| Author||L.D. Brongersma|
|Title||Note on Vipera russelii (Shaw)|
|Abstract||This note deals mainly with the systematic position of the subspecies of Vipera russelii occurring in the Malay Archipelago, and with its distribution; some remarks are added concerning the distribution of V. russelii outside the archipelago.|
Two subspecies of Vipera russelii have been described from the Malay Archipelago. Mertens (1927, p. 183) made a specimen from Endeh Island the type of a new subspecies: Vipera russelii limitis Mertens. In a later paper, Mertens (1930, p. 327) refers the two specimens taken in the island of Komodo by Dunn (1927, p. 4) to this same subspecies, and according to Neuhaus (1935, p. 49) the Javan specimen described by him also belongs to Vipera russelii limitis. Kopstein (1936, pp. 259-262, pl. 3) discusses the differences that he believes to be present between the Javan specimens and Mertens's V. r. limitis. Although Kopstein did not arrive at a definite conclusion as to the Javan specimen differing subspecifically from V. r. limitis, he proposed the name Vipera russellii sublimitis Kopstein for the Javan form should it prove to be distinct. De Haas (1950, p. 609), Wegner (1953, p. 6), and Van Hoesel (1954, p. 135, fig.) recognize Vipera russelii sublimitis as a distinct subspecies.
Under the heading Vipera russelii siamensis, Smith (1943, p. 484) describes the colour pattern of specimens from southern Burma, Siam, China, and the East Indies; this may mean that Smith refers the specimens from these areas to V. r. siamensis, and that he considers V. r. limitis and V. r. sublimitis (mentioned by him on p. 485) as synonyms of siamensis.
The systematic position of these two forms was discussed again by Mertens (1957, p. 25) after comparing a Javan specimen to the type of V. r.
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