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White-lipped Tree Viper

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Is the White-lipped Tree Viper right for you?

Species group:

Other common names: White-Lipped Bamboo Viper; Green Tree Pit Viper; White-Lipped Pit Viper

Scientific name: Trimeresurus albolabris

The basics:
This attractively-colored venomous snake often lives in close association with people, and is responsible for many bites each year in South and Southeast Asia. As is true for all venomous snakes, it is not suitable for other than zoo collections.

The White-Lipped Tree Viper’s huge range extends from Myanmar through much of Southeast Asia to southern China and Indonesia.

Arboreal and very adaptable, it is found in trees in lowland and montane forests, plantations, overgrown scrub, wooded grasslands and village gardens.

Appearance / health:
The upper body is bright green while the ventral surface is yellow, white or cream. That part of the head which is below the eyes is white or yellow in color. Adults average 20-32 inches in length.

Zoo specimens do not general live as long as do related species, with typical longevities being 8-11 years.

Behavior / temperament:
White-Lipped Tree Vipers have the typical long strike range of arboreal snakes, and remain high-strung and resentful of disturbances in captivity.

Housing:
Venomous snake species are not suitable as pets in private collections. 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.

Diet:
The wild diet includes arboreal rodents, bats, birds, lizards and frogs. Zoo animals are fed small mice.

Breeding:
White-Lipped Tree Vipers give birth to 10-30 live young after a gestation period of 110-150 days.

Written by Frank Indiviglio

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