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Continent: Middle-America
Distribution: Mexico (San Luis Potosi south to Oaxaca), south to Panama [i.e. including Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, S Belize, Nicaragua.  
Type locality: Mexico; restricted to Teapa, Tabasco, Mexico by BURGER 1950:65.
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© Peter Uetz

Source: The Reptile Database


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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 19 years (captivity)
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© Joao Pedro de Magalhaes

Source: AnAge


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Atropoides nummifer

Common names: Mexican jumping pitviper,[2] jumping viper.[3]

Atropoides nummifer is a venomous pitviper species endemic to Mexico and Central America. Currently, three subspecies are recognized, including the nominate subspecies described here.[4]



Adults are short and exceedingly stout, commonly growing to 18-24 inches (46-61 cm) in total length. The snout is rounded with a sharp canthus.[3]

At midbody there are 23-27 rows of dorsal scales that are strongly keeled, tubercular in large specimens. The ventral scales are 121-135, while the subcaudals are 26-36 and mostly single. The eye is separated from the labial scales by 3-4 rows of small scales.[3]

The color pattern consists of a tan, light brown or gray ground color that is overlaid with a series of around 20 dark brown or black rhomboid blotches. The lower tips of these blotches often connect with spots on the flanks to form narrow crossbands. The top of the head is dark with oblique postorbital stripes, below which the side of the head is a lighter color. The belly is whitish, occasionally with dark brown blotches.[3]

These snakes have sometimes been mistaken for young bushmasters (Lachesis muta), but can easily be identified by their lack of a specialized tail tip.[3]

Geographic range

Found in eastern Mexico from San Luis Potosí southeastward on the Atlantic versant and lowlands through northern Guatemala, southern Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica to central Panama. On the Pacific versant in disjunct populations from southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama. Found in various types of forest, including cloud forest and rain forest at 40-1,600 m (130-5,250 ft) altitude. The type originally lacked locality information, but apparently "Mexico" was filled in some time later. A restriction to Teapa, Tabasco, Mexico, was proposed by Burger (1950).[1]

Conservation status

This species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (v3.1, 2001).[5] Species are listed as such due to their wide distribution, presumed large population, or because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. The population trend is stable. Year assessed: 2007.[6]


Subspecies[4]Taxon author[4]Common name[2]Geographic range
A. n. mexicanus(A.M.C. Duméril, Bibron & A.H.A. Duméril, 1854)Central American jumping pitviperType locality: Cobán, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala.
A. n. nummifer(Rüppell, 1845)Mexican jumping pitviperType locality: Mexico.
A. n. occiduus(Hoge, 1966)Guatemalan jumping pitviperType locality: San Augustín, Guatemala.

See also


  1. ^ a b McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. 1999. Snake Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, vol. 1. Herpetologists' League. 511 pp. ISBN 1-893777-00-6 (series). ISBN 1-893777-01-4 (volume).
  2. ^ a b Campbell JA, Lamar WW. 2004. The Venomous Reptiles of the Western Hemisphere. 2 volumes. Comstock Publishing Associates, Ithaca and London. 870 pp. 1500 plates. ISBN 0-8014-4141-2.
  3. ^ a b c d e U.S. Navy. 1991. Poisonous Snakes of the World. US Govt. New York: Dover Publications Inc. 203 pp. ISBN 0-486-26629-X.
  4. ^ a b c "Atropoides nummifer". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 14 September 2007.
  5. ^ Atropoides nummifer at the IUCN Red List. Accessed 14 September 2007.
  6. ^ 2001 Categories & Criteria (version 3.1) at the IUCN Red List. Accessed 14 September 2007.

Further reading

  • Rüppell, E. 1845. Verzeichnis der in dem Museum der Senckenbergischen naturforschenden Gesellschaft aufgestellten Sammlungen. Dritte Abteilung: Amphibien. Mus. Senckenbergianum 3 (3): 293-316. (Atropos nummifer)
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Source: Wikipedia


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