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Trimeresurus Salazar

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    29th Apr, 2020

Recently, a team of researchers has discovered a new species of venomous snake in Arunachal Pradesh and named it Trimeresurus Salazar.

Context

Recently, a team of researchers has discovered a new species of venomous snake in Arunachal Pradesh and named it Trimeresurus Salazar.

About

  • The venomous snake was discovered in the thick evergreen forests of the Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh during a field expedition by researchers in July 2019.
  • The new species is named after J.K. Rowling’s fictional Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’s co-founder, Salazar Slytherin.
  • The new species belongs to the group of green pit vipers from which it differs from its closely related species in bearing a rusty red or orange lateral stripe along the head and the entire body.
  • The Salazar pit viper belongs to a genus of "charismatic venomous serpents with morphologically as well as ecologically diverse species."
  • The comparison of DNA sequences and skull morphology of closely related species highlights the distinctness of the new species.
  • This pit viper has orange to reddish stripe near its lips. It has more teeth compared to the other venomous snakes.
  • This new pit viper happens to be the fifth variety of reptile to have been discovered in Arunachal Pradesh in a little more than a year. 

What are Pit Vipers?

  • Pit vipers are some of the most beautiful, and most dangerous, snakes in the world. They exist on several different continents, and within a wide variety of habitats.
  • All of the snakes in this group are members of the Viperidaefamily of snakes -- vipers for short. But not all of the Viperidae are pit vipers.
  • They are masters of the hunt, armed with some amazing "tools" for finding and killing their prey.
  • Pit vipers are widespread throughout the world. These venomous snakes can be found across parts of Europe, Asia, and both North and South America.
  • They have adapted to survive in a wide variety of habitats, ranging from deserts to jungle.
  • About 15 pit viper snakes are found in India, seven of which have been found in northeast before.

Pakke Tiger Reserve:

  • Pakke Tiger Reserve lies in the foothills of the Eastern Himalaya in the East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It is considered one of the best protected national parks in the country. Pakke is also known for its amazing sightings of four resident hornbill species.
  • While the new discovery is indeed exciting for herpetology experts, it also raises concern on the loss of habitat in the region.
  • It is where a highway between Sejosa and Bhalokpong is threatened to cut through Pakke Tiger Reserve, where a lot of reptiles thrive.
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