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Mangshan Pit Viper (Protobothrops mangshanensis) Fact Sheet: Reproduction & Development

Mangshan Pit Viper (Protobothrops mangshanensis)


  • Not studied in wild


(Gumprecht et al. 2002)

  • Eggs laid on ground in leaf litter
  • Females aggressively guard their eggs in the nest

Incubation and Hatching

  • 49-51 days (in managed care) (Gumprecht et al. 2002)
  • Most pit vipers are live bearers (Zug 1993) (Lynch 2009), but Mangshan pit vipers lay eggs
  • Up to 27 eggs - diameter 30 mm (1.2 in)

Life Stages

Eggs (Gumprecht et al. 2002)

  • As large as small chicken eggs but with soft leathery shell
  • Weigh: up to 40 g (1.4 oz)
  • Length: to 77 X 33.9 mm (3.0 X 1.3 in)


  • Weigh: average 28-38 g (1-1.3 oz)
  • 40 cm (16 in) total length
  • In managed care, shed first skin on day 14 (Gumprecht et al. 2002)


  •  Juveniles are "as wide as a thumb" (Chen 1990, translated in David & Tong 1997) 


  •  Dark color becomes dominant in adult. (David & Tong 1997)

Typical Life Expectancy

Wild populations

  • Not reported

Managed care

  • No AZA estimates

Mortality and Health

  • Young may be vulnerable to predation

Egg Clutch

Mangshan pit viper egg clutch

Female Mangshan pit vipers are protective of their nests.

Many pit vipers give live birth, but this species lays eggs.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

Page Citations

Boyer (2010)
Chen (1990), translated in David & Tong (1997)
David & Tong (1997)
Gumprecht et al. (2002)
Lynch (2009)
Zug (1993)

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