Species group: Rattlesnakes and Other Vipers
Other common names: Speckled Pit Viper; Wagler’s Palm Viper, Wagler’s Pit Viper; Temple Pit Viper; Bamboo Snake
Scientific name: Tropidolaemus wagleri
Beautiful coloration and small size have rendered this arboreal beauty popular in some private snake-keeping circles. However, it is not, as sometimes asserted, “only mildly venomous”, and should be enjoyed in zoos only.
The Temple Viper ranges from southern Thailand through Malaysia to Indonesia, with a possible isolated population in southern Vietnam.
Nocturnal and highly arboreal, it is found in trees and vine tangles within lowland rainforests, marshes, and coastal mangrove swamps.
Appearance / health:
The ground color varies greatly, and may be black or various shades of brown and green, and marked with yellow and/or orange banding. Adults reach 75 –100 cm (30-39 in) in length.
Zoo specimens are somewhat sensitive and stress-prone, and have reached age 10+. Temple Vipers do not thrive in arid environments, but if kept overly-damp are subject to skin and respiratory ailments.
Behavior / temperament:
Temple Vipers remain motionless most of the time, but have the typical lightening reflexes and long strike range of arboreal snakes. They remain high-strung and resentful of disturbances in captivity.
It is impossible for a private snake owner to adequately prepare for or treat a venomous snakebite, or, prior to a bite, to arrange for treatment in a hospital.
The wild diet includes small rodents, bats, birds and lizards. Zoo animals are fed small mice.
Female Temple Vipers produce 15-41 live young at irregular intervals throughout the year.
Written by Frank Indiviglio
Visit This "Temple" in a Zoo Only!
With its beautiful of colors and patterns and arboreal ways, the temple viper is one of the world’s most stunning snakes. Unfortunately for prospective owners, it is also very dangerous, and has no place in private collections. Its unique beauty and the danger aspect render it much in demand in certain sectors of our hobby, but please resist any temptations you may have in this regard. Then temple viper’s long strike range and often picky appetite render it difficult to work with even in well-run zoos, and somewhat delicate as well. Most that I cared for during my zoo-keeping career remained high strung and ill-at-ease.
It is impossible for a private snake owner to adequately prepare for or treat a venomous snakebite. Viper venom is far more complex than was once believed. Haemotoxins, which damage blood cells, blood vessels and body tissues, predominate in most that have been studied. However, all have neurotoxic components as well, along with the enzyme Hyaluronidase, which speeds venom diffusion..
From findiviglio Jan 23 2016 3:21PM