MALABAR PIT VIPERS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     11th June 2024        

Context: Researchers have taken up a detailed radio telemetry study of the Malabar Pit Vipers to understand their habitat and activity patterns and to find their antidote.

Malabar Pit Vipers

  • About: It is native to the Western Ghats, typically induces moderate pain and swelling with no reported fatalities.
  • Range: Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa & Maharashtra.
  • Habitat: Tropical Evergreen Forests.
  • Scientific Name: Craspedocephalus malabaricus (formerly Trimeresurus malabaricus).
  • Features

oNocturnal, arboreal, and Ovoviviparous (give birth to live young).

oTriangular head much broader than the neck, heat sensing pits between eyes and nostrils.

oSpots in various zigzag patterns across the body.

oVariable color, often green, brown, or yellow with patterns.

oHeat-sensing pits to detect warm-blooded prey.

  • Conservation Status

oWildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule-2.

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