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A team of researchers in India unanimously agreed to name a New Species of Viper after the founder of house Slytherin, Salazar Slytherin. A fitting name for a new species of green pit vipers. Their findings were published in the journal Zoosystematics and Evolution this month.

The New Species of Viper is of the genus Trimeresurus, found “widely across east and southeast Asia.” The genus includes at least 48 different species, and the number might be even higher. They found another snake on the expedition before this one. For those not too familiar with Harry Potter, the fictional Slytherin had the magical ability to talk to snakes, making it a fitting moniker.

Future dedicated surveys conducted across northeastern India will help document biodiversity, which is under threat from numerous development activities that include road widening, agriculture, and hydro-electric projects.

Lead author Zeeshan Mirza of the National Centre for Biological Sciences

Abstract

A new species of green pit vipers of the genus Trimeresurus Lacépède, 1804 is described from the lowlands of western Arunachal Pradesh state of India. The new species, Trimeresurus salazar, is a member of the subgenus Trimeresurus, a relationship deduced contingent on two mitochondrial genes, 16S and ND4, and recovered as sister to Trimeresurus septentrionalis Kramer, 1977. The new species differs from the latter in bearing an orange to reddish stripe running from the lower border of the eye to the posterior part of the head in males, higher number of pterygoid and dentary teeth, and a short, bilobed hemipenis. Description of the new species and T. arunachalensis Captain, Deepak, Pandit, Bhatt & Athreya, 2019 from northeastern India in a span of less than one year highlights the need for dedicated surveys to document biodiversity across northeastern India.

If you want to find out more about this new species and geek out a little you can do so by going to the website and also a blog. Would be cool to discover a new species of anything since you get to name it!

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