitudinal rows at midbody; scales on upper surface of head, small, each scale keeled posteriorly; internasals 5–10 times size of adjacent scales, separated by 3–4 scales; supraoculars, long, narrow, undivided, 14–16 small interoculars in line between them; 2 scales on line between upper preocular and nasal scale; 9–11 upper labials, first upper labial separated from nasal by suture; 2–3 small scales between upper labials and subocular; 2–3 rows of temporal scales above upper labials smooth, above those scales keeled; ventrals 200–218; subcaudals 76–91, all paired.

Color pattern: grayish or olive brown above, with dorsal series of large brown, black-edged spots or blotches, and a lateral series of smaller spots; head above brownish, below whitish; belly whitish but heavily powdered with light brown; tail brownish (possibly pink in life ), with series of dark dorsal spots.

Common names

Brown spotted pitviper, pointed-scaled pit viper, habu, , Chinese habu, Formosan pit viper. The Chinese name is or .

Geographic range

Found from northeastern India (Assam and Mizoram) and Bangladesh, to Myanmar, China (including Hainan, and as far north as Gansu and as far east as Zhejiang), Laos, northern and central Vietnam, also found in northern Thailand as well as in Taiwan. The type locality given is Naga Hills (India). This snake is introduced to Okinawa, Japan.

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Site notes

This species is also found in Nan Province of Thailand.

Scientific classification

Protobothrops mucrosquamatus

Common names

  • English:
    • Brown spotted pitviper
    • Pointed-scaled pit viper
    • Taiwanese habu
    • Chinese habu


  • Protobothrops mucrosquamatus, Van Stanley Bartholomew Wallach et al. (2014)
  • Protobothrops mucrosquamatus, Patrick David et al. (2011)
  • Protobothrops mucrosquamatus, Peng Guo et al. (2006)
  • Trimeresurus mucrosquamatus, R. C. Sharma (2004)
  • Protobothrops mucrosquamatus, Andreas Gumprecht et al. (2004)
  • Protobothrops mucrosquamatus, Thomas Ziegler (2002)
  • Protobothrops mucrosquamatus, Tu et al. (2000)
  • Protobothrops mucrosquamatus, Edward Frederick Kraus et al. (1996)
  • Trimeresurus mucrosquamatus, Zhao & Kraig Adler (1993)
  • Protobothrops mucrosquamatus, Alphonse Richard Hoge & Sylvia A. R. W. Romano-Hoge (1983)

Conservation status

Least Concern (iucn3.1)

Least Concern (iucn3.1)


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Protobothrops mucrosquamatus

Range Map

Distribution map of Brown-spotted pit viper, Protobothrops mucrosquamatus in Thailand
  • Ban Khok District, Uttaradit
  • Ban Luang District, Nan
Range map of Protobothrops mucrosquamatus in Thailand