White-Lipped Pit Viper Fact File


The white-lipped pit viper has bright emerald green scales across much of the body with some scattered yellow scales amongst these. On the belly they are green, yellowish or white.

Their head is wide and rounded. On either side of the mouth are prominent heat pits. Below the eyes the head is colored white, pale green or yellow from which their name comes.

Males and females can be distinguished as males have a light stripe down the side of the body which females lack. Females are generally brighter in coloration.

Their tail features a red, white or brown stripe.

An albino mutation is present in the captive population which has a yellowish white body with red eyes.

The eye is gold in most populations but some have a deep red eye. In the eye the pupil is vertical and black.

Females have a larger body length than males. They reach up to 81cm (32in) long compared to 60cm (23in) for the males.


The white-lipped pit viper is a carnivore. Their diet includes small mammals such as rodents, lizards, birds and frogs.

To subdue prey they have a mild venom. This is rarely fatal to humans but if bitten, as with all snakes, you should seek medical treatment immediately.

They will hang upside down in a tree and wait for prey to come by which they can then strike at.

Once prey is caught they will hold on to it unlike other species which will release their prey and wait for it to succumb to the venom before recapturing it.

White-Lipped Pit Viper

Scientific Name

Trimeresurus albolabris

Conservation Status

Least Concern



60cm (23in)


81cm (32in)


1 years



-- AD --


Asia is the native home of the white-lipped pit viper. Here they can be found in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam.


They make their home in deciduous forests, montane forests, lowland plains and shrubland.

In some areas they are found in the backyards of homes, cropping fields and along roadsides.

White-Lipped Pit Viper


Females give birth to between 10 and 11 young. These young are born live from July to August.

Some females have been recorded to store sperm from a previous mating to use during the next breeding season.

Sexual maturity is related to the length of the snake. Females give birth once every two or three years with some larger individuals able to breed annually.


This arboreal species will spend much of its life in the trees.

White-Lipped Pit Viper

Predators and Threats

Currently the white-lipped pit viper has no major threats from humans but habitat fragmentation is an emerging issue.

Humans may kill the species through fear of their venom. Some are collected to be eaten and they may be collected for the pet trade.

Quick facts

They have a number of other common names including the bamboo viper, green tree pit viper and the white-lipped green pit viper.

White-Lipped Pit Viper

Photo Credits


By Rushenb - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41206627

All Other Images

By en:User:Cburnett - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1661602


Burnie, D., 2011. Animal. 3rd ed. London: DK

Devan-Song, Anne & Martelli, Paolo & Kiucarraker, Nancy. (2017). Reproductive Biology and Natural History of the White-lipped Pit Viper (Trimeresurus albolabris Gray, 1842) in Hong Kong. Herpetological Conservation and Biology. 12. 41-55.

HerpingThailand.com. 2021. Trimeresurus albolabris – White-lipped Pit Viper. [online] Available at: <http://herpingthailand.com/snakes-of-thailand/vipers/trimeresurus-albolabris-white-lipped-pit-viper/> [Accessed 7 March 2021].

Asian Pitvipers. 2021. Reproduction. [online] Available at: <https://www.asian-pitvipers.com/en/biology/reproduction/> [Accessed 7 March 2021].

HongKongSnakeID.com. 2021. Bamboo Viper - Trimeresurus albolabris — HongKongSnakeID.com. [online] Available at: <https://www.hongkongsnakeid.com/whitelipped-viper> [Accessed 7 March 2021].

HerpingThailand.com. 2021. Trimeresurus albolabris – White-lipped Pit Viper. [online] Available at: <http://herpingthailand.com/snakes-of-thailand/vipers/trimeresurus-albolabris-white-lipped-pit-viper/> [Accessed 7 March 2021].

Ultimateexotics.co.za. 2021. Ultimate Exotics | White-lipped Tree Viper Caresheet (Trimeresurus albolabris). [online] Available at: <https://ultimateexotics.co.za/white-lipped-tree-viper-caresheet-trimeresurus-albolabris/> [Accessed 7 March 2021].

Ecologyasia.com. 2021. White-lipped Pit Viper - Trimeresurus albolabris. [online] Available at: <https://www.ecologyasia.com/verts/snakes/white-lipped-pit-viper.htm> [Accessed 7 March 2021].

Thai National Parks. 2021. Trimeresurus albolabris, White-lipped pit viper. [online] Available at: <https://www.thainationalparks.com/species/trimeresurus-albolabris> [Accessed 7 March 2021].

Stuart, B., Thy, N., Nguyen, T.Q. & Auliya, M. 2012. Cryptelytrops albolabris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T178433A1534017. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012-1.RLTS.T178433A1534017.en. Downloaded on 07 March 2021.

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