Friday, November 30, 2012

[Herpetology • 2006] A revision of the Trimeresurus puniceus – complex (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae) based on morphological and molecular data

Trimeresurus puniceus 
by Viktigpetter

The brown Asian pitvipers of the genus Trimeresurus related to Trimeresurus puniceus (informal Trimeresurus puniceus-complex) are revised on the basis of morphological and molecular analyses.Variation in morphological characters were investigated among 119 specimens from 62 populations of the whole range of the pitvipers currently known as Trimeresurus puniceus (Boie, 1827), Trimeresurus borneensis (Peters, 1872) and Trimeresurus brongersmai Hoge, 1969. Molecular andmorphological analyses clearly differentiate two groups of taxa, referrable to the informal Trimeresurus puniceus -group and Trimeresurus borneensis-group, and confirm the distinct specificstatus of T. puniceus and T. borneensis. Morphological univariate and multivariate analyses differentiate six clusters of populations that are morphologically diagnosable, of which five are here considered to represent independent lineages and one is placed incertae sedis pending the availability of further specimens. These clusters are considered to be distinct species following theBiological Species Concept and the Phylogenetic Species Concept. 

One of them is described as a new species, Trimeresurus andalasensis spec. nov. (T. borneensis-group), which includes populations from northern Sumatra. Trimeresurus wiroti Trutnau, 1981 is revalidated to accommodate populations from Thailand and West Malaysia. Trimeresurus borneensis is here considered endemic to Borneo. Trimeresurus puniceus is known from Java and from South Sumatra, but the taxonomy of this species in Sumatra is left unresolved. Also left unresolved is the taxonomic position of specimens from western Sumatra and the Mentawai Archipelago, and from the Natuna Islands and Anamba Islands. Although belonging to the T. puniceus-group, they show some differences to other specimens of the group. They are not referred to any taxon pending thecollection of additional specimens. Lastly, Trimeresurus brongersmai is confirmed as a valid species from the Mentawai Archipelago. A key to these taxa is provided. 

Key words: Indonesia, West Malaysia, Sumatra, Borneo, Serpentes, Viperidae, Trimeresurus, Trimeresurus puniceus, Trimeresurus borneensis, Trimeresurus wiroti, T. andalasensis spec. nov., Trimeresurus brongersmai

FIGURE 4. Map: distribution of the taxa recognized in the Trimeresurus puniceus-complex.

David, Patrick; Vogel, Gernot; Vijayakumar, S.P.; Vidal, Nicolas. 2006. A revision of the Trimeresurus puniceus – complex (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae) based on morphological and molecular data. Zootaxa. 1293:1-78