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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2004 Jul;32(1):83-100.

A phylogeny of four mitochondrial gene regions suggests a revised taxonomy for Asian pitvipers (Trimeresurus and Ovophis).

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School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales Bangor, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW, UK.

Erratum in

  • Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2005 Mar;34(3):680-1.


We present a phylogeny of the Asian pitvipers, based on 2403 bp of four mitochondrial gene regions. All but six known species of Trimeresurus sensu stricto (s.s.) as currently defined, as well as multiple populations of widespread species, which may yet be described as full species, and representatives of all other Asian pitviper genera, are included. Both the greater sampling and larger dataset provide improved resolution over previous studies and support the existence of distinct species groups within Trimeresurus s.s. Although all but two species currently referred to this genus form a monophyletic group, morphological and molecular analyses identify four subgroups that warrant recognition at the generic level. We propose a new generic arrangement to reflect these findings. We also highlight the non-monophyly of Ovophis, and propose a new genus to accommodate a species formerly assigned to Ovophis.

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