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POINTED SCALE VIPER - “HABU”. Protobothrops mucrosquamatus

I say beware, as this snake is potentially lethal. I am not 100% sure, but my research does not show that anyone has actually been bitten by one of these in Hong Kong. They are very rare, localised, difficult to find and very shy, moving away unlike the Bamboo Pit Viper.

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Information taken from - see links below.

The Pointed Scale Viper looks extremely similar to the Many or Large Spotted Cat Snake. It is not clear if the Cat Snake is an intentional mimic of the Pointed Scale as there are some discussions as to weather or not the Pointed Scale Viper is an introduced species, but regardless, to both the trained and untrained eye it could be easy to mistake the two. If found observe from a safe distance. Visit the 'Practical Venomous Snake ID' section of the Snake ID page for tips on identifying some of the more common venomous species.


see pictures on the site which clearly show the difference.

Key Differences Summary: The Large Spotted Cat Snake has a smaller roundish head, smooth scales and a keeled spine where the Habu has a large flat arrow shaped head, heavily keeled scales and a mostly round body. Notwithstanding those differences these species are highly similar in appearance so please review the detailed differentiators included below:

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