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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mamushi - Venomous Snake of Japan


Mamushi (Gloydius blomhoffii) are a poisonous pit viper found across East Asia: Japan, Korea and China.

Mamushi snake

The snake can be identified by its light brown markings with whitish cross stripes edged with black and is normally about 50-80cm in length.

The mamushi feeds on rodents, small birds, insects and lizards.


It is estimated around 2-3,000 people are bitten annually in Japan by mamushi with around 10 fatalities. Treatment involves intensive care with antivenom for around one week. Japan's other venomous snake is the habu, found in Okinawa.

The mamushi gets its Latin name from Jan Cock Blomhoff (1779-1853) who was director of the Dutch trading house at Dejima in Nagasaki.

This snake was seen emerging from a drainpipe in a stone wall at Magome Pass outside Magome in Gifu Prefecture.

Mamushi, Gifu Prefecture

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