AppearanceAdults may attain a snout-vent length of 105 cm. The tail is prehensile.
The weakly keeled dorsal scales are arranged in 21 or 19 rows at midbody. Ventral scales in the males number 143-158 and in females 136-159. Anal scale entire. Subcaudals paired and numbering 50-63 in males, 44-54 in females. Internasals large and usually touching. There are 9 or 10 supralabials, the first completely separated from the nasal. There is a single row of scales between supralabials and elongate subocular. The temporal scales are smooth or obliquely keeled.
Many different colour morphs are known to exist, including colours such as yellow, green, and brown. Shown here is a brown colour morph with pattern.
NamingCommon names: rock viper, Malabar rock pitviper.
BehaviorThey are nocturnal and usually inactive in the day, sometimes seen basking on rocks or trees near streams. A typical behaviour found is that they are very active during the monsoon season . However, once the monsoon ends, you rarely find a Malabar pit viper.
HabitatIt inhabits moist forests, both evergreen and deciduous, where it may be found on the ground, on low vegetation, or in shrubs.
FoodIt preys upon tree frogs, geckos, musk shrews, and other small animals.
Defense''T. malabaricus'' is slow-moving, but capable of fast strikes. Its venom causes moderate pain and swelling to humans. These symptoms subside in a day or two.
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