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Three specimens of an apparently rare pit viper, Trimeresurus kanburiensis, previously known only from the holotype collected in 1928, were found near Kanchanaburi in western Thailand. One of the snakes had bitten a young woman on the foot. She experienced severe local pain, swelling that involved the whole of the bitten limb and beyond, local bruising, recurrent shock, peripheral leucocytosis and a mild coagulopathy, but she recovered despite the lack of specific treatment. The severity of envenoming augurs ill for a young or debilitated patient bitten by this species. During the last 20 years, the name T. kanburiensis has been used incorrectly for the medically more important species, T. purpureomaculatus. Conversely, the name T. purpureomaculatus has been misapplied to specimens of a species of viper from southern Thailand which we consider very similar to T. kanburiensis, but for which a new specific name, 'T. venustus', has been suggested recently. The rediscovery and redefinition of T. kanburiensis should prevent further confusion.


Journal article


Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg

Publication Date





95 - 99


Adult, Animals, Female, Humans, Snake Bites, Snakes, Thailand