Thai National Parks

Reptiles of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Common mock viper

Thai: งูหมอก, ngu mok

Binomial name: Psammodynastes pulverulentus, Heinrich Boie, 1827

Psammodynastes pulverulentus, the common mock viper, is a species of snake native to Asia. It is one of the few snake species to possess three hemipenes.

Mock viper is a small snake (total length up to 65 cm, less in males), but it will form defensive coils and strike in viper-like fashion when threatened.


The common mock viper is known from Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, China (Fujian, Yunnan, Guangxi, Guangdong, Hainan), Hong Kong, NE India (Assam, Sikkim, Darjelling;Jalpaiguri; Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh), Bhutan, Indonesia (Bali, Bangka, Borneo, Butung, Enggano, Flores, Java, Kalimantan, Komodo, Lombok, Mentawai Archipelago, Natuna Archipelago, Padar, Riau Archipelago, Rinca, Sangihe Archipelago, Sulawesi, Sula Archipelago, Sumatra, Sumba, Sumbawa, Togian Archipelago), Laos, Malaysia (Malaya and East Malaysia, Pulau Tioman), Nepal, the Philippines (Balabac, Basilan, Bohol, Bongao, Busuanga, Dinagat, Jolo, Leyte, Luzon, Mindanao, Negros, Palawan, Panay, Polillo, Samar), Taiwan, Thailand (incl. Phuket), and Vietnam.

Subspecies Psammodynastes pulverulentus papenfussi is endemic to Taiwan.

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Site notes

Among many of its mimicing abilities the most interesting one is that when threatened, Psammodynastes pulverulentus changes the shape of its pupils to look like a viper.

Scientific classification

Psammodynastes pulverulentus

Common names

  • German:
    • Gewöhnliche Scheinviper
    • Gewöhnliche Falschviper
  • English: Common mock viper
  • Thai: งูหมอก, ngu mok


  • P. p. papenfussi, Ermi Zhao, 1995

    Range: Taiwan

  • P. p. pulverulentus, Friedrich Boie, 1827

    Range: Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, NE India, Bhutan, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Philippine Islands, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia.


  • Psammodynastes pulverulentus, Van Stanley Bartholomew Wallach et al. (2014)
  • Psamodynastes pulverulentus, Indraneil Das et al. (2009)
  • Psammodynastes pulverulentus papenfussi, Javier A. Rodriguez-Robles et al. (2003)
  • Psammodynastes pulverulentus, Thomas Ziegler (2002)
  • Psammodynastes pulverulentus, Merel J. Cox et al. (1998)
  • Psammodynastes pulverulentus, Ulrich Manthey & Wolfgang Grossmann (1997)
  • Psammodynastes pulverulentus papenfussi, Ermi Zhao (1995)
  • Psammodynastes pulverulentus, Malcolm Arthur Smith (1943)
  • Psammodynastes pulverulentus, Leonhard Hess Stejneger (1907)
  • Anisodon lilljeborgi, Rosen (1905)
  • Psammodynastes pulverulentus, George Albert Boulenger (1896)
  • Lycodon bairdii, Franz Steindachner (1867)
  • Psammophis floresianus, Pieter Bleeker (1860)
  • Psammophis floresianus, Pieter Bleeker (1859)
  • Psammodynastes pulverulentus, Albert Charles Lewis Günther (1858)
  • Dipsas ferruginea, Edward Blyth (1856)
  • Psammophis pulverulentus, André Marie Constant Duméril & Gabriel Bibron (1854)
  • Dipsas ferruginea, Theodore Edward Cantor (1839)
  • Psammophis pulverulenta, Heinrich Boie in Friedrich Boie (1827)

Free photo downloads

Photos below for this species are published under Creative Commons license, means completely free for download. No need to ask for our permission to publish these on various media. Click the thumbnails for more details & download options.

  • Psammodynastes pulverulentus
  • Psammodynastes pulverulentus
  • Psammodynastes pulverulentus
  • Psammodynastes pulverulentus

Conservation status

Not Evaluated

Not Evaluated

Psammodynastes pulverulentus

Psammodynastes pulverulentus

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Thai National Parks

Psammodynastes pulverulentus

Psammodynastes pulverulentus

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Thai National Parks

Psammodynastes pulverulentus

Psammodynastes pulverulentus

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Thai National Parks

Common mock viper

Common mock viper

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Thai National Parks

Distribution map of Common mock viper, Psammodynastes pulverulentus in Thailand

Range map of Psammodynastes pulverulentus in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

It is free to use this map on various media. See the creative common license terms by clicking "CC" icon below the map. But remember, again; the map may not be accurate or complete.

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