Sri Lankan Green Pit Viper

Habitat And Size

The Green Pit Viper is the only endemic species of snakes. Named Green Pit Viper due to its green body, it is one of the most popular snakes in Sri Lanka. Apart from the highlands and arid regions of Sri Lanka, it extends from the dry zone to the central highlands and the lowland wet zone. The population found in the dry zone is slightly lighter in color, and the population in the wet zone is darker green to adapt to the environment. As it is primarily a snake that depends on its prey, its body color helps the fleece hide from its prey and protect itself from predators.

The stout cylindrical body is covered with corals with a key. A triangular head clearly visible from the neck can be seen. Heat-sensitive fungi are located in the Loreal region of the head (the area between the eyes and the nostrils) due to the genus Crotalinae, which belongs to the genus Crotalinae.

The black line on the side of the head behind the eye or across the eye can be used to identify this species. The underside of this line is often yellow or blue mixed with light green. Body-color ranges from single green to mixed yellow-green to mixed blue-green. On the surface of the body, there is an irregular spot pattern of black patches. These spots are more diffuse throughout the body than those in the wet zone than in the dry area—abdominal light yellow or yellowish-green. The flea also has a short-stemmed stalk that helps with its tree-like lifestyle.

green pit viper
green pit viper


The flea, which is primarily a nocturnal snake, can be seen lazily branching during the day. Flowing water sources prefer to hover over surrounding plants. Common in places such as coffee, cocoa, and cardamom plantations. They depend on amphibians such as birds, lizards, and frogs as their main food. It has also been reported to feed on small mammals such as rats.

They can be seen roaming the earth in search of prey at night. When it feels threatened, it shakes its hips to the ground and makes a noise. There are also occasional blows to warn. If it feels more threatening, the body’s front is set up like a bow, and the attack is carried out.


The ovaries, which reproduce by ovulation, give birth to 5-25 young at a time. At birth, the pups are about 20-25cm long, and the adult is about 120cm long.
There have been reports of bites from the venomous snake, but no deaths have been reported. However, hospitalization for a bite is essential because of the risk of renal failure and lymphatic system complications due to the toxin’s effects. Local symptoms of a bite include swelling and watery discharge around the mouth. Extreme levels of deforestation, road accidents at night, and loss of life due to fear can be cited as threats to them.

This animal has also gained a special place in the international reptile market due to its beautiful and bright color patterns. They are bred as pets in many European and Western countries.
For this reason, some people illegally capture and sell these animals. Thus, their population is adversely affected, and the country’s biodiversity is also affected. However, this species is classified under the Least Concern (LC) category in the IUCN Red Data Report, as it still has a large population associated with forests away from humans.

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