Fun Tree Viper Facts For Kids

Oluniyi Akande
Oct 20, 2022 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
Read further for more tree viper facts

Do you find snakes endlessly fascinating? Well, the green tree viper is considered to be one of the most dazzling and interesting snakes out there!

Native to southeast Asia (India, China, Taiwan), the green tree viper belongs to the venomous Viperidae family of snakes and is known by the scientific name of Trimeresurus stejnegeri.

They belong to the wide family of tree-dwelling vipers, including the Trimeresurus gramineus, The white lip tree viper, the green tree pit viper, the green tree viper snake, and the spiny tree viper, and so on.

They are also commonly known by the names of pit viper, the Chinese green tree viper, the Chinese tree viper, the bamboo viper, bamboo pit viper, and so on. This snake species has a stable population and hence, has been classified as Least Concern by the IUCN.

These vipers are best known for their dark green skin, triangular-shaped head, and red tail. They are often found dwelling amongst the trees, camouflaged within the pale green leaves by their dazzling skin.

Although these vipers are venomous, their bites are not fatal. However, they can leave quite a mark, so it is best to not make contact with these snakes! Read further to learn some fun facts about pit vipers and do check out our anaconda and scarlet snake articles.

Tree Viper Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a tree viper?

The tree viper or the pit viper (Trimeresurus stejnegeri) is a snake that belongs to the viper family. A well-known member of this family is the Gabon viper.

What class of animal does a tree viper belong to?

The tree viper or the pit viper (Trimeresurus stejnegeri) is a reptile.

How many tree vipers are there in the world?

Currently, there is no population estimate for the green pit viper (Trimeresurus stejnegeri). However, they are considered to be common and belong to a family of 25 species.

Where does a tree viper live?

Tree vipers (pit viper) are commonly found in forest areas in southern and eastern Asia. They are native to Eastern India, Myanmar, Nepal, Taiwan, and Southern China.

What is a tree viper's habitat?

Tree vipers (pit viper) dwell in thick forest areas that are usually 6600 ft (2011.68 m) above sea level. They live in trees and are often camouflaged in the leaves due to their bright green skin.

Who do tree vipers live with?

Tree vipers or pit vipers (Trimeresurus stejnegeri) are lone snakes and are commonly found alone.

How long does a tree viper live?

There is not much information recorded about the longevity of the green tree viper or the pit viper, but the longest a snake of this species survived in captivity was noted to be seven years.

How do they reproduce?

Reproduction in pale green tree vipers (pit viper) is oviparous, which means that the young live inside the female's body in the form of eggs until they are ready to hatch. Female tree vipers reproduce once a year, mating at the beginning of the year followed by a six-month pregnancy.

Females give birth to a small litter of six to eleven snakelets following the pregnancy period. Snakelets eat small insects and tadpoles until they are big enough to consume frogs and lizards.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN, green pit vipers are common and their population is stable. Hence, their conservation status is classified as Least Concern.

Tree Viper Fun Facts

What do tree vipers look like?

Green tree vipers (pit viper) are usually between 20-30 in (50-75 cm) in length and are a bright green or yellow color. They also have red or black spots on their upper surface and have a white or yellow streak.

The lower part of these snakes are usually yellow, green, or white and they have a red or yellow-tipped tail. They have golden eyes with vertical slits and long, sharp fangs. This snake is easily identifiable by its golden eyes and triangular-shaped head.

These snakes are characterized by their bright green color, golden eyes, and distinctly colored tail.

How cute are they?

Although they are slightly poisonous, green tree vipers or pit vipers are considered to be a beautiful species due to their bright green skin.

How do they communicate?

Green tree vipers or pit vipers communicate using their sense of taste and smell to sense pheromones and chemicals present around them. When these snakes stick out their tongue, they collect the chemical signatures and pheromones present in the air.

This allows them to sense where and what the smell is coming from. They also use physical movements such as twitching and jerking to communicate with other snakes.

Males often engage in physical combat during mating season, coiling around each other trying to assert dominance by appearing taller than the other snake.

