portrait: the Truong Son Pit Viper
An absolutely spectacular adult male Truong Son Pit Viper (Viridovipera truongsonensis) found coiled in an ambush posture within an elevated, shallow rock cleft at a limestone cave entrance in karst rainforest within the magnificent Phong Nha-Ke Bang NP in the Quang Binh Province of central Vietnam.
This species was quite recently described. It is currently regarded as endemic to the karst rainforest incorporating the Annamite Mountain Range, an area notable for its overall high endemism and species diversity. It is an area recently subjected to intensive scientific scrutiny because of these attributes. For example, a collaboration between German and Vietnamese researchers culminated in 46 published papers dealing with the herpetofauna of Phong Nha - Ke Bang alone, from 2000-2009!
In line with so many species recorded from the Annamite region that are currently regarded as endemic for Vietnam, it's occurrence in similar habitats in neighbouring Laos cannot be excluded.
Taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR coupled to a vintage Medium Format Mamiya 645 Sekor C 110mm 1:2.8 N lens. A third party M645 to EOS adapter and 31mm EF extension tube incorporated. Shot hand-held @ 11 with a TTL dual flash set up.