The winners of these battles then go on to mating with the female of this species. This is similar to the combat that takes place between cobra snakes.

How big is a tree viper?

The green tree viper grows in the range of  20-30 in (50-75 cm) in length. This makes them almost 20 times smaller than a red-bellied snake in terms of length!

How fast can a tree viper move?

Pit vipers are nocturnal in nature, which means that they are active at night and lethargic during the day. However, when they are provoked, they have a very quick strike, almost always striking their target accurately. The exact speed of this viper is unknown.

How much does a tree viper weigh?

The average weight of a tree viper is speculated to be around 0.55 lb (250 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no specific terms given to the males and females of this species.

What would you call a baby tree viper?

Baby tree vipers or pit vipers are commonly referred to as juveniles or snakelets.

What do they eat?

The green tree viper or the Trimeresurus stejnegeri is a carnivore and has a diet consisting of small prey such as rodents, birds, frogs, and lizards.

Are they poisonous?

Pit vipers (Trimeresurus stejnegeri) are venomous snakes, however, their bite is not fatal. Pit viper venom consists of hemotoxins which are toxins that destroy red blood cells and cause tissue damage.

Pit viper bites are considered to be excruciatingly painful and can cause the skin around the tissue to turn black and die of necrosis. Once bitten by one of these snakes, the excruciating pain subsides after 24 hours.

However, there have been a few recorded fatalities amongst tea pickers and farmers due to late or no treatment. This venom, however, renders prey unable to escape.

Would they make a good pet?

Pit vipers (Trimeresurus stejnegeri) seem like the ideal snakes to keep as pets due to their colorful skin, red tail, and small size. However, these snakes are suited to widespread foliage and forest habitat.

They are also quick to strike if they feel threatened and have venom that can cause painful wounds that require immediate treatment. They also require live prey in their diet. Hence, it is not advisable to keep this species as pets.

Did you know...

The green pit viper (Trimeresurus Stejnegeri) is a nocturnal species, which means that it is active at night and lethargic, and slow during the day. During the day, these snakes are often hidden within the dense foliage of the trees, with their tails coiled around the tree branches.

They do not hunt during the day, but they have a very quick and accurate strike if they are provoked or touched. However, the venom from these vipers is not fatal if treated quickly and the pain subsides after 24 hours.

Baby pit vipers are often born with bright and eye-catching tails so that they can attract insects and other small prey. These baby vipers are born between June to August and are usually in the range of five to eight inches in length.

The Trimeresurus gramineus or the Indian tree viper is one of the most common snakes belonging to the 'trimeresurus' family. They are found in the southern and central areas of India and are generally found near streams and grasslands.

Tea pickers, farmers, and workers in India are considered to be at high risk in these areas of getting bitten by the Indian tree viper. Although they are not extremely poisonous snakes, there have been a few recorded fatalities.

There are over 25 species of pit viper in the world. This includes the Chinese green tree viper, the Chinese tree viper, the bamboo viper, the white-lipped viper, and so on.

What are the different types of tree vipers?

Pit vipers are a part of the 25 species of tree vipers in the world that are classified under the 'Trimeresurus' genus of snakes. Most of these tree vipers have a set of similar, identifiable traits such as bright green scales with red or yellow markings and a distinct tail.

These include the bamboo viper, the green pit viper, the white-lipped tree viper (albolabris), the Trimeresurus gramineus, the emerald tree viper, the African tree viper, the blue tree viper, the Chinese green tree viper, and so on.

What's the difference between a meadow viper and a tree viper?

The main difference between the meadow viper and the tree viper is their appearance. Meadow vipers are commonly found to have brown scales with large black spots, unlike the dazzling green color of the pit vipers.

Meadow vipers are also diurnal in nature, which means that they are active during the day.

In addition to this, meadow vipers give birth only once in two to three years, whereas pit vipers give birth once a year. Meadow vipers also begin their mating season during April and May, whereas pit vipers begin their mating season in December and January.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these black racer facts and vine snake facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable tree viper coloring pages.

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

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Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

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Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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